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ASUS EN7900GS TOP video card review Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Thursday, 26 October 2006 00:00
Article Index
ASUS EN7900GS TOP video card review
Board, bundle and packaging
Test setup, synthetic benchmarks
Oblivion, Prey
HL2: Episode One, F.E.A.R.
Age of Empires III, NFS:MW
Call of Duty 2, Chaos Theory
Overclocking, video playback

ASUS EN7900GS TOP GeForce 7900 GS video card review

Since the release of NVIDIA's GeForce 7 series, we've seen a real resurgence in the number of NVIDIA board partners offering 'OC' parts - In other word, factory overclocked graphics boards.  However, for all of the prestige and marketing goodness that comes from having an OC moniker or similar on your part, let's be honest here for a second - Most factory overclocked boards aren't exactly set to dizzy new heights with regard to clock speed.  More often than not, such parts find themselves with only 5 or 10MHz extra over reference clocks, not exactly enough to set the gaming world alight.

However, there are exceptions to this rule, and today we have just such an exception sat in our test rig here at Elite Bastards - ASUS' EN7900GS TOP.  Unsurprisingly, the TOP moniker is all about top performance, and of course the best way to achieve this is with a hefty dose of overclocking.  So, join us as we take a look at how this board stacks up against your common or garden reference clocked GeForce 7900 GS, and let's see how a factory overclocked part should be done.

G71 architecture

We've already covered a reference clocked GeForce 7900 GS board from Foxconn here, so apologies for the blatant copy and pasting here.  The GeForce 7900 GS is based around the 90 nanometre G71 architecture that powers the rest of the GeForce 7900, and indeed 7950, series of NVIDIA parts.  However, the GeForce 7900 GS is the first part released by NVIDIA that uses a cut-down version of the core - While the rest of the range enjoys a full twenty-four fragment pipelines (or six fragment quads) coupled with eight vertex shaders, the 7900 GS finds itself with one quad of pipelines disabled (leaving it with a grand total of twenty) as well as a single vertex shader turned off, giving it seven in total.  Naturally, this configuration allows NVIDIA to use cores which have come out of the manufacturing process with faulty fragment pipelines or vertex shaders, thus meaning that less dies are wasted thanks to the built-in redundancy in these chips.

Aside from the disabled fragment pipelines and vertex shader, the reference clocked GeForce 7900 GS is identical in every other way to the GeForce 7900 GT, meaning that it comes complete with a 256-bit memory bus carrying 256MB of RAM, 16 ROPs, and core and memory clock speeds of 450MHz and 660MHz respectively.

You can see the entire feature set of the GeForce 7900 GS 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

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