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Sharky Extreme : Video cards September 13, 2011
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Video cards

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Albatron GeForce 7600GT 256MB Review

By Vince Freeman :  June 23, 2006

Introduction

Mainstream graphics cards may not get the same press as their enthusiast-level counterparts, but it is the area where you can buy a performance video card that won't break the bank. The price-performance ratio is what drives mainstream graphics, and strikes that perfect balance between hitting the high framerates and maxing out your credit card. Graphics vendors usually do this by offering a mainstream card that is similar to the high-end models, but has been cut down in a few areas. This translates into a comparable feature set and lower performance, which is more than offset by a sub-$200 price tag. In this review, we'll be looking at a near-perfect example of this strategy in the Albatron 7600GT, which utilizes the mainstream powerhouse GeForce 7600 GT GPU.

The Albatron GeForce 7600GT 256MB Card

The Albatron GeForce 7600GT card features the GeForce 7600 GT graphic processing unit, which is the current top dog in the mainstream market. It is a 90nm core with 12 pixel pipelines, 12 pixel shader processors, 12 texture units, and 5 vertex pipelines. This is a very balanced GPU architecture, which doesn't elevate one feature at the expense of another. It also results in a fill rate of 6.72 Gigatexel/s, which is very high-end for a mainstream card. Where things drop back a bit is in the memory interface, which is 128-bit rather than the 256-bit link that most high-end card employ. The onboard memory is GDDR3, and at an effective 1.4 GHz clock speed, memory bandwidth is still a very impressive 22.4 GB/s.

The Albatron 7600GT 256MB PCI Express card sticks to the default 560 MHz core and 1.4 GHz GDDR3 memory clock speeds, and the overall design remains true to the NVIDIA reference cards. The card is single-slot design and features a surprisingly diminutive heatsink-fan (about half the size of an X1600 XT) for the clock speed. This is one of the benefits of the die shrink to 90nm, as is the lack of an external power connector. The card's backplate features dual DVI-I outputs, along with S-Video output that doubles as an HDTV output. The maximum video resolution for the Albatron card is 2048x1536@85Hz.

Like all GeForce 7 Series cards, the Albatron 7600GT supports the latest SM 3.0, as well as a host of NVIDIA features and options. These include the CineFX 4.0 engine, IntelliSample 4.0, UltraShadow II, NVIDIA PureVideo, NVIDIA SLI, and nView, among others. Currently the GeForce 7600 line is PCI Express-only, but NVIDIA has stated there will be one or more AGP versions later this year, likely in the same release format as the GeForce 7800 GS.

To give a better idea of the architecture of the various mainstream and high-end cards we see competing directly against the GeForce 7600 GT, here is a small chart outlining the key performance features of each GPU:

Graphics Processor Pixel Pipes Pixel Shaders Texture Units Vertex Shaders ROPs
GeForce 7600 GT 12 12 12 5 8
Radeon X700 Pro 8 8 8 6 8
Radeon X1600 XT 4 12 4 5 4
GeForce 6600 GT 8 8 8 3 4
GeForce 6800 GS 12 12 12 5 8
GeForce 6800 Ultra 16 16 16 6 16
Radeon X1800 GTO 12 12 12 8 8
Radeon X1800 XL 16 16 16 8 16
GeForce 7800 GT 20 20 20 7 16

Keep in mind that as many GPU designs have taken a more modular view of the architecture, so too does the entire picture of the GPU need to be taken into consideration. No more is performance relegated to the number of pixel pipelines or texel processing, but pixel and vertex shaders need to be taken into account, as does the number of ROPs (or Render Output units). Of course, the best performance metric is real-world testing, and we've assembled a wide range of game benchmarks in the next section.


  • Page 1

    The Albatron GeForce 7600GT 256MB Card

    Page 2

    Test Setup and Benchmark Software

    Page 3

    Quake 3 and Halo: Combat Evolved Performance

    Page 4

    Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 Performance

    Page 5

    DOOM 3 and Half-Life 2 Performance

    Page 6

    FarCry and Quake 4 Performance

    Page 7

    Chronicles of Riddick and F.E.A.R. Performance

    Page 8

    3DMark06 Advanced Standard & Feature Performance

    Page 9

    Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion





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