With the box and its content out the way, it's time to check out the card itself.
Like most silent cooled graphics cards, the front of the card is mainly taken up by a large heat sink and this isn't any different here either. We can see the big "F" logo on the front of the card along with the two heat pipes that pop out the top and go to a separate heat sink which is used to dissipate heat using the air flow inside your case.
The heat pipes that lead out to the separate heatsink stretches over the back of the card, as the core heats up the heat moves through the heat pipes and then proceeds to dissipate through the second heatsink keeping the main part of the card as cool as possible at all times.
While the card does not operate hot even when under load, it doesn't run briskly cold either but nothing to cause us any concerns at the same time. Of course, the great benefit to this cooling setup is that it is completely silent and that's great for the increasing amount of users out there who consider silence a bonus. Will this effect overclockability? We'll find out a little later on how well XFX did with the cooling.
The back of the card also gives us our standard run of the mill circuitry and of course the screws to keep the large heat sink in place.
While majority of the top of the card is taken by the second heat sink, we can also see the SLI connector that we will be making use of today as well as a tension bar across the top which XFX tend to use quite a bit. Few companies make use of this additional feature and you do have to wonder how useful it is but from an aesthetic point of view, it does make the card look trendier and XFX do have a pretty good track record with that type of thing. XFX have been using it on their card for a while now.
It is designed to prevent any bending of the card and protect the SLI connector - as someone though who has used bucket loads of graphics cards without it and never had a problem with an SLI connector in the past, you do wonder if it's actually needed but it's there anyway for good measure.
The black color scheme is transferred to the I/O side of things with a black plate used. We have the HDTV out port as we mentioned earlier along with two DVI ports. Unfortunately the card does not support HDCP which means you won't be using in a HTPC for playback of HD DVD or Blu-ray movie discs.
As far as clock speeds go and that's a pretty important factor of the XFX "Fatal1ty" 7600GT considering you are paying extra dollars for this souped up version. XFX's 7600GT XXX edition (also factory overclocked) comes in with clock speeds of 590MHz core clock and 1.6GHz DDR memory clock and costs roughly $130 USD. The version we are looking at today comes in with clock speeds of 650MHz on the core clock and 1.6GHz DDR on the memory clock and in the United States costs about $160 USD, which is not too much more to pay for the silent cooling and faster core clock speed.
In Australia though, the same card costs a staggering $270 AUD (cheapest price) and compare that to the XFX 7600GT XXX (overclocked edition with 590MHz core clock and same memory speeds) which costs a more respectable $185 AUD - something is not quite right. In Australia the "Fatal1ty" edition is $85 AUD (or roughly $70 USD) more expensive than the XXX edition and in the USA it's only $38 AUD (or roughly $30 USD) more. Clearly you're better off buying this card in the US or from the US where possible, if you are really considering it as an option, especially if you want two for SLI dual graphics.
Keep in mind that nVidia are set to launch their GeForce 8600 and 8500 cards next week and you probably will see some small price drops fairly soon for the old models to make way for the new, so keep an eye out for that also.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package]
- Page 3 [The Cards]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark05]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Lost Coast)]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Overclocking]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]
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