Tuesday, January 23, 2007

NVidia 7600 AGP

My new FXF NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB DDR3 (PV-T73A-UDF3) card came last night to replace the burned-out MSI Ti4800 (Ti4600-TD8X) card. Because my motherboard is still AGP, I had to get an AGP card instead of the newer PCI-E and there are fewer and fewer AGP options out there especially if you're looking for dual-DVI connections. There seems to be more ATI cards that sports dual-dvi, but they tend to cost a lot more and I've always liked Nvidia cards.

This is definitely a no frills package that came in a small box with the card, manual, CD, s-video cable, power splitter cable and a DVI-VGA converter. The installation was easy, but don't expect to get help from the manual which just said insert the card into the AGP slot. It didn't even take up half a page. Later on, I found that on the CD there were some PDF documents that offered a little more details but only because it included some diagrams.

After putting in the card, I turned on the machine and saw... nothing. The GPU fan was running but I realize that the power cable from the PSU (the card recommends 350W) wasn't connected properly to the back of the card so it wasn't getting enough juice to turn on. Once I reconnected the cable, everything worked fine. I downloaded the latest drivers from Nvidia and a reboot later I configured everything as I wanted and the monitors looked very nice with both going to DVI.

Overall, the card is nice. The AGP version was more expensive then the PCI-E version but it was still cheaper then upgrading the whole machine. The card is actually smaller then my previous card and I didn't notice it being any louder. The latest version of CPU magazine did an article on AGP card and this one got the best review and performance, but is about $30 more then the average price but given that this will hopefully be my last video card for this machine and I want it to last I figure the investment was good.

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