Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: With the GeForce 8 Series taking over flagship duties in the NVIDIA camp, and with GeForce 7900 GT and GTX stock depleting, the GeForce 7950 GT makes for a good substitute at this price point. Gigabyte's GeForce 7950 GT boasts excellent DX9 class performance in virtually any game engine on the market today. Gigabyte's offering definitely met our expectations and proved to have good headroom for overclocking as well.
We like that Gigabyte chose to utilize a Zalman cooler for their GeForce 7950GT card, instead of the reference cooler, to reduce noise. The downsides to this are that the Gigabyte 7950 GT is taller than most (or all) other 7950 GTs, and the Zalman cooler may increase its cost a bit. The fact that the Gigabyte 7950 GT costs more than many competitive 7950 GTs may be proof of the latter.
Other than the inclusion of Civilization IV, Gigabyte's 7950 GT bundle is one of the lightest we've seen in this class of a card. Very few accessories are included, but at least a decent full-version game helps make up for that. Although, to be honest, many users rarely use many of the accessories that come with most cards anyway.
At just under $300, which is $20-50 more expensive than the competition, Gigabyte needs to possibly rethink its pricing strategy on the GeForce 7950 GT. We like the card for its overclocking potential especially, but if we didn't care about the Zalman cooler or the inclusion of Civilization IV, we would definitely consider other GeForce 7950 GTs before rushing out to buy this one.
. Great performance
. SLI support
. 512MB DDR3
. Dual DVI
. Zalman cooler quieter than many other coolers
. Civilization IV included
. Pricier than competition
. Warranty not as good as some of the competition
. Zalman cooler turns a 1-slot card into a 2-slot card
. Limited availability at present