Introduction and Specifications
BFG has an overclocked 7900 GTX on the review block today. Is this the best card you can get for your next gaming system? And how does nearly $1200 on SLI sound?
About a month ago, NVIDIA released an update to their flagship line of GPUs with the 7900 GTX, 7900 GT and 7600 GT models. You can read our entire preview of the set of cards right here, but the short of it is that NVIDIA had a process technology shrink to 90nm and made some slight tweaks to the core. Then, after increasing the clock speeds a bit and changing the default memory configuration on the 7900 GTX to 512 MB, they were ready to take on the X1900 XTX GPUs from ATI.
BFG has consistently been a launch partner with NVIDIA for several years now and is one of the key retail sales leaders in the US. The first to offer out-of-the-box overclocked GPUs to its customers, the enthusiast gaming market owes a lot of the gamers that live and breathe inside BFG’s offices. This time around is no different, as BFG provided us with a complete set of their G71-based and G73-based video cards to test and review.
7900 GTX Architecture
As I mentioned above, the architecture behind the 7900 GTX is mostly unchanged from the 7800 GTX we knew from last year.
The basic architecture remains the same, with 24 pixel shader pipes, 8 vertex shader pipes and 16 ROPs. The main instigator behind the G71 is a move to the 90nm process technology which allowed them to shrink the die significantly over the 110nm G70 core. The G71 measures at about 196 mm^2 while the ATI R580 is a whopping 315 mm^2, both being manufactured at 90nm! At the very least NVIDIA is going to be making many more of these per wafer than ATI will be able to, which means lower costs, as long as a solid yield holds up.
We’ll see today how well these BFG models hold up to the reference platforms that NVIDIA provided us with in March.
Specifications (from BFGTech.com)