Graphics Cards Guide

Gainward Bliss 7300GT PCX review

Gainward Bliss 7300GT PCX (GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR3)

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A New GeForce 7300

A New GeForce 7300

There's a new member in the GeForce 7300 series. For the longest time, NVIDIA's GeForce 7300 series was a bit of a misnomer, since it consisted of only one product, the GeForce 7300 GS. Aimed at the low-end, the GeForce 7300 GS was the intended upgrade from the previous low-end stalwart, the GeForce 6200 and was meant to compete against the ATI Radeon X1300 series. What it lacked in terms of pipelines, it made up for that with its low price.

NVIDIA also shipped a retail version of the GeForce 7300 LE, which was formerly available only to OEMs and has even slower clock speeds than the GeForce 7300 GS. In other words, there's nothing from NVIDIA in both performance and price between the GeForce 7300 GS and 7600 GS.

The new GeForce 7300 GT is supposed to fill that void and most enthusiasts should recognize that in NVIDIA-speak, the GT suffix denotes superior performance over the GS. If you remember the GeForce 7300 GS, NVIDIA allowed its manufacturing partners quite a lot of leeway in tailoring that variant.

A similarly flexible approach towards customization is evident too for the new GeForce 7300 GT. However, you would be surprised at the degree of freedom allowed in its clock speeds. According to NVIDIA, the core of the GeForce 7300 GT can range from 350 - 575MHz while the memory, besides the choice of either DDR2 or DDR3, can be clocked between 667MHz DDR and 1500MHz DDR. Such a broad range benefits vendors as they have more wriggling room to plan and price their products and for consumers, you can probably find more choices to fit your particular needs. The downside is that the less knowledgeable may be mislead by dubious marketing claims and their own ignorance. In order to nip any potential confusion, let's talk a bit about this new chipset.

It carries the GeForce 7300 brand so the GeForce 7300 GT should probably have the same core right? That's what we thought too initially. However, instead of the G72 core of the GeForce 7300 GS, the GT actually uses a G73 core, which has a larger transistor count and more crucially, more vertex shaders, 5 to be exact. Hence, it is also incidentally the same core found on the mid-range GeForce 7600 series. Yes, the GeForce 7300 GT uses the same core as the GeForce 7600 GS and GT. The difference is in the lesser number of pixel pipelines on the GeForce 7300 GT, 8 instead of the 12 on the GeForce 7600. In case you find all that too wordy, here's a table to highlight the important features on the GeForce 7300 GT, along with some of the competing chipsets, new and old:

Comparing the GeForce 7300 GT
GPU/VPU NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT (128/256MB) NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB ATI Radeon X1600 XT 256MB
Core Code G73 G72 G73 NV43 RV530
Transistor Count 177 million 112 million 177 million ~145 million 157 million
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.11 0.09
Core Clock 350 - 575MHz 550MHz 400MHz 500MHz 590MHz
Vertex Shader Pipelines 5 3 5 3 5
Rendering (Pixel) Pipelines 8 4 12 8 12
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) 8 4 12 8 4
Raster Operator units (ROP) 8 4 8 8 4
Z Compare Units 16 8 16 8 8
Memory Clock 667 - 1500MHz DDR2/3 800 - 810MHz DDR2/3 400MHz (800MHz DDR2) 500MHz (1000MHz DDR3) 690MHz (1380MHz DDR3)
DDR Memory Bus 128-bit 64-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 10.6 - 24.0GB/s ~ 6.4GB/s 12.8GB/s 16.0GB/s 22.1GB/s
Ring Bus Memory Controller - - - - 256-bit (for memory reads only)
PCIe Interface x16 x16 x16 x16 x16
Molex Power Connectors NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL
Multi GPU Technology Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (SLI) Yes (CrossFire)
DVI Output Support 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link 2x Single-Link 1x Dual-Link 1x Single-Link
Street Price US$89 - 99 US$65 - 90 US$112 - 149 US$100 - 139 US$150 - 179

Interested to find out more about this new, mainstream graphics chipset? We managed to get the limited edition Gainward Bliss 7300GT PCX 256MB DDR3 in our labs and its high clock speeds certainly look to justify its special branding. Before we begin, a quick summary of its technical specifications is as follows on the following page.