So Far Mixed Results Under Windows XP; Great with Vista
Apr 17, 2007
Pros: Windows Vista drivers included on the CD; 512MB DDR2 RAM; AGP connector.
Cons: Windows XP drivers could use some re-working.
The Bottom Line: The WOW factors of Vista is enhanced by a quality display and video card and in the BFG Technologies GeForce 7600GS I think I made the right choice.
Most computer geeks know, or should know by now that Windows Vista, no matter what flavor you choose will most likely mean an upgrade in hardware or some form or fashion. In my case it was the graphics card; everything else was in place, but my primary desktop computer had an older model analog ATI with 128MB of Video RAM (VRAM) and Windows Vista, demanded a change.
I had been meaning to purchase a video card with a DVI (digital) output for quite some time to marry with my ViewSonic VP930B 19 Flat Panel LCD display, but I was taking my time. The urge to install Vista Ultimate on my workstation provided the extra push I needed, so I went shopping. The card I wanted had to have dual analog and digital outputs, and AGP interface, at least 256MB of dedicated VRAM, support Windows Vista, and cost under $150.00. After doing a lot of comparison shopping and reading quite a few reviews (on and off Epinions) I decided on the BFG Technologies GeForce 7600GS (512MB) AGP Graphics Card based on NVidias PureVideo technology.
The GeForce 7600GS features the GeForce 7600 Graphic Processor Unit (GPU) by NVidia, at a core clock speed of 420MHz. The card also features 512GB of DDR2 VRAM, fits in to a 4x/8x AGP slot, and boosts Dual-link DVI-I, VGA and HDTV connectors.
In The Box
o BFG GeForce 7600GS 512MB graphics card o Quick Install Guide o DVI-I to VGA dongle o HDTV dongle o Driver CD with includes a full installation manual in .PDF format.
Installing the GeForce 7600GS was straight forward: turn the computer off, remove the old graphics card, insert the new card in the AGP slot, attach the DVI cable, and then turn the computer back on. There was no BIOS manipulation needed.
I installed the GeForce 7600GS while Windows XP Pro was still on the computer, so I install the drivers for the OS. The installation CD also included Windows Vista drivers. Once I installed Vista Ultimate, it was a simple matter of re-inserting the installation CD and installing the new drivers.
I am not a gamer so I cannot speak to the card performance under those conditions. I would consider myself a typical computer user insofar as I use internet extensively, type in word, create desktop publications, watch videos, etc. Aside from the videos there is nothing to demanding.
I was (mildly) worried about cooling, but those worries proved unfounded; the GeForce 7600GS ships with its own heat-sink/cooling fan, so over heating has not been an issue.
Since I do not have an HDTV and the computer I installed the GeForce 7600GS is not used as a Media Center PC, despite Vista Ultimate, I have not had occasion to test the output from the HDTV connector.
Under the Windows XP interface the card performed as I would have hoped with one caveat: at 1280x1024 resolution the drive became very unstable; e.g. more than view times the screen literally went white; the resolution changed on its own; and other strange things happened. Once I switched to a lower resolution the problems went away, but then my LCD display kept reminding me that the best resolution was 1280x1024!
BTW, I tried to call the 24-hour BFG Technologies tech support line about the problem with the Windows XP drivers, but I never got through despite the fact that I called at 5:00am; I was on hold for 30 minutes before I had to move on.
Interestingly enough this has not proved to be a problem under Windows Vista. The Vista drivers are stable and card is now set at the recommended resolution. And the display is stunning; there is definite difference between analog and digital outputs. The display is brighter, crisper, and more vivid.
Text is sharp and well defined; even the small type of (clear type) icons is easy to read. Video playback is high quality though the larger the playback screen gets the more striated the playback tends to be, but a lot depends on the video playback resolution. On older video clips quite a bit of banding is evident. Full screen DVD playback is a little disappointing; the screen is not as bright of course but the picture is bearable; flat screen manufactures have little to worry about.
Playback through Windows Vista Media Center is nothing special, but the use of the HDTV output will undoubtedly improve things. The WOW factors of Vista is enhanced by a quality display and video card; in the BFG Technologies GeForce 7600GS (512MB) AGP Graphics Card I think I made the right choice, but Windows XP users should take heed.
Amount Paid (US$): 139.99
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin (vemartin)
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Experience extreme HD gaming and video on your PC with a BFG GeForce® 7600 GS OC graphics card. Featuring the award-winning GeForce 7 Series architecture, this graphics card delivers smooth, realistic gaming at ultra-high resolutions. Additionally, the GeForce 7600 GPU by NVIDIA® brings high-definition, home-theater quality video to the PC through the acclaimed NVIDIA PureVideo™ technology. Factory overclocked core and memory clocks gives an extra boost in performance at no extra cost.