In the test 15 years ago: The GeForce 7900 GTO was a cheaper GTX

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In the test 15 years ago: The GeForce 7900 GTO was a cheaper GTX

With the GeForce 7900 GTO (test), MSI had a graphics card in its portfolio that Nvidia had not planned for. On the one hand, MSI operated with the GTO scrap recycling, on the other hand, the manufacturer offered a GeForce 7900 GTX for just 250 euros.

One last time with the G71 GPU

Before Nvidia was supposed to present the graphics cards of the GeForce 8000 generation, MSI operated scrap recycling one last time and created a new model based on the proven G71 GPU. The GeForce 7900 GTO was therefore not an official model developed by Nvidia, but an in-house development by MSI. Compared to the GeForce 7900 GTX, the changes were limited: The only difference was that the GTO clocked the 512 MB GDDR3 memory with 660 instead of 800 MHz. Otherwise, like the GeForce 7900 GTX, it had the full configuration of the G71 and operated the graphics core with the same clock rates of 650 MHz.

The roots of the MSI GeForce 7900 GTO were also noticeable in other areas. Both the PCB and the cooler were identical to those of the GTX. This was good news for those interested, as the GeForce 7900 GTX had an excellent, very quiet cooling system. The 7900 GTO was virtually inaudible when idling and barely noticeable under full load.

Almost a GeForce 7900 GTX from the standard

The GeForce 7900 GTO showed the expected performance in the benchmarks. Due to the marginally lower memory bandwidth, the performance was between 3 and 10 percent behind that of a GeForce 7900 GTX. In particular with activated anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, the GTO had to cut back and worked between 8 and 10 percent slower than the GTX. On the other hand, the GTO was between 5 and 8 percent faster than a GeForce 7950 GT, which at 260 euros was in a similar price range as the GTO.

With overclocking to the top of performance

Like the GeForce 7900 GTX, the MSI GeForce 7900 GTO was able to completely convince in the B grades. The graphics card worked extremely quietly in idle and under load, had a power consumption commensurate with the performance and could be overclocked excellently. In the test, clock rates of 730 MHz on the GPU and 900 MHz on the graphics memory could be achieved, which resulted in a 24 to 29 percent higher performance. This meant that the GTO could easily catch up with a GeForce 7900 GTX.


The MSI GeForce 7900 GTO came onto the market shortly before the series was about to die, but anyone who wanted to buy a graphics card that was equivalent to a GeForce 7900 GTX at a reasonable price was very well advised with it. The GTO combined all the qualities that made the GeForce 7900 GTX so popular 15 years ago – and at a price of around 250 euros, while the original cost almost 370 euros. Those who had patience and money were better off waiting for the GeForce 8800 GTX to be presented in November 2006. For everyone else, the MSI GeForce 7900 GTO was a good chance to acquire a cheap and very good graphics card.

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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