Galaxy GeForce 7600 GS AGP review
Although we spend all of our time here at Elite Bastards looking at PCI Express graphics boards these days, it shouldn't be forgotten that the good old AGP interface isn't entirely dead and buried just yet. Sure, you'll be lucky to find it featuring on new systems, but that still leaves a vast number of users with otherwise usable systems left in the cold when it comes to graphics updates - Let's be honest for a second here, if you're running some of the last Socket 478-based Pentium 4s or a Socket 939 Athlon64 CPU on an nForce 3 Ultra or the like, with a healthy amount of memory, then there's very little tangible need for the overall system upgrade. Moving such a system to PCI Express could quite conceivably mean replacing the motherboard, memory and CPU, leaving you out of pocket when it comes to buying the GPU you craved in the first place.
Although this is liable to be the last generation of graphics hardware that gets the AGP treatment, thankfully users of the aforementioned systems are starting to find themselves with a growing numbers of options when it comes to upgrading their graphics subsystem, thanks almost exclusively to NVIDIA's willingness to ship parts utilising this older interface. First came the higher-end GeForce 7800 GS, which has now been bolstered by partners beginning to ship GeForce 7600-based parts in an AGP flavour.
It is one of these parts that we will be looking at today, courtesy of those good, good people at Galaxy. So, under the microscope we go with their GeForce 7600 GS AGP, to see if it can make for a worthwhile upgrade for those hungry hordes of AGP pixel whores.
GeForce 7600 architecture
We've covered the GeForce 7600, and the G73 core which powers it, ad infinitum here previously, so I won't do so again - Take a look here if you want some more meat on your architectural bones.
As a brief summary of the GeForce 7600 GS then, we have twelve fragment pipelines (that's three fragment quads), eight ROPs, five vertex shaders and 256MB of GDDR2 graphics memory coupled with a 128-bit memory interface. Reference clocks for this SKU are 350MHz on both core and memory, although as you might expect of Galaxy by now the board on test here today clocks in above those speeds.
You can see the entire feature set of the GeForce 7600 GS AGP below.
- CineFX 4.0 Architecture
- Full DirectX9 Support
- DirectX9 Shader Model 3.0 Support
- Vertex Shader 3.0
- Pixel Shader 3.0
- Internal 128-bit Floating Point (FP32) Precisions
- Unlimited Shader Lengths
- Up to 16 textures per pass
- Support for FP16 Texture Formats with Filtering, FP32 without
- Non-Power of two texture support
- Multiple Render Targets
- NVIDIA High Precision Dynamic Range Technology
- Full FP16 Floating Point Support throughout the entire pipeline
- FP16 Floating Point Frame Buffer Support
- Intellisample 4.0
- Up to 4X, Gamma Adjusted, Native Multi-sampling FSAA with rotated grid sampling
- Transparent Multi-Sampling and Super-Sampling
- Lossless colour, texture, z-data compression
- Fast Z Clear
- Up to 16x Anisotropic Filtering
- UltraShadow Technology
- NVIDIA SLI Support
- NVIDIA Pure Video Technology
- Adaptable Programmable video processor
- High Definition MPEG2 and WMV9 acceleration
- Spatial Temporal de-interlacing
- Inverse 2:2 and 3:2 pull-down (Inverse Telecine)
- 4-tap horizontal, 5-tap vertical scaling
- Overlay color temperature correction
- Microsoft® Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
- Integrated HDTV output
- Advanced Display options
- Dedicated on-chip video processor
- nView Multi Display technology
- Single and Dual-Link TMDS Transmitter
- Digital Vibrance Control 3.