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XFX GeForce 7900 GS 480M: NVIDIA's New Mid-Range Monster!

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Manufacturer: XFX
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Two New GPUs

Introduction


If you don't believe by now that competition is great for the customer, you will by the end of this article, trust me.  The rivarly between ATI and NVIDIA to have the best performing graphics card in various price points is what keeps gamers like you with the latest hardware in their hands.  The GeForce 7900 GS being announced today is a perfect example of this, but I am getting ahead of myself -- let's look at the technology behind this new NVIDIA GeForce 7-series GPU.


NVIDIA's New Mid-Range 7900 GS


The 7-series of GPUs from NVIDIA has been a big success for NVIDIA starting with the 7800 cards and moving on to the 7900s, 7600s and 7300s.  The G71 architecture that was introduced back in March of this year has stood tall as one of the most scalable we have ever seen.  The same basic architecture that is powering the $600 7950 GX2 also pushes the slightly less expensive 7300 LE cards, and also the 7900 GS we are introducing today.



From NVIDIA's PR slide-deck, here are the high-points on the new 7900 GS GPU.  It is clocked at 450 MHz core and 660 MHz memory speeds, at a minimum, though we are already seeing factory-overclocked cards from manufacturers like XFX (we are reviewing it today) and BFG.  The 7900 GS video cards will sport 256MB of GDDR3 memory and support two dual-link DVI outputs for powering monitors as awesome as the Dell 3007WFP. 


The GPU itself is very similar to that of the 7900 GT, that runs at 450 MHz core and 600 MHz memory by default, though the 7900 GS sports only 20 pixel shaders as opposed to the 24 in the 7900 GT and 7900 GTX cards. 


HDCP support on the 7900 GS is optional, meaning that it is up to the video card vendor to decide if it goes on the PCB or not -- if this is an important feature for you then you definitely need to be checking the detailed specs on any card you buy!  The card is a single slot design using basically the same fan that the 7900 GT and 7600 GT cards already on the market. 


All the other features that you have come to know and love from the GeForce 7900-series of cards also makes an appearance here on the 7900 GS including SLI support, adaptive anti-aliasing and more.  You can read all about the NVIDIA G71 core by heading over to our initial review of the technology here.


And Now, the GeForce 7950 GT


NVIDIA is also announcing today the GeForce 7950 GT, a single slot video card with a full 24 pixel pipe G71 core running at 550 MHz core and 700 MHz memory speeds.  What don't believe me?



Meant as a competitor to the X1900 XT 256MB model that ATI announced last month, the 7950 GT is supposedly going to be available on the 14th of this month; this is contrast to the immediately available 7900 GS.  The 7950 GT looks like it might have at least one leg up on the X1900 XT before it can even get out of the gate.



We haven't tested the 7950 GT yet, so we of course can't say anything about NVIDIA's claims, but we'll let you know on the 14th.

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