Company: PNY Technologies
Authour: Mark "Ratchet" Thorne
Date: September 24th, 2006
The 7900 GS offers very respectable performance in the $199 price range, beating out its $199 competition, the Radeon X1800 GTO, in almost all tests. Performance notwithstanding, the card is also quiet and does not get very hot, even under extended loads, and is small and compact enough to fit in most any computer case. A welcome change from the enormous cards we’ve grown accustomed to around here.
PNY’s Verto 7900 GS, while every bit as fast as the reference 7900 GS, is slightly longer than the reference 7900 GS and comes with a slightly higher $229 price. At that price, its primary competition starts to shift from the X1800 GTO to the X1900 GT, and in that arena the 7900 GS loses more benchmarks than it wins, but still manages to make a very respectable showing.
Still considering the price, it was a bit disappointing to see that PNY did not factory overclock their 7900 GS like so many other vendors have done. Looking at how well the card manually overclocked in our tests, it seems that even a modest factory overclock of 25MHz or so would have been easy to do and that would probably be enough to justify the higher price for most customers.
Stability wise I ran into some problems running the card in SLI with the reference 7900 GS. Prey and Quake 4 (both OpenGL Doom3 engine based games) in particular were very crash prone and difficult to get a full set of results from. Whether this has something to do with PNY’s off-reference 7900 GS combined with a reference 7900 GS or 7900 GS SLI in general I cannot say (I suspect the former), but it is something you should keep in mind if your future upgrade plans involve SLI.
While it’s not really fair to PNY to recommend you look elsewhere for your 7900 GS when we haven’t looked at any real alternative here, it is equally unfair to potential customers for us to heartily recommend their 7900 GS when we know there are other vendors out there selling them factory overclocked for around the same price (and even a few of them selling overclocked cards for the base $199 price) .
Regardless, even stock clocked and at $229, the 7900 GS offers excellent performance and features. Your wallet will thank you.
4 out of 5
Blue, a bit longer, and a bit more expensive than what we'd like to see for a stock clocked card, PNY's Verto 7900 GS offers solid performance but it's probably not the 7900 GS you are looking for.
- Solid performer
- Excellent manual overclocking
- Quiet cooler
- Disappointed in the lack of factory overclocking
- Slightly longer than the reference 7900 GS
- Not the cheapest or fastest 7900 GS you're likely to find
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