There are so many versions of GeForce 7900 GT in the retail market now; some don't even look remotely like the reference model anymore. Gigabyte's latest GeForce 7900 GT - GV-NX79T256DP-RH is the perfect example. The most obvious change is the Zalman cooler, which should be familiar with most enthusiasts. We have seen this cooler on numerous occasions, either retrofitted on graphics cards by the vendors or sold as a standalone product (e.g. as the Zalman VF700-Cu). Fortunately, just like we remembered, the Zalman cooler onboard the Gigabyte is still as quiet and we can barely hear the whirl of the fan when we plugged in the card. The distinctive, open design of the aluminum fins is probably the reason why a single, relatively slow moving fan is sufficient to cool the GPU and of course slow moving equates to silence when it comes to coolers and fans.
Incidentally, the GPU and the 1.4ns rated memory chips are actually running at higher clock than the default specifications. The core is clocked at 525MHz compared to the standard 450MHz. Meanwhile the memory chips are at 1440MHz DDR, which is a gain of 120MHz DDR. These increased clock speeds are not by any standard spectacular though they should give decent and noticeable gains. It should also give the Gigabyte a competitive edge in a crowded field of similar offerings from rivals.
The use of the older four-pin Molex power connector for the Gigabyte instead of the reference connector was also rather surprising. We had thought that these had gone out of fashion with the previous generation of cards like the GeForce 6800 series but apparently we were wrong. It could be that Gigabyte is reusing a PCB design from the past, as the layout for its GeForce 7900 GT did seem quite different from the reference model. Nevertheless, as long as it does its job reliably, we doubt that consumers would have any preference about this particular quirk.
It's a familiar bundle of goodies from Gigabyte, with the exact same configuration of software and accessories found in recent graphics products from the company. This includes Serious Sam II first person shooter, a fun and frenetic game that should provide many hours of fast paced entertainment and a DVD playback utility in the form of CyberLink's Power DVD 6.0. Finally, Gigabyte's proprietary V-Tuner overclocking tool, now into its third iteration, completes the bundle. Overall, this is a very decent bundle that manages to avoid excessive bloat while providing useful and relatively up to date applications. Here are the items we found in our package in total: