Just six months ago we were looking at the new NVIDIA 7900 GTX and 7900 GT. With the 7900 series NVIDIA moved from 110nm to 90nm production and saw a large increase in clock speeds with that move to smaller manufacturing process. While the move from 7800 series to the 7900 series brought no additional features it is clear that the 7900’s is an extremely effecient and flexible architecture.
That brings us to today and the launch of a very important card, the 7900 GS. Don’t let the name fool you, this card is every bit as powerful as cards costing much more than its $199 asking price. It’s interesting how the 7900 GS arrives at this price point, by cutting 4 pixel pipelines and a single vertex pipeline off the 7900 GTX/7900 GT, giving it a total of 20 pixel pipes, and 7 vertex pipes. Also carrying over from the 7900 GT is the 256-bit memory interface, 256MB of memory, and clock speeds of 450MHz core/ 1320MHz memory. For those that don’t recall the 7900GTX clocks in at 650MHz core/1600MHz memory, information that will be important later in the article. Of final note is that the 7900 GS is HDCP capable, it will be up to board partners to implement it in their designs.
With the addition of the GeForce 7950GT and the 7900GS the GeForce 7 product stack is starting to fill in quite nicely.
With the MSRP of $199 NVIDIA is targeting the 7900 GS at it’s own 7600 GT, a great performer in its own right.
XFX has supplied us with the extreme version of their 7900 GS, the 480M extreme. The XFX card comes clocked at 480MHz core/1400MHz memory. Obviously this is a step in the right direction to making up the difference between the 7900 GS and 7900 GT. Let’s take a look and see what she’s got.