XFX GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition
Like EVGA, XFX is another NVIDIA board partner thatís growing rapidly by appealing to the hearts and minds of enthusiasts. With each new GPU release XFX offers multiple boards: for those on a budget, XFX provides their bone stock GeForce cards, while hardware enthusiasts are rapidly picking up their XXX and Xtreme Edition graphics cards.
XFXís XXX Edition boards are designed to appeal to the user who wants the fastest card on the market, these boards are factory overclocked to blistering levels that are higher than most other boards, while their Xtreme Edition cards merge higher than stock clock speeds with more conservative pricing, and often offer unique features that arenít found on more vanilla boards from other manufacturers. XFX has also made a name for themselves with their double-lifetime warranty program, which not only grants a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser of the card, but also to the cardís second owner as well.
XFX GeForce 7600GS Xtreme
Back of the card
For their GeForce 7600GS Extreme Edition, XFX goes all out, decking the card out with several features that arenít found on your typical GeForce 7600 GS card. Most card manufacturers arenít going the extra mile with their GeForce 7600 GS cards because the two GPUs (the 7600 GS and 7600 GT) are priced so closely together Ė typically around $50 or less Ė so if you add too many extras to your GeForce 7600 GS card you run the risk of having to price it awfully close to your GeForce 7600 GT board. XFX really has to walk a fine line here, and it looks like they may have pulled it off well.
Their GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition ships with dual DVI connectors, most GeForce 7600 GS cards are shipping with one DVI and one VGA connection. With dual DVI connectors built-in, the XFX GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition supports a wider variety of monitor configurations than the traditional DVI/VGA setup: you can run two DVI monitors off the card, a VGA and DVI monitor, or two VGAs. With the DVI/VGA combo, youíre always going to be limited to 1 DVI monitor max. For added flair XFX employs green DVIs on their GeForce 7600GS Extreme Edition, and the board sports a sweet-looking charcoal black PCB and backplate, making it one of the best-looking GeForce 7600 GS cards on the market as well.
But dual DVIs and added eye candy arenít the only features that the XFX GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition supports, as the card is also overclocked to levels that are higher than anyone else. XFX runs the GPU at a whopping 500MHz, thatís 100MHz over stock GeForce 7600 GS levels, while the memory runs at 450MHz (900MHz effective), 50MHz higher than stock. Thanks to its higher core clock, the GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition delivers performance thatís much closer to the more powerful GeForce 7600 GT, especially in shader-heavy applications at lower resolutions, where the disparity in memory bandwidth doesnít play as large a role.
Since it also relies on NVIDIAís stock cooling, XFXís GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Edition will get a little warmer than other GeForce 7600 GS cards due to its higher clock speeds, but again, we didnít run into any issues as a result of the higher frequencies. In fact we were able to push it even further when overclocking. Weíre not going to spoil anything early though, youíll see the temperature and overclocking results a little later in this article.
Software and accessories
Like EVGA, XFX doesnít go overboard with the GeForce 7600GS Xtreme Editionís bundle. You wonít find any games in the cardís packaging, just the driver CD, nor does XFX include much in the form of hardware accessories. Inside youíll find just one DVI adapter (despite the cardís dual DVI connections) and one S-Video cable. With so much additional hardware onboard, our guess is that XFX must have decided to skimp on the list of bundled accessories to keep the cardís price competitive to other GeForce 7600 GS boards without getting too close to the 7600 GT.