The chip in this card may sound familiar to those who read June's 7600 GT review (click here). In terms of their basic architecture, the 7600 GS and 7600 GT are identical, but there are a few more subtle differences.

Both the GS and the GT are manufactured using a 0.09-micron process, which means the chips generate less heat, and thus allows them to run at higher speeds. This model is fitted with a heatsink, however, which improves on the basic design and generates less noise than a fan.

The GS has 12 pixel pipelines and a 128bit memory interface. The latter isn't particularly welcome but, given the low price, you couldn’t expect anything else.

With so many similarities, why is the 7600 GS only two-thirds of the price of the GT? Two words: clock speed. The standard GT offers core and memory clock speeds of 560MHz and 700MHz respectively, but this card has to make do with 400MHz in both cases. The memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps (gigabytes per second) doesn't promise much for the performance of the GS.

But while this card is no speed demon, it does maintain playable frame rates. The GS tended to fall behind the GT by around 8–14fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 1,024x768, and highly detailed games made the gap widen. But with anti-aliasing enabled, both cards struggled.

If you're spending only £97 on a graphics card, you can't expect it to excel at high resolutions. However, the MSI remains playable at a resolution of 1,024x768 and fares pretty well even at 1,280x1,024.

MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce 7600 GS graphics processor
  • 256MB DDR2 RAM
  • core clock 400MHz
  • memory clock 400MHz (800MHz DDR effective)
  • manufacturing process 0.09-micron
  • 12 pixel pipelines
  • 128bit memory interface
  • PCI Express interface
  • DirectX 9.0 support
  • DVI
  • video-out
  • nVidia GeForce 7600 GS graphics processor
  • 256MB DDR2 RAM
  • core clock 400MHz
  • memory clock 400MHz (800MHz DDR effective)
  • manufacturing process 0.09-micron
  • 12 pixel pipelines
  • 128bit memory interface
  • PCI Express interface
  • DirectX 9.0 support
  • DVI
  • video-out

OUR VERDICT

We think it's worth pushing the boat out for a 7600 GT. However, if you're happy with a resolution of 1,024x768, this card is an extremely good buy. It offers the best performance of any sub-£100 graphics card and, for that reason alone, this is quite a product.

Find the best price