Let's face it, when
it comes to manufacturer provided overclocking utilities, most are fairly
unimpressive. When Biostar came along singing praises about its new
Sigma-Gate/V-Ranger overclocking utility, we didn't think too much of it
either... until we saw what it could really do.
For the record, what Biostar includes with its
Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS videocard is the most versatile and powerful
overclocking tool we've yet seen for a videocard. Mainly because it is the only
one PCSTATS has ever come across which enables voltgage controls of the
videocard memory and GPU. The Sigma-Gate and V-Ranger utilities are not much to
look at, but offer better tools to overclock a videocard with than either nVIDIA
nTune or RivaTuner!
The Sigma-Gate and V-Ranger utilities support traditional videocard overclocking by manipulating the core
and memory clock speeds, and also offer up voltage adjustments for each! If
you're a novice overclocker be warned though, the voltage ranges here are
high enough to damage the videocard. The
long term affects of such GPU and memory over-volting are also unknown
quantities. I would assume there is some shortening of component lifespan, but
if you upgrade every year or two it may not even matter.
At first glance the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS looks
like a plain mainstream videocard. The card doesn't come with any notable
extras, and retails for a nice affordable $149 CDN ($131 US, £66GBP). In this
case it's the overclocking utility which really sells the videocard,
particularly if you're an speed freak at heart. I have to say that I had a heck
of a lot of fun overclocking the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS too.
At stock speeds the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS
performed as expected, just a bit behind the GeForce 7600GT series. Budget
minded consumers will be pleased with the performance of the Sigma-Gate GeForce
7600GS, it plays most games at decent framerates, at 1024x768 quite easily.
The strength of this videocard is really illustrated by
its overclocking ability, and at maximum speeds it often performed 50% faster
than stock! This GeForce 7600GS card was often able to beat an ATi Radeon X1950
Pro videocard. Rarely does the software make the videocard, but Biostar has
definitely changed the way enthusiasts can overclock. The Sigma-Gate and
V-Ranger software utilities work with other videocards, however the voltage
options are only available when used with the Biostar 7600GS.
Biostar has put together a very fun mainstream videocard
here, and while its Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS might not be the fastest horse in
the race it offers excellent value. I certainly hope Biostar continue to include
the Sigma-Gate software with all future videocards; it's about time
manufacturers took the next step in pursuit of higher performance. Well
Find out about this and many other reviews by joining
the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS
latest reviews right here.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- Asus EAX1950Pro HTDP/256M/A Radeon X1950Pro Videocard
- Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH Silent Geforce 7600GT Videocard
- nVidia's Geforce 7950GX2 and the MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE
- MSI NX7900GT-VT256E-HD HDCP-enabled Geforce 7900GT
- Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard