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Gainward 7900 GS overclocks like mad, beats 7900GT

First INQpressions Bliss 7900GS 512 TV DD
Fri Sep 15 2006, 11:42
GAINWARD still likes to be different. Everyone announced their 256MB 7900 GS cards but the red company announced a 512MB one. That's not all - it overclocks like crazy, and it really gives faster cards such as 7900 GT a run for the money.

The company didn't just take Nvidia's reference design and put its sticker on it. It changed the cooler and made the card look really fancy. The black cooler cowers the whole card and cools it very quietly and efficiently.

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Gainward uses the G71 chip with 20 pipelines enabled. It is cheaper than the 7900 GT card but this baby can be overclocked for quite a bit. Gainward BLISS 7900GS uses a core that works at 450MHz and memory that works at 1320MHz. The card is, naturally, PCIe and if those clocks sounds familiar I can say that they are the same as the 7900 GT clocks. The card uses Samsung 1.4 ns memory and the memory can be overclocked to the sky. Gainward uses the G71 -N-A2 chip. The chip, as you can see, uses Nvidia's old logo.

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Gainward still uses its nicely designed box that has a nice lady on the front and a significant sticker to remind you that the card has 512MB of memory. The box includes the card covered with this nicely designed cooler, a driver CD, Muevee producer editing software, Cyberlink Power DVD 6, quick start manual, two DVI dongles, a PCIe power cable and a HDTV cable.

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We initially tested the card at its 450MHz core and 1320MHz memory and compared it with 7900 GT clocked at the same speeds. Then we decided to include 7600 GT, the card that used to be the king of €199 market and as la cr?me Sanjin managed to overclock the card to an astonishing 654MHz core, 4MHz faster than the 7900 GTX core speed and 1600MHz memory, to match the 7900 GTX speeds. Bear in mind that 7900 GTX has four pipelines more but we expected to get better scores than 7900 GT and we did. The Nvidia driver didn't let us overclock the memory faster than 800MHz, 1600MHz in DDR mode but even with an external tool we could not reach higher than 1640MHz stable anyway. Gainward also has a 256MB version of the card, obviously cheaper.

Benchmarketing
We used :
Foxconn C51XE M2aa Nforce 590 SLI motherboard
Athlon FX 62 2800 MHz 90 nanometre Windsor core
2x1024 MB DDR2 Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 memory
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA NCQ hard drive
Thermaltake Mini Typhoon Athlon 64/X2/FX cooler and Intel CPU's
Silverstone Strider ST60F, 600W ATX 2.0 SATA

alt='gwoc'

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
3DMark 03
Game2
Game3
Game3
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
17024
129.7
109.3
95.6
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
17743
135.4
115.3
101.2
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
21580
171.6
142.7
126.5
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
13786
97.1
84.9
84.4
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Vertex Shader
Pixel Shader 2.0
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
4297.5
8573.1
43.5
227.4
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
4295.3
10445.7
46.9
366.9
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
5410.7
12142.6
59.0
289.3
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
2392.1
6400.3
38.9
287.0
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
3DMark 05
Game1
Game2
Game2
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
7691
34.5
22.8
36.9
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
8117
35.7
24.7
38.8
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
10266
43.7
31.5
49.8
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
6097
26.8
18.6
29.2
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
5049.7
8555.4
261.5
60.8/44.7
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
5174.8
10644.9
303.1
61.2/47.1
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
6245.6
12730.1
360.2
79.6 /61.4
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
2830.8
663 4 .8
185.0
51.5/37.7
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 06
3DMark 06
? ?
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
4290
? ? ?
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
4604
? ? ?
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
5744
? ? ?
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
3375
? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
SM2.0 Test
Score
GT1
GT2


Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
1667
13.457
14.322
?
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
1807
14.518
15.605
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
2347
18.972
20.150
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
1325
10.790
11.300
? ? ? ? ?
HDR/SM3.0 Test
Score
HDR1
HDR2


Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
1663
14.631
18.628
?
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
1798
16.086
19.880
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
2312
20.436
25.804
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
1210
10.623
13.579
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
Score
CPU1
CPU2


Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
2080
0.664
1.043
?
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
2098
0.673
1.047
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
2132
0.679
1.071
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
2129
0.669
1.064
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
128.7
115.4
95.1
65.5
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
128.4
116.5
97.7
68.1
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
128.8
127.4
116.9
88.0
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
119.3
95.2
72.0
47.4
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
106.5
76.3
56.4
36.4
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
106.5
76.7
56.4
34.7
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
120.6
96.2
73.0
46.9
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
73.8
49.1
35.9
21.1
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4
OK 1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
165.9
152.9
129.3
90.7
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
168.9
157.3
137.6
98.8
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
163.1
155.1
145.2
124.1
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
158.1
131.3
100.0
70.1
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
149.7
121.8
93.7
62.7
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
152.3
126.0
97.5
65.2
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
157.5
144.7
121.5
82.2
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
121.7
85.1
63.9
36.3
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR
OK 1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
99
73
52
34
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
107
79
56
38
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
126
99
73
49
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
79
57
40
26
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
67
48
33
21
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
71
49
34
22
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
89
64
44
29
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
46
32
22
13
? ? ? ? ?
Far Cry High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
95.32
84.71
61.38
39.86
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
97.48
85.88
62.19
38.93
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
95.70
95.13
80.71
52.66
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
82.92
56.12
39.60
23.18
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
152.2
120.4
87.6
60.7
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
158.3
133.0
97.9
68.9
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
159.4
153.8
123.0
86.3
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
125.4
93.0
66.2
45.6
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2 HDR
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
113.5
81.4
56.6
38.2
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
118.6
85.3
59.2
40.3
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
147.1
112.6
78.0
52.8
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
81.0
57.1
38.6
25.8
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
115.9
86.2
62.0
43.9
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
123.0
91.4
65.8
44.4
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
147.9
117.0
84.3
60.1
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
83.5
60.7
42.7
26.9
? ? ? ? ?
Half Life 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
85.02
82.87
78.20
67.17
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
84.45
84.97
81.78
74.52
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
85.35
86.46
84.96
82.62
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
84.90
74.00
65.70
52.46
? ? ? ? ?
Half Life 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 450/1320 MHz PCX
84.40
76.02
66.46
51.18
NVIDIA 7900GT 450/1320 MHz
84.27
80.37
72.81
53.09
Gainward BLISS 7900GS 654/1600 MHz PCX
85.12
85.68
81.81
70.47
NVIDIA 7600GT 560/1400 MHz
81.55
59.33
48.17
29.28

