| |

PNY GeForce 7600GT 256MB PCIe x16 Video Card Review

When it came to my buying of this video card, it was a tough decision between the “tried and true” 6800 model at 256 bit, or this 7600 at 128 bit, both 256MB. I asked some of my colleagues which they’d buy, and it was really about 50/50, so it seemed that I had to choose between a newer chipset or a larger bit depth. I couldn’t make up my mind, so it really came down to “well, this 7600 is newer and has a bigger number”.

Like I mentioned, I’ve owned a 6800 in the past, and I expected this 7600 card to be about the same, as it only costs a little more than juiced up 6800. I expected it to be hard to review, since even the 6800 is rather new, allowing me to play most games with full eye candy, considering I have a decent processor and 4GB of RAM. The only thing I disliked about the 6800 was its mediocre ability to render modern lighting effects, such as HDR, or high dynamic range lighting. It supported it, it just bogged it down horribly when I used such options. I’m surprised and happy to report that the 7600 model has much better support for HDR and other lighting effects, showing no difference at all with the effects on or off. The numbers say Counter-Strike: Source dropped from about 80fps to about 55, but nothing noticeable. There was not one test I could perform in which the 7600 was not superior to the 6800. In addition, I am able to run the card easily inside my cramped mid atx case, using only its stock GPU fan without any additional cooling, and even at full load for long periods of time, it shows no signs of stress.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

PNY packaged the 7600 chip onto a fairly plain looking, green board with a simple, small cooling fan. If you have a window on your case, you might have to do a bit of modding to this card in order to make it better fit the look which its performance asserts. It has dual DVI outputs, and comes with 2 DVI-to-VGA adapters for older monitors. These adapters are simple grey plastic, but cause the monitor plug in your case to stick out a good 2 inches, preventing you from keeping the back of your case close to a wall. A nice 1’ DVI to VGA CABLE would have worked nicely. It comes with your standard driver CD with the latest nforce drivers as well as Microsoft DirectX. Overall, this is a great card for the budget gamer. Chances are, if you have a window on your case and care how your video card looks from the inside, you’ll be spending your money on a more expensive card. The only feature that could contradict this is the fact that it is a PCI Express x16 card, which requires a fairly modern motherboard, as opposed to older AGP video cards. Performance is great, it’s quiet and cool.