Asus EN7600GT graphics card
One of the first Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT-based cards out the door
It's a sign of the times that a typical 6600 GT had one VGA port and one DVI but the reference design for the 7600 GT has a pair of DVI ports, as well as TV-out. The enhancements that Nvidia made to the GeForce 7800/7900 core also benefit the 7600 GT so it's worth taking a look at our coverage of the MSI GeForce 7900 GT here.
We were impressed to see that the £140 Asus card has some 80 per cent of the performance of the £249 7900 GT so it's very good value for money. Indeed, if you gang up a pair of 7600 GT cards in SLI mode, you'll find that performance is better than a 7900 GT and gets close to that of a 256MB 7900 GTX.
These days you can find a 6600 GT for £90 so the price:performance ratio is maintained as the 7600 GT has at least 70 per cent more performance than the 6600 GT and when the 3D going gets tough the differential increases to over 100 per cent.
You can play any game that you like with the 7600 GT, including F.E.A.R. and Half Life 2, and provided you don't want to run monstrous screen resolutions you can turn most of the eye candy on. So if you currently have a 6600 GT in your PC then we heartily recommend that you replace it with a 7600 GT immediately.
Nvidia intends that the 7600 GT should take on and comprehensively demolish the Radeon X1600, and for once it looks as though ATI is keen to play merely a defensive game itself in the mid-range market. It has tacitly acknowledged that the X1600 doesn't have a prayer. We don't expect to see the 80nm RV535 until August so in the meantime it has released the X1800 GTO. This is a cut-down version of the X1800 XL that has had the number of pixel pipelines reduced from 16 to 12 and a price of £170.