eVGA's 7900GT KO - 7900GT To The Max - Getting Personal with the 7900GT KO

Article Index
eVGA's 7900GT KO - 7900GT To The Max
Getting Personal with the 7900GT KO
Test Setup and 3DMark Tests
Real World Gaming and Conclusion

First Look:

Before we begin the performance testing, we need to take a closer look at the bundle that eVGA throws in with this card as well as take a look at the silicon itself.

eVGA's Lean Bundle
eVGA's Lean Bundle

eVGA is famous for selling high-quality graphics cards at low prices and one way they can do this is by trimming the bundle.  The 7900GT KO comes with everything that is required to get you up and playing your favorite games, but that's about all.  The card comes with a PCIe to 2 x Molex power adapters to provide this hungry card with power.  eVGA also throws in a couple of DVI to D-Sub adapters, a component video out cable as well as an S-Video cable.  Finally, they include a User Guide and a CD containing Ulead DVD Movie Factory 3, ResChanger 2005, Manual, 83.91 Drivers for 2K/XP & XP-64, DirectX 9.0C, Snapstream Beyond Media 1.1.0 and Adobe Reader 6.0.  There are no games included with this bundle.  If you want a bunch of old lame games, buy an MSI card.

The 7900GT KO is based on nVidia's 7900GT reference design for the most part and requires a 6-pin PCIe power connector to provide additional power to the card.  It has a very basic, clean layout and a nice copper cooler to keep things under control with the higher clock speeds of both the GPU and the memory.

7900GT KO - Close Up
 7900GT KO - Close Up

7900GT KO - Back
 7900GT KO - Back

This card has two DVI-D connectors as well as a multi-video output that can either run S-Video or Component video when using the provided dongles.  The output resolution for TV is 1024x768 which will look great on a projector or newer TV.  Below are a couple more pictures of the card for your viewing pleasure.  Notice the sweet copper cooler underneath the tinted plastic shroud.

7900GT KO - PCIe Side
 7900GT KO - PCIe Side

7900GT KO - Copper HSF Fins
 7900GT KO - Copper HSF Fins

The copper fins are soldered to the base of the cooler instead of being skived or machined.  Soldering is a cheaper process that works well if done correctly.  Skiving or machine though would provide more efficient cooling.

Closer Look:

To see what makes the 7900GT KO tick we removed the four screws that held the copper heatsink firmly in place.  I applaud eVGA for using an actual silver based thermal paste on the GPU core instead of the pink gum that some companies use.  The memory modules make contact to the HSF via some thick thermal tape.  This tape is not very efficient, but it provides better cooling and consistent contact to the memory chips.

7900GT KO - HSF Removed
 7900GT KO - HSF Removed

7900GT KO - GPU Core
 7900GT KO - GPU Core

7900GT KO - Samsung DDR
 7900GT KO - Samsung DDR

The GPU core is the newer G71 core with the A2 stepping.  This is one of the newest 7900 series cores available and should clock fairly well.  eVGA uses Samsung GDDR3 memory as do most GPU manufacturers.  The memory is Samsungs K4J553230G-BC14, and is rated at 700MHz DDR (1400MHz effective).  This memory is already running at 1500 Mhz so I don't expect a lot of overclocking headroom here.

Just before we jump into testing, we'll take a look at our test setup and see if this card overclocks as well as we all hope.