XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty Professional Series Video Card Review

Admin - 2007-02-11 19:31:37 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: February 14, 2007
XFX
XFX
Price: 159.00

Introduction:

    XFX is breathing new life into their 7600 series of Video cards. XFX and Fatal1ty have teamed up and added some new features and it is called the XFX 7600GT Fatal1ty Professional Series. Unlike the past XFX 7600 GT video cards, this one has passive cooling via a large heat sink and its core clock speed has been raised to 650 MHz. Will this resurrection prove itself as a mid-range contender or are the new changes just a big hype?

    XFX is a division of Pine Technologies, which was founded in 1989 and are manufacturers of digital audio and video devices as well as computer peripherals. XFX, which at one time was only producing video cards, has now stepped into the motherboard market with their nForce 590 SLI.

    Jonathan “Falal1ty” Wendel is a twelve-time World Champion Professional Gamer, who began his professional career in 1999.

Closer Look:

    The video card comes packaged much differently than what I was used to seeing from XFX, who normally use their own logo on their products. This package has an image of Jonathan “Falal1ty” Wendel on it. A surprise, but it did spark my interest in seeing what was inside.

    The back of the package has a clear plastic panel, which reveals the video card heat sink that has the Fatal1ty logo on it.

    Once you remove the outer slipcover and the inner box is exposed. Opening it revealed the video card inside.

    Exploring further into the package, it contains a driver disk, quick setup guide, VGA to DVI converter and an S-video cable.

    The video card itself is a 7600 GT, but it has a very large heat sink with the Fatal1ty logo on it. You will also notice the heat pipes and the heat disbursement fins. These pictures really do the heat sink no justice - it’s big!

 

    The video card comes with two DVI inputs, and one S-Video out.

    This heat sink has sparked my interest. Since the video card is being passively cooled, what will its temperatures be like? It’s time to install and configure the card.

Installation:

    Since this is a PCI-E video card, it is required that you have a compatible motherboard to use it. Once you open your case and locate the PCI-E slot on your motherboard just click in the video card and you're ready to connect your monitor adapter to it.

    The heat sink on the video card does stick out about an inch; this may be a problem if you have a thin case or another component that might block it.


Configuration:

    Included with the video card is a driver disk, which contains not only the nVidia drivers for the video card, but other interesting software as well. After it is placed in your CD-ROM drive the XFX driver disk will auto run and once accessed, you will find all the available options.

    The first option on the disk is registration; by registering the video card you will be able to take advantage of XFX’s “Double Lifetime Warranty”, covering not only you for the lifetime of the video card, but also if you happen to sell it when you upgrade in the future for example, the person who buys it from you is also covered too. (Details)

 

    The next step is to install the video drivers. The drivers that the disk contains are, Windows Drivers, Directx 9c and TV Capture.

 

    Once the video drivers are installed you will have the option to install the included Bundled Software, Trial Games and Personal Cinema.

    If you are thinking about Overclocking your XFX 7600GT  Fatal1ty video card, an Overclocking tool is included in the bundled software.

 

    There are three Trial Games that are offered to try.

 

    The Personal Cinema drivers allow you to turn your PC into a media center.

 

    Since this video card is a 7600GT, what difference is there between this and other 7600GT video cards? Hopefully the specifications will be able to answer that question.


Specifications:





Features:


Dual 400MHz RAMDACs

Blazing-fast RAMDACs support dual QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates--up to 2048x1536@85Hz.

Dual Link DVI

Capable of supporting digital output for high resolution monitors (up to 2560x1600).

Integrated HDTV Encoder

Provides world-class TV-out functionality up to 1080i resolution.

NVIDIA® CineFX™ 4.0 Engine

Delivers advanced visual effects at unimaginable speeds. Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.

NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology

Delivers up to 2x the performance of a single GPU configuration for unparalleled gaming experiences by allowing two graphics cards to run in parallel. The must-have feature for performance PCI Express graphics, SLI dramatically scales performance on over 60 top PC games.

128-bit Studio-Precision Computation

128-bit studio-precision computation through the entire pipeline prevents image defects due to low precision and ensures the best image quality for even the most demanding applications.

90nm Process Technology

Delivers higher performance through blazing clock rates.

Adaptable Programmable Video Processor

PureVideo's programmable technology adapts to new video encoding formats as they are developed to provide a future-proof video solution. (Feature requires supported video software.)

Advanced Spatial Temporal De-interlacing

Smoothes video and DVD playback on progressive displays to deliver a crisp, clear picture that rivals high-end home theater systems.

Built for Microsoft® Windows Vista™

NVIDIA’s fourth-generation GPU architecture built for Windows Vista gives users the best possible experience with the Windows Aero 3D graphical user interface.

High-Definition H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV Hardware Acceleration2

Smoothly playback H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV video—including WMV HD—with minimal CPU usage so the PC is free to do other work.

Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support

Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all Direct® 9 applications, including Shader Model 3.0 titles.

Next-generation Superscalar GPU Architecture

Delivers up to 2x the shading power of previous generation products taking gaming performance to extreme levels.

NVIDIA® Digital Vibrance Control™ (DVC) 3.0 Technology

Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.