Geforce 7600 GT stays behind in every single benchmark. It is 4000 slower in 3Dmark03, 1500 slower in 3Dmark05, 900 marks slower in 3Dmark06 or up to seventy five percent slower in games at 20x15 resolutions. This is of course the most drastic case but still it can show that the 7900 GS is far superior. In Quake 4 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X 7600 GT is 71 percent slower than the 7900 GS. We included this card just to show you how much Nvidia accomplished with the new card.

Naturally 7900 GS is slower than 7900 GT but just slightly. Despite the same clock speeds 7900 GT has four pipelines more than the 7900GS. You can see the power of four extra pipes at any higher resolution or settings. 3Dmark03 runs 700 points faster on 7900 GT, 3Dmark05 some 400 points faster, 3Dmark06 again 400 points faster. Doom 3 shows only slight difference at all resolutions, up to two and a half frames per second in 7900 GT advantage, nothing really impressive. Even with FSAA and Aniso on both cards performs almost the same. Same thing happens in Quake 4 with and without effects. FEAR shows a difference from four to eight frames but jet again with 4X FSAA and 16 X FSAA 7900 GT is just slightly faster, usually just for a single frame.

Far Cry runs almost identically on both cars with one or two frames difference. Gainward's 7900GS even wins by a frame at 20x15. Serious Sam 2 can run even thirteen frames faster but it is usually up to eight frames faster while in the same game with HDR on the difference drops to five frames only. Serious Sam 2 with FSAA and Aniso on is one to eight frames faster on 7900 GT. 7900 GT wins in Half Life 2 on higher resolutions but for three to six frames, and the same game with effects on scores one to six frames.

Now for the la cr?me the test. We overclocked the card at astonishing 654 MHz core and 1600 MHz memory. This score wiped 7900 GT out of its twenty four pipelines feet.

We could not believe how fast this card can be. Once overclocked it beats 7900 GT by 4000 in 3Dmark03, 2100 in 3Dmark05 and 1100 in 3Dmark06. it is 500 marks faster in Shader model 2.0 test, and jet again 500 mark faster in HDR and Shader model 3.0 test.

In Doom 3 it runs nine frames faster at 12x10, nineteen frames faster at 16x12 and twenty frames at 20x15. we are talking about twenty three percent performance advantage. The trend continues with FSAA and Aniso on as the card is between eight and twenty frames faster. At most common 12x10 resolution it is twenty frames faster and that is the score that really matters.

In Quake 4 7900 GT wins in first two resolutions by five and two frames but as soon as you move to 16x12 7900 GS overclocked wins by eight frames or astonishing twenty five frames at 20x15. FEAR likes overclocked 7900 GS Gainward card and runs nineteen frames faster at 10x7, twenty frames faster at 12x10, seventeen frames at 16x12 and eleven frames at 20x15. 7900 GS runs some twenty percent faster in this test. Even when you turn the FSAA and Aniso on Gainward runs some seventeen frames faster at 10x7, fifteen at 12x10, ten at 16x12 and seven at 20x15.

Serious Sam 2 runs up to 20 frames faster without effects on, with HDR on its almost thirty frames faster at 10x7 and twenty seven frames faster at 12x10, nineteen frames faster at 16x12 and eleven at 20x15. the same advantage stays with the game with FSAA and Aniso on.

Half Life 2 runs one to six frames faster while in Half Life 2 with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso Gainward runs one frame faster at 10x7, five frames at 12x10, nine frames at 16x12 and seventeen frames at 12x10. All the games except FEAR get you more than sixty frames per second even at the highest 2048x1536 resolution and FSAA 4X and Aniso 8 to 16X on.

In short
We are impressed with the overclocking potential of this card. It will dominate over the default clocked Geforce 7900 GT in every single case. Even when not overclocked, it will be just slightly slower than the 7900 GT.

Gainward made a great card and with a price of €220+ or €229 at Alternate it makes a great buy. It is silent, it overclocks like crazy and performs up to twenty per cent faster than the default clocked 7900 GT. It beats the hell out of the good old 7600 GT card so it is a good upgrade even for guys who own 7600 GT cards.

We will have to compare it with ATI cards as well, but we can hardly think of an ATI card that can beat this performance at this price, maybe X1950 PRO, RV570 stands a chance but we are sceptical about it. Gainward 7900 GS Bliss is a card that I can simply recommend to anyone as it makes a difference at a super attractive price. ?

Reviewed and tested by Sanjin Rados and Fuad Abazovic

 

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