XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition Graphics Card Review
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XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition
NVIDIA's 7-series of GPUs has probably been their most successful lineup in several years. Starting with the 7800 GTX launched in June of 2005 and working its way up to the March 2006 launch of the 7900 GTX, 7900 GT and 7600 GT cards. In nearly every instance, NVIDIA was able to deliver a card that was not only better performing than what ATI had available for a similar price, but was able to have retail availability on, or nearly on, the launch date of the product. This resulted in some of the first industry "hard launches" that allowed enthusiasts to buy the products the very same day that the reviews hit the web.
XFX has been along side NVIDIA as a loyal video card partner the entire time. Their graphics cards have made numerous appearances on the PC Perspective website and were always met with good reviews and a positive end result. They recently sent over their XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition graphics card that promises to bring great gaming performance to a crowd that can't afford the $600 cards but might be able to shell out around $200. Read on to see if the card can deliver as promised.
The XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition
In XFX land, the XXX Edition moniker probably doesn't stand for what you think. Or maybe it does: "the most obsense product on the market"? The XXX Edition name has been saved for those cards in the XFX line up that offer the consumer the highest overclocked speeds over reference clock rates. What do the specs look like for the 7600 GT model?
The core and memory clocks on the XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition card are overclocked above the reference speeds that NVIDIA set during the GPUs initial launch. Here our XFX model is running with a 590 MHz core clock and an 800 MHz memory clock (1.6 GHz DDR) in comparison to the 560 MHz core and 700 MHz memory reference speeds. Doing the simple math, that gives the XFX card a 5.5% advantage in core clock and a 14% advantage in memory clock when comparing to other cards running at those speeds.
In looking at the card here, you can see that the XXX Edition is sporting a trendy black-on-fluorescent-green look. The black PCB and the bright connectors actually make for an aggressive look to the card, if you are into that kind of thing. Otherwise, the cooling solution that XFX has used on the card is the same stock heatsink that NVIDIA designed for the 7600 GT, but XFX has placed a glossy black and holographic-looking logo on it.
You can see that the XFX 7600 GT card does not require the use of any extra power as there is no power connection on the rear of the card. Instead, NVIDIA's 7600 GT GPUs can get all the juice they need from the PCI Express bus.
There is nothing much to see on the back, as all of the memory is located on the front of the card.
Looking along the top edge of the card, we see the now familiar SLI connector that allows users to pair up two 7600 GT cards in a multi-GPU rendering configuration. The black metal along the top is an XFX-specific feature that stabiliizes and strengthens the card when installed. It looks neat too with a flat black finish and shiny XFX logo to boot.
The panel connectors on the XFX 7600 GT XXX Edition include two brightly colored DVI outputs and a single HDTV-ready video output connector that supports S-Video connections as well. These DVI connectors are dual-link capable, so you can connect them to monitors with resolutions as high as 2560x1600!
The in-box extras that come with the XXX Edition card aren't overly impressive, but this helps keep the cost down to the end user that probably already has all the games and software they need. XFX has included a driver CD (though we always recommend the latest drivers from NVIDIA.COM), one page of instructions, an S-Video cable and an HDTV dongle to support component output.