EVGA e-GeForce 7600GS w/Passive Heatsink
EVGA e-GeForce 7600 GS
Back of the card
Founded in 1999, EVGA is one of NVIDIA’s newer board partners but they’ve racked up sales quickly, allowing them to rapidly elevate up the ranks to Tier One board partner status. EVGA is one of a handful of NVIDIA launch partners; with the release of each new NVIDIA GPU EVGA is one of the first manufacturers with cards available. EVGA has earned a loyal following of users thanks to their excellent customer service and warranty, not to mention the performance of their cards which are often overclocked from the factory to run at speeds higher than other manufacturers. EVGA is also the only video card manufacturer to offer an upgrade program to their customers via their Step-Up program.
With EVGA Step-Up, EVGA customers can trade in their existing EVGA graphics card for the latest and greatest model available, as long as the upgrade occurs within 90 days of the initial card purchase. EVGA customers simply pay the difference between the two cards to complete the transaction. This allows prospective EVGA owners to purchase a faster graphics card if the original doesn’t meet their needs, or upgrade if NVIDIA introduces newer technology. The only downside to Step-Up is that you can only use it once, so you should use it wisely.
For the GeForce 7600 GS, EVGA offers three different card choices, the e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink, the e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/fan, and the e-GeForce 7600GS 512MB w/fan; we’re evaluating their e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink for today’s article.
The e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink is pretty close to NVIDIA’s reference board design for the GeForce 7600 GS, although it’s not an exact replica. Unlike some of their higher-end KO and CO boards which run at some of the highest speeds out there, for the e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink EVGA sticks with NVIDIA’s stock GeForce 7600 GS clock speeds of 400MHz core/400MHz memory (800MHz effective). You’ll also see that EVGA relies on NVIDIA’s stock aluminum heatsink to passively cool the card’s G73 GPU and memory. With 12 pixel pipelines onboard running at 400MHz, you’d think an active cooler with fan would be necessary to keep the GPU cool, but thanks to TSMC’s 90-nanometer manufacturing process this isn’t a requirement.
With that being said, the GeForce 7600 GS’ G73 GPU does run a tad warmer than if a fan had been used, and the entire board itself will get pretty toasty, especially after extended gaming sessions under load (you certainly won’t want to touch the card if you care for your fingers), but based on our experience this shouldn’t be too much of a concern as it looks like the PCB and board-level components are well designed to handle the heat that the GPU generates. We even went so far as to overclock both the EVGA and XFX boards with no form of active cooling on the card and didn’t experience any graphical artifacts or other anomalies.
In a nutshell, EVGA’s e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink isn’t designed to be flashy. It’s designed to get the job done, and do so at an attractive price point. For instance, their 512MB GeForce 7600 GS board can be found for under $150 on Newegg right now, and $130 after mail-in rebate. Meanwhile, the e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink we’re looking at today can be found for $120 on Newegg, and $105 after rebate, while the EVGA GeForce 7600 GS with fan can be had for as low as $100 after rebate, making it one of the best, if not the best value at that price point right now. One thing we should note about all three of these EVGA boards though is that they aren’t offered with EVGA’s lifetime warranty policy. Instead EVGA provides a one year standard warranty, with an additional year of warranty coverage once the card is registered with EVGA, for a total of a 2-year warranty. All three boards run at NVIDIA’s stock clock speeds as well.
Software and accessories
To keep the price point as low as possible, EVGA skips the traditional game bundle with their e-GeForce 7600GS 256MB w/passive heatsink card. Instead inside the package you’ll get a DVI adapter, S-Video cable, and component video cable for hooking the card up to an HDTV. EVGA also includes their driver CD and manual with the card.