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Albatron GeForce 7300GS128 PCI Express x16 Videocard Review

Albatron GeForce 7300GS128 PCI Express x16 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The GeForce 7300GS sets the bar a little higher in the entry level market, for those of us who aren't willing to plunk down $600 on a slab of PCB.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Albatron Mar 22 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Albatron 7300GS128

Will a GF-7300GS Overclock?

As mentioned earlier in the article, the GeForce 7300GS core is built on TSMC's 0.09 micron manufacturing process, and it's also nVIDIA's very first 90nm part. Like the GeForce 6200TC that came before it, the Geforce 7300GS supports nVIDIA's 'TurboCache' technology which allows this particular videocard to appropriate system memory to store graphics data. GeForce 7300GS videocards will come in two flavors, a 128MB model and a 256MB version. The 128MB that we are concerned with (the Albatron 7300GS128 is blessed with 128MB memory) will take up to another 128MB of system memory to use as its own, for a total of 256MB of graphics memory. The 256MB version will take up to another 256MB of system memory for a total of 512MB of memory to access.

Because memory bandwidth is a key issue, the memory controller on GeForce 7300GS videocards has been upgraded to 64-bits. Some earlier GeForce 6200TC videocards used a 32-bit memory controller which severely crippled 3D performance. See for yourself if you'd like.

Moving on, the biggest change between the Nvidia GeForce 6200TC GPU and the GeForce 7300GS GPU is clock speed. The new core is clocked at 550 MHz, so that's 200 MHz faster than the older 6200TC GPU. The memory on both videocards is still clocked at 350 MHz. The vertex pipelines have remained the same at 3, and pixel pipeline at 4.

nVIDIA PureVideo

High Definition content is the future of entertainment! Playing High Definition content on current generation PCs can bog down the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. Similar to the need for DVD accelerators a few years back, nVIDIA PureVideo enables computer users to view MPEG-2/DVD and WMV HD formats without slowing the PC to a crawl.

The PureVideo standard incorporates a hardware accelerator for the afore mentioned MPEG-2/DVD, and Microsoft Windows Media HD Video standards (WMV HD). According to nVIDIA's documentation on PureVideo, the GPU (GeForce 6 and 7 series GPUs) takes on video decoding tasks from the CPU, and the end result is smoother, shutter free HD playback. nVIDIA PureVideo also supports most current and future high definition formats. The system seems to be built with a good degree of future proofing for upcoming standards - as it should be.

PureVideo is more than just a media accelerator; it also includes features to improve video picture quality. If you believe the marketing; DVD, cable, and satellite video provide poor crispness, clearness and smoothness that consumers are desperate to be "saved from." nVIDIA's PureVideo technology applies spatial temporal de-interlacing to apparently deliver a better image than traditional de-interlacing can muster. PureVideo also fixes the 3:2 pull down problem that can arise from 24 fps video being converted to 30 fps for viewing on TVs or monitors. By recovering the original 24 frame content, PureVideo apparently allows for a clear crisper image.

PureVideo can also scale videos to any resolution, while maintaining a relatively detailed picture. This means users can view lower resolution videos at a high resolution without suffering too much from blocky or blurry pictures.

To test PureVideo's HD accelerating capabilities, we decided to play one video through Windows Media Player 10, which was downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase. The Discoverers (IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats, and CPU utilization was monitored through WindowsXP Task Manager to give a general indication of system load.

When the 720P version of the Discoverers video is loaded, CPU utilization quickly spiked to 100%. After a second, CPU usage dropped considerably to between 22-34% which leaves plenty of system resources for other tasks.

The 1080P version of the Discoverers video is a lot more intensive, that is why CPU usage is higher here. There are still plenty of system resources for background tasks though. Nice results actually for such a mainstream videocard.

To Overclock or Not to Overclock?

Thus far when it comes to overclocking GeForce 7300GS videocards, we're 0-2. This time around with the Albatron GeForce 7300GS128, Coolbits would properly recognize the core and memory clock speed... yet when increasing the core speed even just 1 MHz higher the system would often lock up while running 3D benchmarks.

Temperatures were not the issue since the videocard was cool to the touch and there were no visible or detectable artifacts.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Albatron 7300GS128 test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this GeForce 7300GS based videocard is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next page.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 4000+

Clock Speed:

12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz

Motherboards:

Asus A8N-SLI Premium (NF4 SLI)

Videocard: Albatron GeForce 7300GS128

Asus EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M/A
MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E
Gigabyte GV-RX18L256V-B
ATi Radeon X850 XT PE
MSI RX800XT-VTD256E
ATi Radeon X800 XL
PowerColor X700 PRO
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E
MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D512E
MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (Single Mode)
MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (SLI Mode)
Asus EN7800GT 2DHTV/256M/OSP/A (Single Mode)
Asus EN7800GT 2DHTV/256M/OSP/A (SLI Mode)
MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E
MSI NX6600GT-TD128E (Single Mode)
MSI NX6600GT-TD128E (SLI Mode)
MSI NX7300GS-TD256E
MSI NX6200TC-TD32E 

Memory:

2x 512MB OCZ Gold GX PC3500 DDR

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 4000+ Reference Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 6.70
nVIDIA Forceware 83.50
ATI Catalyst 6.2

Benchmarks:

3DMark05
3DMark06
AquaMark3
FarCry
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Doom 3
FEAR
Quake 4
X3: Reunion

AA+AF Benchmarks
FarCry
FEAR
Doom

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Contents of Article: Albatron 7300GS128
 Pg 1.  Albatron GeForce 7300GS128 PCI Express x16 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — Will a GF-7300GS Overclock?
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SplinterCell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: X3: Reunion

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