iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E

April 27, 2006








TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. Video cards' features
  3. Testbed configuration, benchmarks
  4. Test results
  5. Conclusions



Poor long-suffering Gainward! That's not the first time when I start my reviews of products from this company with such an introduction!

The company migrates from one owner to another. Its current owner is some holding that also owns Palit. So these companies were nearly merged, only sales, marketing, and R&D are done separately. Manufacturing facilities are the same.

Now if Gainward engineers come up with a new accelerator design or anything like that, Palit will be easily able to use this design in its cards - they share the same manufacturing facilities.

But that company manages to survive, even though sales of video cards with its brand features have dropped and the company lost its independence.

Today we shall examine all the new cards from Gainward. With my hand upon my heart, I should say that GeForce 7600 GT is a true product of this company, as it has a unique design. While the 7900 GT is just a reference card, bought from NVIDIA and equipped with labels and stickers from Gainward.

But let's not put a cart before a horse. Let's examine the cards, especially as the 7600 GT belongs to Golden Sample series and thus offers increased operating frequencies.

We have already reviewed the GeForce 7600/7900 and the base-line review is detailed enough about capacities of the new products.

Video Cards



Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
GPU: GeForce 7600 GT (G73)

Interface: PCI-Express x16

GPU frequencies: 575/575/575 MHz (nominal — 560/560/560 MHz)

Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 750 (1500) MHz (nominal — 700 (1400) MHz)

Memory bus width: 128bit

Number of Shader Vertex Processors: 5

Number of Shader Pixel Processors: 12

Number of texture processors: 12

Number of ROPs: 8

Dimensions: 190x100x15mm (the last figure is the maximum thickness of a video card).

PCB color: red.

Output connectors: VGA (d-Sub), DVI (Dual-Link), TV-Out.

VIVO: not available

TV-out: integrated into GPU.




Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E
GPU: GeForce 7900 GT (G71)

Interface: PCI-Express x16

GPU frequencies: 450/450/450 MHz (nominal — 450/450/450 MHz)

Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 660 (1320) MHz (nominal — 660 (1320) MHz)

Memory bus width: 256bit

Number of Shader Vertex Processors: 8

Number of Shader Pixel Processors: 24

Number of texture processors: 24

Number of ROPs: 16

Dimensions: 195x100x16mm (the last figure is the maximum thickness of a video card).

PCB color: green.

Output connectors: 2 x DVI (Dual-Link), TV-Out.

VIVO: not available

TV-out: integrated into GPU.






Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
The video card has 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in four chips on the front side of the PCB.

Samsung (GDDR3) memory chips. 1.2ns memory access time, which corresponds to 800 (1600) MHz.




Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E
The video card has 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in eight chips on the front side of the PCB.

Samsung (GDDR3) memory chips. 1.4ns memory access time, which corresponds to 700 (1400) MHz.






Comparison with the reference design, front view
Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT


Comparison with the reference design, back view
Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E
Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT


We can see that the 7900 GT is no different from the reference design, so there is no point in describing it.

But the 7600 GT is unique. Differences from the reference design are apparent. It should be noted in the first place that the design is intended for eight memory chips, that is 512 MB in total (you can see empty seats on the back side of the PCB). This card currently has 4 chips.

The second point - memory type, to be more exact access time - 1.2ns. It allowed to raise the memory frequency by 50 (100) MHz, though the potential of such memory is still not used up (it can operate at 800 (1600) MHz). And of course, we should note separately that it's a Golden Sample series card, meaning that its GPU is sure to work at increased frequencies. Unfortunately, this time engineers decided to be on the safe side and raised the frequency just by 15 MHz, too little for such a product. Plus 30 MHz would do, considering that 7600 GT cards possess a good overclocking potential.

The cards have TV-Out with a unique jack. You will need a special bundled adapter to output video to a TV-set via S-Video or RCA You can read about the TV-Out in more detail here.

Analog monitors with d-Sub (VGA) interface are connected in a usual way in case of the 7600 GT and with special DVI-to-d-Sub adapters in case of the 7900 GT. Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz Max Refresh Rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit x85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface

The 7900 GT has a standard cooling system, there is nothing much to describe there: a cooler "a la GeForce 4 Ti", all details are published here.

But the modified 7600 GT has a special cooler:






The operation principle is the same though: driving the air through a closed heatsink. The main advantage of this design is that the fan rotates rather slowly making the cooler very quiet. Just remember how noisy the reference cooler on the 7600 GT card was! Only RivaTuner could calm it down. This one is great, no need to adjust anything.

This cooler has an interesting retention system: I have never seen a heatsink with hooks that go through the PCB and catch on the springy binding on the plate at the back of the PBC.

Memory chips are equipped with individual heatsinks to increase their overclocking potential.

Bundle

Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E
A traditionally unassuming bundle from Gainward. User's manual, CD with drivers, old PowerDVD; DVI-to-d-Sub and S-Video/RCA/composite output adapters.


Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E
The same bundle as in the previous case, plus a coupon with a serial number to get two games for free from a special web site. Shipment costs 5 euros.




Packages.

Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E

Both cards are packaged absolutely identically, only the boxes have different dimensions. This box is made of thick cardboard. All components, including the card itself, are arranged into sections inside.

The boxes have a new design, though it has taken much from the old one: for example, an image of an inverted head on the right. And this system of stickers is ridden to death. But a girl on the box is quite good-looking :) By the way, Bliss is her name, which is used for the entire series.




Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E

This box is also made of thick cardboard. All components are also arranged into sections inside. The card is packed into a soft envelope, put into a separate box, and placed in a special section. It must ensure maximum protection from damages in transit.






Installation and Drivers

Testbed configuration:

  • Athlon 64 (939Socket) based computer
    • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (2400MHz) (L2=1024K)
    • Motherboard: ASUS A8N32 SLI Deluxe on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16
    • RAM: 2 GB DDR SDRAM 400MHz (CAS (tCL)=2.5; RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)=3; Row Precharge (tRP)=3; tRAS=6)
    • HDD: WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA

  • Operating system: Windows XP SP2 DirectX 9.0c
  • Monitor: Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070sb (21").
  • ATI CATALYST 6.3; NVIDIA Drivers 84.21.

VSync is disabled.






RivaTuner (written by A.Nikolaychuk) readings showed that even this cooling system copes well with GPU overheating, which operates at increased frequencies.

Test results: performance comparison

We used the following test applications:

  • Splinter Cell Chaos of Theory v.1.04 (Ubisoft) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, maximum test settings, shaders 3.0 (for NVIDIA cards)/shaders 2.0 (for ATI cards); HDR OFF!

  • Half-Life2 (Valve/Sierra) — DirectX 9.0, demo (ixbt01 . The tests were carried out with maximum quality, option -dxlevel 90, presets for video card types are removed from dxsupport.cfg.

  • FarCry 1.33 (Crytek/UbiSoft), DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, demo from the Research level (-DEVMODE startup option), Very High test settings.

  • DOOM III (id Software/Activision) — OpenGL, multitexturing, test settings — High Quality (ANIS8x), demo ixbt1 (33MB!). We have a sample batch file to start the game automatically with increased speed and reduced jerking (precaching) d3auto.rar. (DO NOT BE AFRAID of the black screen after the first menu, that's how it should be! It will last 5-10 seconds and then the demo should start)

  • 3DMark05 1.20 (FutureMark) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — trilinear,

  • 3DMark06 1.02 (FutureMark) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — trilinear,

  • The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay 1.10 (Starbreeze/Vivendi) — OpenGL, multitexturing, maximum texture quality, Shader 2.0, demo 44.

    I wish to thank Rinat Dosayev (AKA 4uckall) and Alexei Ostrovski (AKA Ducche), who have created a demo for this game. I also want to thank Alexei Berillo AKA Somebody Else for his help.

  • F.E.A.R. v.1.02 (Multiplayer) (Monolith/Sierra) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, maximum test settings, Soft shadows disabled.

  • Call Of Duty 2 DEMO (Ubisoft) — DirectX 9.0, multitexturing, test settings — maximum, shaders 2.0, tested in Benchemall, demo and a startup script, readme contains necessary instructions



Summary performance diagrams

In order to rate the 7900 GT, which is no different from the reference card, we publish large summary diagrams from our 3Digest:

We have tested the non-standard 7600 GT card separately:

Game tests that heavily load vertex shaders, mixed pixel shaders 1.1 and 2.0, active multitexturing.

FarCry, Research



Test results: FarCry Research




Game tests that heavily load vertex shaders, pixel shaders 2.0, active multitexturing.

F.E.A.R.



Test results: F.E.A.R




Splinter Cell Chaos Theory



Test results: SCCT




Call Of Duty 2 DEMO



Test results: COD2




Half-Life2: ixbt01 demo



Test results: Half-Life2, ixbt01






Game tests that heavily load pixel pipelines with texturing, active operations of the stencil buffer and shader units

DOOM III High mode



Test results: DOOM III






Chronicles of Riddick, demo 44



Test results: Chronicles of Riddick, demo 44






Synthetic tests that heavily load shader units

3DMark05: MARKS



Test results: 3DMark05 MARKS




3DMark06: Shader 2.0 MARKS



Test results: 3DMark06 Shader 2.0 MARKS




3DMark06: Shader 3.0 MARKS



Test results: 3DMark06 Shader 3.0 MARKS






You can find our comments in the conclusions.


Conclusions

  1. Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E. This video card is an excellent choice for a potential gamer, who want to buy a good accelerator for $220-$240 (the prices should drop to $200 and lower in future). This card (operating at its standard frequencies) sometimes catches up with a more expensive X1800 GTO. It's a good product in each respect! Yep, there are some disadvantages in AA+AF mode, where the X1800 GTO features preference due to the 256-bit bus. But on the whole, the resume is positive.

    The accelerator worked brilliantly, we had no gripes with it, excellent 2D quality! We managed to overclock it to 620 MHz (core) and 820 (1640) MHz (memory).

  2. Gainward Bliss 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E is a standard product, a reference card. It's a very good product, but it's expensive so far. Though it's faster but cheaper than the 7800 GTX. X1800 XT 256MB competes with it in price. It might become a more interesting choice, but these cards are getting increasingly rare - it was initially a limited edition.

    This accelerator also scored no reprimands, it did everything great! Overclocked modes were not tested for technical reasons.



You can find more detailed comparisons of various video cards in our 3Digest.








Gainward Bliss 7600 GT Golden Sample 256MB PCI-E gets the Original Design award (April).








Theoretical materials and reviews of video cards, which concern functional properties of the GPU ATI RADEON X800 (R420)/X850 (R480)/X700 (RV410) and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 (NV40/45)/6600 (NV43)



We express our thanks to
Gainward
for the provided video cards.

PSU for the testbed was kindly provided by HIPER







Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)

April 27, 2006



Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.