In the test 15 years ago: 125 ° C was still ok with the GeForce 7950 GT from XFX

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In the test 15 years ago: 125 ° C was still ok with the GeForce 7950 GT from XFX

15 years ago, Nvidia put the GeForce 7950 GT against the ATi Radeon X1950 Pro, which was not yet available. The tested XFX GeForce 7950 GT 570M convinced due to its high performance, the lower price and the silent passive cooling. The GPU garnished that with very high temperatures.

A faster GeForce 7900 GT or a slower GeForce 7900 GTX

The GeForce 7950 GT could either be viewed as a faster GeForce 7900 GT or a slower GeForce 7900 GTX. Like these two models, it relied on a full expansion of the G71 GPU with 278 million transistors and 24 pixel pipelines. The GPU clock of 550 MHz was exactly in the middle between the GeForce 7900 GT with 450 MHz and the GeForce 7900 GTX with 650 MHz. At that time, product differentiation based on the cycle was still common, today it no longer exists.

The XFX GeForce 7960 GT 570M clocked the GPU with a marginally higher frequency of 570 MHz. The 512 MB graphics memory on the reference model was clocked at 700 MHz, while the XFX model had a clock rate of 730 MHz and thus in both cases a little less than the 800 MHz of the GeForce 7900 GTX.

In the reference design, the GeForce 7950 GT was equipped with the same single-slot cooler that was used on the GeForce 7900 GT and GS. Due to the small radial fan, this was comparatively loud under load and not suitable for silent PCs. The manufacturer built in its own passive cooling design for the XFX GeForce 7950 GT 570M. This put on a copper plate for heat absorption and an aluminum heat sink on the front of the graphics card. In addition, two heat pipes conducted the heat to another aluminum heat sink on the back of the graphics card. The built-in GDDR3 memory was also covered by a cooling plate to dissipate its waste heat.

  • XFX GeForce 7950 GT back

    XFX GeForce 7950 GT back

  • Image 1 of 10

    Solid performance in games

    The overclocking of the XFX model was noticeable in the benchmarks in a one to two percent higher performance – free. Compared to a GeForce 7900 GT, between 16 and 22 percent more power was available, depending on the resolution and the activation of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. Conversely, the losses on a GeForce 7900 GTX were between 9 and 13 percent. Compared to ATi graphics cards, the GeForce 7950 GT is between the Radeon X1800 XT and the X1900 XT.

    Completely silent at extremely high temperatures

    The passive cooling of a fast graphics card like the GeForce 7950 GT took its toll. The GPU temperatures were already very high at 69 ° C while idling, but the measured 125 ° C under load broke all records. The temperature threshold stored by XFX in the BIOS, from which the graphics card throttled its clock, was 130 ° C. It was therefore possible that the XFX GeForce 7950 GT 570M slowed down significantly under 3D load in the summer. Despite the high temperatures, no stability problems were found in the test in a 12-hour load scenario.

    If you had a well-ventilated case, you could increase the clock speed of the GeForce 7950 GT 570M even further. Up to 630 MHz GPU and 790 MHz memory clock were possible in the test, which resulted in a 9 to 14 percent higher performance.

    Conclusion

    The GeForce 7950 GT was a successful graphics card and, with a price of 250 euros, was attractive for many gamers. For users with a weakness for silent PCs, the XFX GeForce 7950 GT 570M with passive cooling is a good choice – provided the case was sufficiently ventilated to keep the high GPU temperatures in check. At 300 euros, the price was slightly higher than that of the reference design, but still within the scope of what was on offer. A final assessment of the GeForce 7950 GT was still difficult because the designated competitor – the ATi Radeon X1950 Pro – was not available on the market at the time of the test.

    In the “Tested 15 years ago” category, the editorial team has been looking into the test archive every Saturday since July 2017. The last 20 articles that appeared in this series are listed below:

    Even more content of this kind and many more reports and anecdotes can be found in the retro corner of the ComputerBase forum.

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