NVIDIA® Intellisample™ 4.0 Technology

The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds. Visual quality is taken to new heights through a new rotated grid sampling pattern, advanced 128 Tap sample coverage, 16x anisotropic filtering, and support for transparent supersampling and multisampling.

NVIDIA® PureVideo™ Technology

The combination of high-definition video processors and NVIDIA DVD decoder software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater. (Feature requires supported video software.)

NVIDIA® UltraShadow™ II Technology

Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games, like id Software's Doom 3, that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects.

nView™ Multi-Display Technology

The nView hardware and software technology combination delivers maximum flexibility for multi-display options, and provides unprecedented end-user control of the desktop experience.

OpenGL™ 2.0 Optimizations and Support

Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all OpenGL applications. NVIDIA® nView® Multi-display Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.

Video Color Correction

Color temperature correction makes actors' faces appear natural, rather than washed out and pale, when playing videos on LCD and CRT displays. Display gamma correction ensures videos are not too dark, overly bright, or washed out regardless of the video format or display. (Feature requires supported video software.)



    Two Major differences I can see, are the Passive Cooling and the Clock Rate, which was increased to 650MHz from 590MHZ. (XFX G-Force 7600GT XXX) In the testing phase, I'll keep and eye on temperatures and FPS difference.

Testing:

    New video games are being released everyday, rendering engines are being changed and with the release of DirectX 10, video game producers are fighting to see who’s engine will work the best, thus OverclockersClub will be updating its benchmarking format shortly. For this video card and especially to compare it to my last review on the XFX 7600GT XXX, I have chosen to stay with our older benchmarks to give a proper analysis of differences.


Testing Setup:

Gaming Benchmarks:

    Since the XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty is already Overclocked out of the box, I don't see much of a need to push it any further the original 7600 GT's, which were released with a clock rate of 560MHZ and a Memory Clock of 1.4 GHZ.  So out of the box there is already an increase of  90 MHZ on the clock and  200 MHZ on the memory.


Benchmark: Far Cry

    As I have in the past I will begin with Far Cry, a First Person Shooter game which has been a long time favorite of mine. For all benchmarks resolutions will be 800X600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024.

Settings:




    Benchmarking results for Far Cry were a lot better than I expected with a thirteen Frame per Second increase at 800x600.

Testing:

Benchmark: F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is also a First person Shooter, and it has its own benchmark built in to the game.

Settings:


    So far so good - a reputable increase while benchmarking F.E.A.R..

Testing:

Benchmark: Doom III

Doom III is a benchmark that we will be phasing out shortly - it's time to say goodbye to an old friend. Again this is a First Person Shooter, Fraps will be used to benchmark it.

Settings:


    Even though it's an older game, Doom III tested the XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty and the Frame Rates Per Second are not as good as our last two benchmarks.

Testing:

Benchmark: Call of Duty II

    Call of Duty 2, the second installment to the Call of Duty Series, is an intense action packed WW2 thriller where you can fight on all battlefronts of the European Theater.



Settings:


    Call of Duty 2 has always been one of the most challenging benchmarks for any video card I have tested and it's clear that with an average of 1.5 Frames per Second difference, the increased clock and memory speeds didn't produce great results.

Testing:

Benchmark: Quake 4

Quake 4, is the newest arrival in the Quake Series. This version is more graphic intense than it’s predecessors, so it may prove to be a great challenge.


Settings:



Quake 4 benchmarks that were ran on the x800 GTO were from an earlier Q4 benckmark and are not shown.

Testing:

Benchmark: Need For Speed; Most Wanted

This is a racing game in which you can choose from a number of vehicles, different types of vehicle setups and also choose which types of race courses you prefer.


Settings:


    It seems that with all of my benchmarks there is an increase in Frames Per Second, but as the games get newer, will the XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty be able to handle the new rendering engines?

Temperatures:

The XFX 7600 GT Fatal1ty Professional Series has a passive cooling system and I was a little worried that my temperatures while gaming would increase to an undesirable temperature. To my surprise, they did not. My actual idle temperature was lower than my 7600GT XXX with active cooling and my max gaming temperature was also lower than with active cooling. The only setback I found was that with passive cooling, the temperatures didn't drop down to 'normal' temperatures as quickly as they did with the active cooling.


Conclusion:

Although I would like to say the XFX 7600GT Fatal1ty is a mainstream video card, I cannot, as at best it is a midrange video card. You can still get decent frame rates on many of the most popular games and if you are budget minded this is a video card that packs a punch for the price.

Since the video card is preoverclocked right out of the box, there is no need to overclock it and you’ll get better results than you may have expected. There is about a twenty dollar price difference between this card and the 7600 GT XXX and for the increase in Frames Per Second and the passive cooling, (no fan noise) it is well worth it.

While at CES, Uber got a chance to actually play Q4 against Jonathan “Falal1ty” Wendel at the XFX, ABIT, Fatal1ty booth, he did manage to beat him and three others in three matches. These were friendly games so nothing was at stake but is it possible that Uber has a professional gaming career ahead of him?




Pros:


Cons: