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Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT graphics chip
Can Nvidia's top-end single-GPU board cut it?
It's easy to be positive about the GeForce 7950 GT, since in reference configuration at 550/700 with 512MB of on-board memory it's able to outrun 7900 GT by around 15 per cent for pretty much the same money. If it comes in at the promised price point, Nvidia will have a nice product on its hands, Given a quick look at UK online retailers' pricing, we see no reason why it won't do just that.
The reference board's form-factor and cooling solution means it's slim and acceptably quiet, and we measured it to be fairly frugal in terms of power consumption too. The Infineon DRAMs didn't want to overclock much on our reference sample, stopping short of 800MHz when we tried, but core clock was able to be raised to just shy of the 7900 GTX's 650MHz. Even if you don't fancy overclocking any 7950 GT you buy, performance will still be good for the outlay.
The GeForce 7900 GT replacement impresses as 7900 GS did, Nvidia offering up higher price:performance at the upper end of its mid-range line-up. Depending on where you shop, ATI's 512MB Radeon X1900 XT will likely tempt you for pretty much the same money - at the time of writing - but the 7950 GT makes a good case for itself in areas of power consumption and noise and its display output ability, as well as in traditional frames per second.
The ultimate image quality argument is hopefully well understood by now, saving us from repeating ourselves there, so if Nvidia is the one you want to give your £210/$300 to then 7950 GT is what you should choose.