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Pros: This edition of the 7950 seems to cater to the ever increasing numbers of people in the enthusiast pc builder market heavily invested in aesthetics. Everything from the minimalist yet solid packaging the documentation seems to live up to what one can expect from such an old brand as XFX.
On to the goodies..
Extremely high quality. You can see how precisely crafted this card is, from the high quality flux which leaves no nasty residue around the contact points, to the expertly machined aluminium heatsink casing, it is almost a pity it is going inside my machine as opposed to being openly on display somewhere in a glass case.
Performance wise, it leaves nothing to be desired. Able to handle battlefield 3 which is one of the more visually intense games of today at a stable 60 fps maxed out at 1920x1080, it stuns me with its performance. Temperature wise, it tends to hit a maximum of about 70 C, which seems to be very tolerable. And under load, the fans are quieter than the stand-by hum of my samsung spinpoint F3's, which is pretty ridiculous. In my long and arduous trek through chipset manufacturer brands, i started with an old 7900gs by xfx and tried everything from asus to evga to gigabyte, I've found myself falling back to my roots in this iteration of the annual upgrade.
In short, Knockout card by ATI/AMD providing more than ample single core power for the enthusiast, perfected by the XFX brandname and premium.
Cons: None that i can think of at this time, except for driver stability. Upon opening this card, excitedly slotting it into my computer, and installing drivers; i found that i could not actually play the game i had anticipated playing that evening (WoW) due to a driver instability issue which caused the computer to cause extreme aritfacting/grayscreening which rendered certain games pre-DX11 standard unplayable. Going from a HD6950, i automatically assumed so, and restored to an earlier driver (212.03) which instantly fixed the problem. However, this was at the cost of a theoretical 10% performance, which is negligible unless taking into consideration the fact that i was going from a 6950... so it would have been rendered a pointless upgrade had i needed that extra power. It is not, however, an issue with modern games. Since then though, i assume there has been multiple revisions to address the instabilities. Not taking an egg off simply because its more a fault of an oudated graphics engine/api than the hardware/CCC.
Other Thoughts: Hopefully this has been helpful in selecting your new card, and hopefully its been enough to convince you to get one.
Pros: Well i was psyched when i was getting this card. Ive been running on an old 7900 gs which i sort of burned through extensive endeavors on overclocking, and i was ready to increase my performance. I wanted to max Battlefield 2 at last, and the GS helped me greatly with that. First off, its a very good card. As all things with XFX, its high quality and well built. It was delivered in very sturdy packaging and i had a hard time opening, and when i finally did it i recieved no issues what-so-ever. Unfortunatly the rebate never came through for me, not yet anyway. But you shouldnt be buying this card if your looking for the rebate, thats not a reliable source of income. This is a good card for enthusiasts simply looking to upgrade their computer to game at a higher standard, and if you have the extra money i would reccomend you simply fork out the what, 30 bucks?, and buy the 8800 GT.
Cons: Throughout my usage period, i didnt really find any major issues. As a 8800 chip the card is really underpowered and weak in comparison to the others, its a very good card for cash strapped budget though. This also happens to be the version with the maxxed out fan, which sounds like a jet engine essentially. Its also only 192 bit, which may be responsible for the performance loss.
Other Thoughts: Its a good card for cash strapped casual entusiasts, but i wouldnt recommend it. Its stable and all but the perfornance to price ratio is just too uneven in the 8800 card range. Its a very very toned down 8800 gt in all the sense of the word, without the sense to build in a fan control panel. Psch, really got lazy with this one, did we now?READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This is a very well made card. Ive been looking for something like this for a long time, and truthfully didnt expect much since i was coming from a 8800 gs but this card is just amazing. The high quality heatsink on it keeps it from getting too hot, albeit the fact that my room is like a volcano at most times of day. It idles at about 47 degrees but keep in mind my room is extremely well heated, and ive seen it cap at 60 degrees. Chews up everything i throw at it, Including crysis on max settings 16x12 no AA,I can play it at 2x AA without much lag but past that its overkill.
Cons: I havent gotten any issues with it at this point considering my ownership of it is fairly recent. One of my major quirks though is the fact that they did not include any memory heatsinks to take some strain off the chips. My computer is suxxorz and for that reason i keep the side of the case open with a room fan blowing in at all times, but apparently the zalman cooler keeps the chips sufficiently cool with the excess air coming about, but i can imagine that air is already pretty hot. Another thing is the uneventful packaging that the card was place in. It is reasonably well secured but not enough for this heatsink, as the thin strips of metal are very sensitive and easy to break. The edges of mine were bent inwards, nothing a little improvisation cant fix.
Other Thoughts: Overall its a very good card, i can only imagine how well this beast chews up crysis in SLI, considering it has been rated higher then the 9800 GX2. Thats right, two of these monsters RAEP the gx2, in most scenarios anyway. I plan on getting another one of these bad boys to up my performance considerably, although i dont even know why as there is nothing i can say or do to slow this monster down. Buy one, now, No as a matter of fact.. Buy Two now.READ FULL REVIEW