Inno3D GeForce 7950GX2
- Strong performance
- Not as attractive as some other options on the market
If you're looking for a powerful, single slot card solution, the Inno3D has the goods. While it doesn't quite perform at the same level as the new DirectX 10 cards, it is still a powerful solution for the hardcore gamer.
Price$ 800.00 (AUD)
Inno3D's latest frame pusher, the GeForce 7950GX2 is actually two slightly modified NVIDIA 7900s sandwiched together in an SLI configuration, but only takes up as much space as a single Geforce 7900GTX. Not only that, the SLI bridge is built-in, so the card only requires a single PCI-E slot, rather than a special SLI-ready motherboard.
The card has 1GB of DDR3 RAM and a 512-bit memory bus, giving you 512MB of RAM with a 256-bit memory bus for each GPU. In 3DMark, the GX2 scored an impressive 7903, while the rival cards from ASUS (the X1900XTX) and Gigabyte (the 7900GTX) scored 6314 and 6275, respectively.
In the FEAR benchmark, the numbers speak for themselves. The Inno3D 7950GX2 averaged 89 frames per second, a 20% lead over the X1900XTX. The GX2 core has been scaled up a notch to 500MHz, a 30MHz buffer over its 7900GT cousin, while the memory clock speed remains on par at 600MHz. Although these frequencies are considerably lower than the 650MHz core and 800MHz RAM speed of NVIDIA's flagship 7900GTX, the evident heat issues of bundling two heavy-duty GPU's so close together is a clear enough reason for the down scaling.
While noise isn't a serious problem, heat dissipation may be. Even after periods of idle time with no 3-D rendering, the heat sinks were scorching. So overclocking is not recommended unless you have some serious cooling and you'll want to make sure there's plenty of air flow in your case, even during normal usage.
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