EVGA has been one of NVIDIA's top partners in the USA over the last few years, offering some unique extras that other board partners do not offer. In the first quarter of this year, the company opened a European office in Germany and started making a some noise in the UK. The pace picked up at the start of this month with a dedicated UK office, designed to push EVGA's products into the UK's major online e-tailers.
The company has entered the UK market with the intention of taking market share from the likes of BFG Tech and XFX with its attractive products carrying an impressive warranty, giving the consumer the option to upgrade to something faster in the first 90 days of ownership. Today, we have EVGA's e-GeForce 7900 GT KO Superclock video card on the test bench - it comes clocked at an obscene 580/1580MHz with 256MB of GDDR3. This is bit-tech's first EVGA product review and you can look forward to more in the coming months.
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The box advertises the clock speeds and memory configuration, immediately telling the consumer exactly what they're getting inside. It also mentions that the card supports NVIDIA SLI technology and is built for Microsoft Windows Vista, signifying that the card supports the Aeroglass GUI. The back of the box mentions support for HDTVs, but the card doesn't feature the crypto-ROM required for HDCP compliancy.
The bundle includes a pair of DVI-to-VGA adapters, a component/S-Video out combo cable, an S-Video extension cable and a 6-pin PCI-Express power adapter. The software CD comes with display drivers, DirectX 9, an application called ResChanger 2005, a soft copy of the manual and several pieces of trial software, including Ulead DVD MovieFactory and BeyondMedia - an IPTV application. To round off the included extras, there is a hard copy of the manual and a couple of EVGA stickers.
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The card comes with EVGA's own cooling solution, unlike previous GeForce 7900 GT's we've looked at. This is a full copper construction, and comes with a variable-speed 50mm fan. Unlike the reference cooler, EVGA's heatsink design cools the memory chips as well as the GPU core. While the fan is quiet during 2D mode, it spins up to 100% when gaming - it was about as loud as the reference GeForce 7900 GT cooler.
The benefit being that it is reasonably quiet in 2D mode - when you're gaming, you are likely to have headphones on or your speakers turned up, so the noise shouldn't make much difference there. However, if you have sensitive ears, you may want to install a heatsink fan combination that is a little quieter.
Many consumers have reported problems with overclocked GeForce 7900 GT's dying after two or three days of use. Along with our normal gameplay evaluations, we simulated gameplay over prolonged periods of time with a 36-hour stress test. For this, we used a continuous loop of a Far Cry timedemo at 1920x1200 4xAA 8xAF - the card came out fine and was impressively cool-to-the-touch after the stress test. This shows that the cooling solution is doing a pretty good job of keeping the card cool, despite being a little loud at times.