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Leadtek 7900 GT TDH Extreme

Anyone who knows me would be aware that I have a real hatred for the word “Extreme” in product names. It’s so overused and is one of few things that actually makes me want to eat my own face. Somebody please hand me a knife and fork...

The Leadtek 7900 GT TDH "Extreme" runs at 520MHz core and 715MHz (1,430MHz effective) memory instead of the usual 450/660 configuration. Naming conventions aside for a moment, a big round of applause to Leadtek for being the only company intelligent enough to run the memory at its rated frequency. To get the core running at 520MHz, they actually pay nVidia a little extra money to get the cherry-picked cores.

Also included with the card is PowerDVD 6, muvee 3 and Serious Sam II. For once, actually a decent bundle! TrackMania Nations is also included, giving you 20 extra tracks over the freely available version.

With these higher clock speeds, the Leadtek pulls away from the stock clocked Asus with an estimated 10 per cent lead except at the very highest resolutions where its performance is crippled a little by the memory bandwidth and therefore doesn’t show as much improvement. In Battlefield 2, which is CPU bound to around 115fps, the extra clock speeds doesn’t really help until FSAA and AF are turned on.

Overclocking with the Leadtek was fun. In fact, you might even describe it as “Extreme”, reaching 585MHz on the core and a whopping 900MHz on the memory. The high clocks on the core can be attributed to the core being cherry picked (which is no bad thing) and the memory frequency comes down to luck of the draw as all of the cards have the same 1.4ns memory. Either way, this is an excellent overclock.

So how much difference does it make? Well, it looks to me like another 10 per cent performance increase by overclocking. In reality, this isn’t really noticeable, but when you are overclocking a machine all the small increases tend to accumulate into something significant so every little helps.

At £258.44, this is a little bit pricier than the average stock clocked 7900 GT, but the bundle is pretty good and it’s good to know you are paying extra for a cherry-picked core rather than just paying them to overclock it for you. Leadtek provide a two-year warranty, which is satisfactory.

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