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eVGA 7900 GT CO SC

eVGA is really starting to make a name for itself in the industry with some unique ideas. One such idea is its 90 day upgrade offer. Upon purchasing this card, if you decide that in fact you’d have preferred to have bought the the next model up, you can send your card back and pay the difference – based on the price on when you purchased the card.

It was also mentioned that if a new card came out in that 90 days, an upgrade path would also be offered. This is an interesting scenario as if a new card came out there would be no reference price from when you first purchased the card. Take the 7800 GTX 512MB edition - technically the 7900 GTX would be considered an upgrade, yet it actually costs less than its predecessor. So would eVGA give you an upgrade ’’and’’ a refund? Who knows? But the idea definitely has merit for those who are unsure about their purchasing decisions. No matter how certain you are of your decision, if a new game comes out next month that you find you can’t play at the settings you would like – you could well find yourself regretting your decision.

A system like this would certainly have been in order for those disappointed X1800 XT owners who now own cards superseded so quickly by the X1900 XTX.

On top of this deal, eVGA also offer a lifetime warranty and 24/7 e-mail support. A lifetime warranty is of questionable value, but as mentioned in the BFG review, it’s a weight off your mind to know that if things go wrong they’ll sort it out. eVGA have skimped on the bundle, although the supplied S-Video cable is better than most.

Unlike XFX and Leadtek who pay nVidia a little extra to get higher rated GPUs, eVGA does all its overclocking by hand. This doesn’t make its guarantee any less honourable, but it does mean that generally speaking you could get similar overclocking results with a stock card and a little bit of patience. With a 550MHz core and 790MHz (1,580MHz effective) memory, the clock speeds are impressive - bettered only by the XFX.

Performance is very close to the XFX, and around 15-20 per cent faster than a stock clocked 7900 GT. With this sort of increase, it starts to become more noticeable, with 5-10fps extra being added on in many cases.

Overclocking this card was a little disappointing, showing how close to the bone eVGA is cutting it. Only an extra 10MHz could be squeezed out of the core, while the memory had plenty more left in it, overclocking to a whopping 915MHz. However, this extra memory bandwidth made very little difference. Not even the GTX has memory frequencies that high, as the core is holding things back.

We don’t have a retail price for this card yet, but considering the CO version of this card is £245.45 including VAT, we can expect this card to be around £260 if not a little more.

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