At its heart, the understated Asus EN7900GS packs the same 256MB of DDR3 memory and G71 GPU (graphics processing unit) as seen on its more expensive sibling, the 7900GT. However, the 7900GS includes four fewer pixel pipelines and one fewer Vertex processor.

Unlike the upgraded TOP version, this 7900GS doesn't come with any special upgrades. All you get are the base specifications: 450MHz core clock and 660MHz (1,320MHz) memory clock speed. The memory bandwidth remains a very decent 42.2GBps (gigabytes per second), which is more than enough to juggle with.

In the box you'll find all of the goodies you'd want, including a power splitter, seven-pin S-Video for HD (high-definition) signals and a single DVI-VGA (digital visual interface-video graphics array) adapter. Another welcome addition is the first-person shooter Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – a fine game to christen your GS.

Without any overclocking, this card's performance is nothing special. It posts solid frame rates, but it's unable to keep up with the Gainward 7900GS. If you can find the enhanced TOP version, you'll find the gains exceed 15 percent at some resolutions. As it is, the 7900GS is solid but unspectacular – it was no match for the Sapphire X1950 Pro, for example.

Impressively, the Asus managed to keep up with its older sibling, the 7900GT, on occasion, but it fell behind once the resolution rose beyond 1,600x1,200. The trick with this card is to keep it at lower resolutions. It's fine at a resolution of 1,024x768 or 1,280x1,024, but at 1,600x1,200 and beyond, it begins to struggle – particularly if you want a bit of detail.

Asus EN7900GS 256MB: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce 7900 GS graphics processor
  • 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • core clock 450MHz
  • memory clock 660MHz (1,320MHz DDR effective)
  • manufacturing process 90nm
  • 20 pixel-shader processors
  • 256bit memory interface
  • PCI Express interface
  • DirectX 9.0
  • twin DVI
  • video-in/-out
  • nVidia GeForce 7900 GS graphics processor
  • 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • core clock 450MHz
  • memory clock 660MHz (1,320MHz DDR effective)
  • manufacturing process 90nm
  • 20 pixel-shader processors
  • 256bit memory interface
  • PCI Express interface
  • DirectX 9.0
  • twin DVI
  • video-in/-out

OUR VERDICT

While the basic 7900 GS has some good features, it's not quite strong enough to compete with the likes of the Sapphire X1950 Pro. Having said that, the 7900 GS is quick, good value, and has plenty of overclocking potential.

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