Palit GeForce 7900 GT Sonic 512MB

The Palit GeForce 7900 GT Sonic 512MB

The Palit GeForce 7900 GT Sonic 512MB

First, the latest custom designed GeForce 7900 GT from Palit takes up two slots on your motherboard. That's one more than the vanilla GeForce 7900 GT. The cooler however does not have the dimensions of the dual-slot GeForce 7900 GTX. It bears a slight resemblance if anything, to the ones found on ATI's Radeon X1600 XT. The noise output is also somewhat comparable to the default GeForce 7900 GT, but this one has a very slight whine pitch to it. Most users should find the noise acceptable, especially in exchange for the boosted performance that you should find on the Palit.

The color scheme of the plastic cooler on the Palit GeForce 7900GT Sonic may seem familiar to those who have seen its GeForce 7600GT Sonic but this angle doesn't do it justice. It has morphed into a larger and taller cooler that inches into dual-slot territory.

The retention mechanism for the cooler is found at the back.

Of course we are not implying that Palit set out trying to make a GeForce 7900 GTX but based on its specifications, one could be forgiven for making that assumption. The 256MB frame buffer on the typical GeForce 7900 GT has been doubled to GTX proportions - 512MB. Similarly, the core clock speed has been increased by a whopping 100MHz from the default 450MHz to 550MHz. While this was still far short of the 650MHz on a GeForce 7900 GTX, the Palit GeForce 7900 GT Sonic certainly gets marks for effort.

All GeForce 7900 GT cards need a reserved power connector and the Palit is no exception. Some of you may also notice the Rubycon capacitors found on the board, another trademark of Palit's products.

By default, the memory chips on the Palit were not overclocked. However it was still very nice to find heatsinks for all 512MB worth of onboard memory.

As usual for one of its 'special' cards, the PCB is red, with the layout and components all having undergone a revamp by Palit. The capacitors for example are by Rubycon, a company much sought after by enthusiasts for the quality of its capacitors. All the memory chips onboard also sport additional heatsinks for cooling, unlike the reference design. These 1.4ns rated chips run at a normal clock of 1320MHz DDR, so the card technically only has an overclocked core and of course, twice the memory of an ordinary GeForce 7900 GT.

Unfortunately, the Palit GeForce 7900GT Sonic has to utilize two slots. It was a close thing as the cooler was just slightly too tall to fit into one slot comfortably. The DVD-I outputs are also dual-link ones but unlike the new GeForce 7950 GX2, not HDCP ready.

For a special edition card that promises greater performance than the norm, we expected the applications and games to match it. Palit delivered with its bundled racing game, ToCA Rac Driver 3, which may not be the most popular in the genre, but has been well rated by both players and press. The only application included, the perennial DVD playback program from CyberLink, Power DVD was not the latest version 6.0 but 5.0 instead. It's decent enough to do the job but having a newer version would have been perfect. The rest of the accessories were rather standard but again, why not two DVD-to-VGA adaptors since there are two ports? Anyway, here's the full list of items:

  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • 6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
  • Driver CD
  • CyberLink Power DVD 5.0
  • ToCA Race Driver 3

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