eVGA's 7900GT KO - 7900GT To The Max - Real World Gaming and Conclusion

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

Game Tests:

3DMarks are all fine and dandy, but to really see how your new graphics card performs you need to actually play some games.  We logged a whole bunch of hours playing games using the 7900GT KO from eVGA and it was a pleasant experience.  The game play was much smoother and prettier than when playing on the 7600GT CO.  The 7900GT KO has much more horsepower for those intense gaming situations and keeps your minimum framerate at a respectable level and helps give you the edge when fragging your friends.  If your card starts to choke and the screen stutters, let's face it - you're hooped.  How did it really stack up?  Take a look at some of the games we played below.

Call of Duty 2 is a very intensive game and when playing on the 7600GT CO it seems to be both CPU and GPU limited.  We see the proof after we drop a heftier GPU in the mix and bring up our framerates by 40%.  We then overclock the 7900GT KO and see basically no improvement.  Once we overclock the CPU we give the 7900GT KO more room to run and run it does.  We gain a few extra FPS and make the game run a little smoother.  As you can see at the detail levels and resolution we chose, the 7600GT CO is not playable.  If you want to run CoD2 smoothly, your going to have to drop the extra $$$ on a 7900GT.

Quake 4 is based on the same engine that Doom3 uses and it's a beautiful game.  There is lots of bump-mapping high detail textures and plenty of special effects to keep the graphics system working hard.  Here is how it shapes up on both cards.

Quake4

When playing deathmatch games, framerate is everything.  You really want to keep the FPS above 60 at all costs in order to keep everything silky smooth.  With High Quality settings, everything enabled, and 2x AA both cards do a pretty good job in this game.  We are CPU limited in this game a bit as we notice a big performance increase when we clock up the CPU to 3.6GHz.  The scores above are average framerate but when you're playing the game, the 7900GT KO keeps things smoother as it's minimum framerate is much more solid than the 7600GT CO.

 

The last game we're going to look at today is Serious Sam 2.  This is a very beautiful game with lush outdoor environments and a lot of enemies onscreen at a time.  We benchmarked 3 different maps at three different resolutions to show how they compare.  You'll notice below that the 7900GT KO needs some serious CPU power to really run once again, but even at stock CPU speeds it owns the 7600GT CO, especially at higher resolutions.

Serious Sam 2 - 1024x768

Serious Sam 2 - 1280x1024

Unfortunately we didn't test out the 1600x1200 numbers on the 7600GT CO due to time restraints, but it would be safe to assume that it would lag even further due to its 128-bit memory interface compared to the 256-bit 7900GT KO interface.

Serious Sam 2 - 1600x1200

Once we hit 1280x1024 we start to see the 7600GT CO struggle.  It averages 34.6 FPS in the Greendale map, and cannot maintain playable framerates through the more intense game play.  The 7900GT has a 48% edge on this card and it worth every penny when it comes to Serious Sam 2.

 

Conclusion:

Some conclusions are hard to sum up, but not with the eVGA 7900GT KO.  This card can be had for around $300CDN and has a pretty sweet overclocking right out of the box.  When you realize that a reference 7900GT outperforms a 7800GTX and then take into account that eVGA has clocked it up even further, you can't help but be impressed.  If you're an enthusiast, you'll probably push the card even further and once again, eVGA leaves us impressed.  We were able to push this GPU core another 95MHz and the Samsung GDDR3 memory clocked up an additional 160MHz.  At the end of the day we were able to run the core 32% above reference speeds and the memory was rock solid when clocked 26% above reference speeds.  This makes the eVGA 7900GT KO one of the best valued 7900GT's on the market today.  This horsepower p0wned at higher resolutions and made every game more enjoyable.

Pros:

  • Excellent Performance / Price Ratio.
  • Copper HSF is fairly quiet.
  • Overclocked from eVGA & covered by warranty.
  • Overclocks very well for a $300 card.

Cons:

  • I don't have two of these.

Here's the real breakdown.

 

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
10/10
Software Pack:
8/10
Stability:
10/10
Features:
9/10
Value:
10/10
Total Score 9.5

 

This card deserves high awards as I've never seen such good performance from a $300 card that overclocks close to the speed of the 7900GTX which costs almost twice the price.  If you are looking for a new GPU that won't break the bank and will run every game on the market today, you owe it to yourself to pick up the eVGA 7900GT KO.  This card flies when combined with a speedy CPU.

I'd like to thank MemoryExpress for firing this card over for us to review.  It was fun and I have to admit I logged a few more gaming hours with this card that I should have.

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