Nvidia 7600GT 256 MB Reviews

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“I like games me, the latest fad being Command and...”

Written on: 21/07/2007 by Terence Wass (13 reviews written)

I like games me, the latest fad being Command and Conquer 3.
I friend of mine popped round with his laptop to play head to head with me and I noticed that the visual effects on his were noticeably better than on mine - a 570VE card, whatever that is.
"You should increase your settings to 'medium', it looks better"
I did and it rendered a comedy 1 frame/second. This was at a fairly beefy 1680x1050 resolution, but even so I decided on the spot that I simply must get a graphics card that was "not crap".

Being tight I set a budget on 100 quid tops and had a look on eBay and checked out the 7600GT. At £80 delivered the "buy it now" button was pressed. Two days later it arrived.

Getting the thing in the computer...
I've got one of those medium sized boxes, a bit bigger than a shuttle. Getting the new card in was one of those interference fit affairs with the edges of the card scraping the case components as I bent the bloody thing into place.
Anyway, it went in (just!) and I hadn't knackered it either (phew!).
If you have a shuttle case and want to install one, you'd better get some KY Jelly.

Driver disk? Well you could use it, or you could be sensible and go to the site and download the latest driver.
At 63 Meg, these new fangled drivers aren't half getting big, so off for a cup of tea while it downloads.

Half an hour later and we're in business.

I could quote polygons, mipmaps, vertex shading and all that other cobblers, but for me the only real test - the only time when the card is asked to get off it's bum and work its' bum off - is during a game.
Command & Conquer 3 now runs happily in 1680x1050 with everything turned up to FULL and is fairly smooth - I would guess at 20-25FPS during normal playing. It doesn't half look good too: Shock beams distorting the air around them, heat waves coming off engines, water that actually looks like water, smoke, fire, clouds, the list goes on... I wish I'd got one ages ago, but then it would have cost a lot more I suppose.

As for fan noise, my system is now quieter.
The fan on the new card is quite a bit bigger than on the noisy little moped I had before. If you're one of those folk who likes their computer to be "seen and not heard", I think you should investigate how many decibels it generates, just to be sure.

As for reliability, I'm not expecting any problems, it's not an ATI after all (oh Lord have I had fun with a couple of those, never again!)
I've never had any trouble with Nvidia though, they've all worked flawlessly until they couldn't keep up with the newest games and needed to be upgraded.

While I was installing the card I also took the opportunity to plug in the DVI cable for my monitor. This has made a difference: Using an analogue cable I would notice some flickering noise on the edge of texts and boxes, particularly black text on white backgrounds.
The use of the DVI cable has sorted this, the image is now rock-steady and pin-sharp; definitely worth doing.

Overall, a bit of a thumbs down for its' bulk but a big thumbs up for everything else.

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