Well it’s clear that NVIDIA and XFX have a great silent performer on their hands with the GeForce 7600 GS series. Even with the reduced memory bandwidth of the 7600 GS it’s easily capable of running with the competing cards from ATI. Add in the fact that the 7600 GS is 100% silent and all of sudden you have a big advantage over the X1600 XT. During the benchmarking of this card we removed the single GeForce 7800 GT that was in our office gaming system and replaced it with the XFX 7600 GS Extreme Edition video card. After playing GRAW at 1024 x 768 with 0 AA/AF no difference could seen in our gaming rig. We then tried a number of other games at 800×600 and 1024 x 768 and the 7600 GS did very well in all of them. We took several screenshots from the GRAW demo if you are curious what the video quality is like at 1024 x 768 (click image to enlarge).
What is important here is that you’re getting all of the same features of the higher end cards in this passively cooled low power part. Heat is not really a concern with this card. It will get warm but with any air flow at all will be more than sufficient. Power is not an issue as the card only uses a little over 30 watts, your existing power supply should be able to handle that with ease.
The 7600 GS represents a huge boost to the mainstream lineup. It performs much better than the elder 6600 GT in all games, runs quieter, and uses less power. At press time this XFX 7600 GS Xtreme Edition could be found on Newegg for $135 with no rebates. That’s about $10 cheaper than the X1600 XT.
The XFX 7600 GS is a solid gaming card and can play pretty much every game out today with a lot of the higher detail settings enabled. Of course doing so means that you’ll need to run at medium resolutions like 1024×768 but this is on a $140 video card remember? On a 6600 GT typically you had to turn off some of the newer features to get playable performance but not so with the 7600 GS. For the price this is a great all around card from gaming to being used in a HTPC. Performance wise the XFX 7600 GS is a little faster in most situations but again the kicker is silence.
For a card that can play the latest game titles in complete silence with ease for under $135 we are pleased to give the XFX GeForce 7600 GS the Editor’s Choice award.
Legit Bottom Line: The XFX 7600 GS Xtreme Edition is THE budget card to own for its silent cooling and stand out performance in its price range.