Which GeForce 7600GS AGP is the best?
Updated: Mar 22, 2020
I got my hands on 5 different versions of GeForce 7600GS. As this Nvidia GPU is quite popular choice for WinXP retro builds, why not to make a short comparison between them? Does the brand matter? How do they perform against each other? Which one is the best choice?
Let's take a look.
Testing Methodology Disclaimer:
RetroPC: AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 1.8Ghz (Barton), 2.5GB RAM Dual Channel DDR400, WindowsXP 32bit SP3.
Drivers version: nvidia ForceWare 307.83
Each graphics card was prepared according to my routine procedures:
- the new thermal paste (Arctic MX-4) was applied
- warmed up for few hours by playing games until the idle temperature has stabilized
- four synthetic benchmarks in suite bench: 3dmark2001SE, 3dmark2005, 3dmark2006, Furmark 1.6.5
ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE show pretty similar results across the board which is expected. They share the similar design of the PCB - passive cooling, same memory modules. GAINWARD and GALAXY show slightly higher figures due to having much faster DDR3 memory chips installed and higher clocked gpu cores.
Temperatures were measured in HWiNFO32 in Celsius Degrees. Ambient temperature was about 24C. The minimum temperature was recorded at the beginning of 3dmark2001SE and the maximum in Furmark as was the final test.
Obviously "the hottest" graphics cards in the comparison are the ones with passive cooling. And it's quite shocking to see temps as high as 89C under stress for this generation of GPUs. Especially ASUS & MSI. Although it didn't seem to impact directly the benchmark scores, it would be very wise to provide a little better airflow in the case for that reason alone.
In Conclusion: The best 7600GS card in the comparison is definitely GALAXY in my opinion. It delivered the best performance, the lowest gpu temperatures and very quiet operation under load - thx to extremely efficient ZALMAN cooling fan. Real gem of retropc gaming solutions :)
Second choice would be GIGABYTE - overall best temps and performance among passively cooled GeForce 7600GS.
So here it is. All brands deliver pretty solid performance for WindowsXP gaming rig but be aware of the high temps of some passive versions of this gpu.
I will try to update this post in the future with some real life gaming results.