As expected Idle and Load consumption is almost identical to the 7900 GT. Something that’s not included here is that when overclocked to 615/800 load consumption went up only 4w to 194w total!
Summing up this card is a little difficult because we like it that much. Exactly how much praise can you give a card? If you recall we loved the 7900 GT when we reviewed it 6 months ago. With nearly identical performance and 1/3 of the price knocked off the XFX 7900 GS deserves serious consideration in any mainstream gaming system, if not the only consideration. Right now XFX currently offers two GeForce 7900 GS graphics cards with the only differences being the clock speeds and the price. We looked at the more expensive overclocked version for this article.
The 7900 GS is literally in a league of its own. ATI has no part that can compete with it at the $199 price point. The high-end features and power of the G71 core make it the card to have for anyone not willing to pony up three, four, or five bills for the latest and greatest. If one wants to run SLI with a pair of GeForce 7900GS video cards it can be done for under $400, which is a heck of a deal for mainstream SLI.
Those of you that are willing to overclock will get the biggest value for your dollar. As we saw, adding some watercooling brings it to another level of performance.
NVIDIA was able to get a handle on the noise that the 7900 GT created, which makes the 7900 GS a welcome addition to those with systems that do not generate much noise. Only during gaming in an open test environment were we able to hear the fan. Heat is a minor concern but really only when overclocking. At retail speeds the heatsink was able to keep the card at a safe temperature in both 2D and 3D operations.
The XFX 7900 GS is the new definition of value in video cards. From the factory it performed as well as cards costing $100 more. This card seemed to beg for us to overclock it, offering a 140MHz increase in core speed
All of this together makes the 7900 GS the best value in video card performance today.
Legit Bottom Line: NVIDIA has given the mainstream gamer and overclocking enthusiast something that performs great and doesn’t break the bank. At just $213 the XFX 7900 GS 480M is just as fast as a 7900 GT and begs to be overclocked for more.