Graphics Cards Guide

ASUS EN7600GT review

ASUS EN7600GT (GeForce 7600 GT 256MB)

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Comparisons and Highlights of the GeForce 7600 GT

Comparisons and Highlights of the GeForce 7600 GT

A Little about the Core

Since the GeForce 7300 GS, every other new GPU from NVIDIA has been fabricated using the 90nm engineering process and the new GeForce 7600 GT is no exception. While all the GeForce 7 series share the same general architecture and features that debuted with the G70 core (first used on the GeForce 7800 GTX), each of them is tailored for a different price/market segment. As such for the midrange segment, NVIDA didn't reuse the expensive G71 core found on the GeForce 7900 series, but designed a new core codenamed G73. Essentially a watered down G71 core with reduced processing units and memory controllers, its overall die-size makes it far more cost effective to manufacture than many of the higher class GeForce 6 series cards but yet it has the performance potential of more expensive older generation graphics cards. The Achilles Heel of the GeForce 7600 GT might seem to be its 128-bit wide memory bus but as you shall see later, its high-speed memory holds the card up pretty well.

Market Positioning

While NVIDIA is squarely aiming the GeForce 7600 GT against ATI's oddly positioned Radeon X1600 XT, the latter has already been in the market for long with retail prices dipping well below the newcomer. To complicate matters, ATI has launched a new Radeon X1800 GTO part the same day as NVIDIA's spanking convoy was made known. To NVIDIA's credit, the Radeon X1800 GTO is actually a slightly higher performing model with an SRP of US$249, which is clearly not in its direct path of competition. Hence as of now, the Radeon X1600 XT is still the main opponent to NVIDIA's new midrange combatant, albeit they do have a price difference. We shall find out soon enough if the Radeon X1600 XT can still maintain its competitive edge; or not.

Dual Link DVI Concerns for the Monitor Spendthrift

Those with deep pockets and an eye for those ultra high resolution 24-inch and 30-inch LCD displays might want to take special note of the DVI output support type. Normal DVI outputs would not have enough bandwidth to feed these monster displays requiring insane resolutions of 2560x1600, but graphics cards with dual-link DVI output would do the trick nicely. Almost all but the custom designed GeForce 6 series do not have support for a dual-link DVI output. Thankfully, the GeForce 7600 and GeForce 7900 series have taken these new considerations in mind and have dual-link DVI output capability with the latter range actually supporting two such outputs. In comparison, the Radeon X1000 series have all had dual-link DVI capability since their inception and like NVIDIA, the high-end models have been built to support dual dual-link DVI outputs.