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XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty Graphics Card Review

Apr 2 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , in Reviews | Computer Hardware

XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty Graphics Card Review
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Benchmarks

Features and Specifications
Typically with XFX the XXX version of any graphics card is as hot as the card gets. XFX XXX cards are consistently the fastest performers in any NVIDIA product range that I test. It was a bit surprising to me that XFX went even faster than the XXX 7600 GT with the first graphics card in their Fatal1ty line, the 7600 GT Fatal1ty. Naturally this card is named after the pro gamer Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel.

The 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card has a core clock speed of 650MHz and a memory clock of 1.6GHz. What is very impressive is that while the clock speeds are significantly overclocked the 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card is passively cooled. That’s right; this card uses no fans and still reaches impressive levels of performance. To compare the XXX version of this card clocks in at 590MHz on the core and 1.6GHz on the memory while the stock 7600 GT comes in at 560MHz core and 1.4GHz on the memory.

Benchmarks
Before we get into the benchmarks for the 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card lets take a look at the computer that I used to do the tests:

  • CPU- Intel QX6700
  • RAM- PNY XLR8 2GB PC2-8500
  • OS- Windows XP SP2

3DMark06
For benchmarking the 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card I used 3DMark06, FEAR, and Battlefield 2142. I was sent a pair of these cards so I also ran the same tests in SLI mode as well. The first test up for the 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card was with 3DMark06. I ran 3DMark06 at default settings in the application and the NVIDIA control panel and the results were as follows.

    Single Card
  • Total 3DMarks- 4018
  • SM2.0- 1527
  • HDR/SM3.0- 1397
  • CPU- 4021
  • Return to Proxycon- 12.451
  • Firefly Forest- 12.996
  • Canyon Flight- 12.166
  • Deep Freeze- 15.419
  • CPU1- 1.378
  • CPU2- 1.878
    SLI Pair
  • Total 3DMarks- 7186
  • SM2.0- 2904
  • HDR/SM3.0- 2592
  • CPU- 3890
  • Return to Proxycon- 23.531
  • Firefly Forest- 24.864
  • Canyon Flight- 22.306
  • Deep Freeze- 29.527
  • CPU1- 1.305
  • CPU2- 1.858

FEAR
Next up for testing was FEAR. As always I used the FEAR in game test loop to get the numbers. I tailored the settings to work with the more typical 19” LCD displays as these cards don’t have quite the oomph needed for high resolution gaming. I used the following settings for the tests both for the single card and the SLI pair; screen resolution was 1280 x 1024, 4X AA, 4X AF, no soft shadows and all other settings on max. The frame rate results were as follows:

    Single Card
  • Min- 19
  • Avg- 36
  • Max 78

The percentages showed that 20% of the time frame rates were below 25fps, 56% of the time frame rates were 25-40fps and 24% of the time frame rates were above 40fps. SLI test results at the same exact settings were as follows:

    SLI Pair
  • Min- 37
  • Avg- 70
  • Max- 218

As you can see a second card in SLI mode added significantly to the performance we see in FEAR. Percentage wise frame rates never went below 25 fps, only 2% of the time were frame rates from 25 to 40 fps and a full 98% of the time frame rates were greater than 40 fps.

Battlefield 2142
Battlefield 2142 was the next game up for testing on the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card. I used a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200 with all settings on high and 4x AA for both the single card and the SLI pair while playing the single player map “Fall of Berlin”. I used Fraps to record the frame rate data for this test.

    Single Card
  • Min- 24
  • Avg- 29.283
  • Max- 33
    SLI Pair
  • Min- 24
  • Avg- 28.224
  • Max- 33

What we see here is that at the resolutions Battlefield 2142 is capable of you get no improvements in performance from an SLI pair of the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics cards.

While the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card feels way slow compared to the 8800 series cards I have been awash in of late, they perform well in current generation PC games. If you are looking for a dead silent card for a media center PC that will see gaming duty as well the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card is a fantastic choice. During my testing of the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card I only ran into one real problem. The passive heat sink was so thick that on my EVGA 680i mainboard the second card of the SLI pair blocked the PCI port behind the card. If you look at the images section of this review you can see that the passive heat sink extends about half an inch behind the card. If you are short on PCI slots in your machine like I am this could leave you deciding between your second SLI card and your sound card.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Passively cooled
  • Fastest 7600 GT around

Cons

  • Passive cooler blocks PCI slot behind the card on some mainboards.

Verdict
If you are looking for good performance for PC gaming from a graphics card in the $160 range, the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card is one of the best choices you can make. It is dead silent and performs well on today’s most popular game titles. Budget gamers looking for gaming performance should give the XFX GeForce 7600 GT Fatal1ty graphics card a serious look.

8.5
10
 

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