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Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS V7603GS-21 Videocard Review

Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS V7603GS-21 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Biostar's two videocard overclocking programs allow you to not only tune the core and memory clock speed from within Windows XP, but also adjust the GPU core and memory voltages!
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: BIOSTAR Dec 07 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > BIOSTAR Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS

Voltage based Geforce 7600 and VGA RAM Overclocking

Overclocking Results:
Stock Overclocked
GPU (Core) Speed: 400 MHz 680 MHz
Memory Speed: 1400 MHz 1752 MHz
If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard
Overclocking the Biostar Simga-Gate GeForce 7600GS is a more interesting affair than with any previous videocard PCSTATS has tested, precisely because we have direct control over GPU and memory voltages. Owing to the extra dimension in Biostar's overclocking palate, we'll first overclock the videocard using its stock memory and GPU voltages. Then, PCSTATS will overclock this Biostar 7600GS with the memory and GPU voltage bumped up! ;-) This is going to be fun!

Starting with the core first which has a stock speed of 400 MHz, the clock speed was increased in 10 MHz intervals. The GeForce 7600GS core had plenty of speed in it, and without much difficulty broke the 500 MHz threshold. Continuing, we were able to overclock the 7600GS past 550 MHz to a top speed of 560 MHz. That's a 160MHz overclock above the default 400 MHz core speed. Not bad at all.

The 256MB of Samsung GDDR3 memory used on the Biostar Geforce 7600GS videocard is clocked at 1400 MHz. We chose to overclock the memory much more aggressively with 20 MHz increments. The memory handled this remarkably well, easily passing 1500 MHz and 1600 MHz before settling on a top speed of 1620 MHz. In both cases, the GPU and memory voltages remained at their stock values, 1.149V and 1.823V respectively.

Using Biostar V-Ranger to Overclock Videocard GPU/Memory Voltages

Now this is where the fun begins, and let me just tell you - it was a blast - to overclock this Biostar GeForce 7600GS videocard!

With the Geforce 7600 core already overclocked to 560 MHz, we used Biostar's V-Ranger software to increasing the core voltage to 1.21V (stock is 1.149V), and began overclocking the GPU in 5 MHz steps. That slight voltage bump allowed the videocard to do 585 MHz, but to go even higher the GPU required more juice... With 1.25V supplied, the Geforce 7600GS overclocked past 600 MHz. Pretty awesome eh? We're not even done yet.

A few more frequency jumps quick brought us to 630 MHz, and then the GPU voltage needed another small bump up. With 1.34V feeding the GeForce 7600GS GPU, PCSTATS was able to overclock it to a maximum speed of 680 MHz. Above this speed the V-Ranger test tool complained of instability. Further voltage increases didn't help either... and more than likely heat may have been the culprit as V-Ranger reported the GPU running at close to 70 degrees Celsius! If you plan to heavily overclock the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS, and leave it that way, do yourself a favor and slap on a good Zalman VF900-Cu VGA heatsink.

Over-volting the Videocard Memory with V-Ranger

The Samsung GDDR3 memory was not about to let the Geforce 7600GS core show it up, it turned play nicely with higher voltages too. Starting at the already overclocked speed of 1620 MHz, the memory voltage was increased to 1.85V from 1.823V. This change allowed the memory to hit 1650 MHz. Nice!

We ran into a bit of a problem shortly thereafter because V-Ranger's memory frequency maxes out at 1680 MHz, and the videocard GDDR3 had no problem whatsoever running at that speed with 1.9V. To overclock past 1680MHz we had to adjust voltage options in V-Ranger and overclock the speed in the other utility, Sigma-Gate.

I'll spare you the play by play action, but suffice to say the maximum speed PCSTATS was able to push the Samsung GDDR3 was 1752 MHz (at 2.0V)! It was still possible to increase the memory voltage further than this, but because the RAM was running extremely hot we didn't want to risk damaging the videocard permanently. On that note, we should make it clear that overvolting both the GPU and memory is probably going to shorten the lifespan of both components, but by how much just isn't known.

The voltage options that the Biostar V-Ranger overclocking utility provides can go high enough to damage your hardware. The disclaimer wouldn't be there if this tool didn't pack a serious punch, so use it carefully. Be nice to your videocard, and use caution when overclocking with increased voltages. Make certain the videocard has sufficient cooling, and that voltages are only increased as much as is absolutely necessary. And remember above all else, overclocking more than likely voids a stack of warranties. :-)

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Biostar Simga-Gate GeForce 7600GS test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this nVIDIA GeForce 7600GS based videocard is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next page.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 FX-62

Clock Speed:

14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz

Motherboards:

Asus M2-CROSSHAIR (NF 590 SLI)

Videocard: Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS

Asus EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M/A
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E
Gigabyte GV-NX76GT256D-RH

Memory:

Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C3

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 FX-62 Reference Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 6.70
nVIDIA Forceware 91.27
ATI Catalyst 6.11

Benchmarks:

3DMark05
3DMark06
FarCry
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Doom 3
Quake 4
FEAR

AA+AF Benchmarks
FarCry
FEAR
Doom 3

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: BIOSTAR Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS
 Pg 1.  Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS V7603GS-21 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content
 Pg 3.  Biostar Simga-Gate and V-Ranger Overclocking Software
 Pg 4.  — Voltage based Geforce 7600 and VGA RAM Overclocking
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 10.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, FEAR
 Pg 12.  Dawn of a New Overclocking Era

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