eVGA 7950GX2 - Power And Then Some
|eVGA 7950GX2 - Power And Then Some|
|7950GX2 - First Look|
|Closer Look, Test Setup and Info|
|7950GX2 Benchmarks - Continued...|
|Image Quality and Conclusion|
I remember purchasing my first video card. It was an ATi Rage 128 that had a whopping 32MB of SDRAM. Shortly after, I swapped it out for a Voodoo 3 with 16MB of memory, but it had OpenGL and Glide support that promised a better gaming experience. My next upgrade was a GeForce 2 MX and then with a jump to the GeForce 4 Ti 4200. I'm not that old, but I remember when nVidia was proudly touting its "Gigapixel" GTS card that was screaming fast - for its day.
Progress demands that things constantly move forward with improvements in performance. This is most apparent when it comes to electronics. Wireless phones get smaller with more features every product cycle and when it comes to graphics cards, things get even more interesting. Both nVidia and ATi hit a bottleneck a while back as far as how much performance you can squeeze out of a single piece of silicon. Instead of making things faster, hotter and better, they doubled up and SLI once again hit the mainstream. ATi has tried to follow suite with their Crossfire platform, but with very limited success until recently. The downfall of both of these setups is that you must purchase two individual graphics cards and put them into a motherboard that supports such a configuration. This is fairly expensive and involves a degree of computer know how that many consumers do not have.
nVidia has made a simpler solution - pack two GPU's onto a single (actually double) PCB and make it render SLI through internal hardware. Thus the 7950GX2 was born. This card consists of two 7900 series GPU's that are fed by 512MB of GDDR3 each and are bolted together to perform SLI on a single PCIe slot. This card works in virtually any recent AM2 or 775 motherboard with a BIOS flash and doesn't require two PCIe 16x slots.
Today we are taking a look at this monster and testing it out in a few games to see how it compares in performance with an older single GPU graphics card. We will also take a look at image quality and see just how good BF2 with 16x AA really looks. It's a good time and a heck uv'a performer so keep reading.
The Card - Specs & Features:
The card we are looking at today is from eVGA and from what I've seen around the web, every 7950GX2 follows the nVidia reference design to the letter - at least in terms of layout and construction. Some companies have overclocked versions of this card which would truly be a sight to behold, but we will take some time and see if we can clock this card up a little past its stock clocked speed. More on that on the following pages however.
This card is currently the fastest single graphics card available today, although with nVidia's looming launch of the 8800 series, it may be outclassed very soon. The upcoming launch should actually drop the price on this card and make it more affordable. Take a look below and see what kind of power and features we are looking at today.
- Dual Geforce 7950 GPUs on one board
- 1GB of GDDR3 memory
- Full Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support
- Built for Microsoft® Windows Vista™
- NVIDIA® CineFX™ 4.0 Engine
- Full-Speed 128-Bit Studio-Precision Computation
- Transparency Antialiasing
- NVIDIA® Intellisample™ 4.0 Technology
- True High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Rendering Support
- HDCP Support
- 90nm Process Technology
- High-Speed 512-Bit wide GDDR3 Memory Interface
- NVIDIA® PureVideo™ Technology
- Chipset: Dual Nvidia Geforce 7950 GX
- Core Clock Speed: 500MHz
- Pixel Pipelines: 48
- Vertex Units: 16
- Memory: 1024 MB, 512 bit DDR3
- Memory Clock Speed: 1200MHz
- Memory Bandwidth: 76.8GB/sec
- Fill Rate: 24,000 MTexels/s
- Interface: PCI-Express x16
- Max Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
- Max Resolution, Analog: 2048 x 1536 x 32bit x85Hz
- Max Resolution, Digital: 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz
- Connectors: Dual DVI-I
- Dual Dual Link TMDS DVI Connector
- VGA: Yes, with Adapter
- Video-Out: HDTV
- Video-In: N/A
- SLI Capable: Yes (SLI support for the e-GeForce 7950 GX2 requires NVIDIA ForceWare driver release 91.45 and above.)
As you can see this is a pretty stacked card. Take a look at it on the next page.