Earlier this year, nVIDIA kicked off their 90 nm Graphics Processing Units for the consumer market with the 7600 and 7900 series of graphics accelerators. Promising low power consumption per unit performance, the G73 GPU is used on the 7300GT, 7600GS and 7600GT range of graphics accelerators.
Deciding on what graphics accelerator to upgrade to? Look no further…read on!
The 7600 series falls under the midrange category in nVIDIA’s lineup, with the 7600GS backing the budget end of the series. Running on the 90 nm production line, the G73 used in the 7600GS runs at a very low voltage for it’s clockspeed. By running cool, the 7600GS become the choice for low noise, low power draw Media Centers to run on.
Why nVIDIA for Media PCs? The reason is simple. When decoding High Definition Video (think “DVD quality”, just a lot better), the CPU takes a great hit in feeding the media stream for output. At times, PCs running HD-Video can reach 100% CPU usage when streaming very high quality files. This can cause laggy video playback, which pretty much defeats the purpose of HD-Video being the connoisseur’s preferred media. What nVIDIA can do, is to offload part of the load onto the GPU. With this, up to 30% of the load is taken off the data-ridden CPU.
ATi has a similar concept that allows the GPU to process HD-Video data. The only limitation is on the resolution that the GPU handles. nVIDIA allows up to 1080p of H.264 decoding on any graphics accelerator released after the 6600. ATi meanwhile, only allows 1080p decoding on the highend X1K series of graphics accelerators.
The nVIDIA 7600GS is designed to be pitted against the ATi 1600Pro range of graphics accelerators. Value-for-money is the key concept here. We shall see if it is really successful at fullfilling this claim.
Inno3D opted for a no-frills package.
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