NVIDIA's GeForce 7950 GX2 & Forceware Rel. 90

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Enter the GeForce 7950 GX2

Although the GeForce 7950 GX2 is being officially announced by NVIDIA today, we tested a sample from XFX in full retail trim.  Unlike many of XFX's other products, the XFX GeForce 7950 GX2 570M XXX ships in a standard rectangular box and not one of the company's signature "X" shaped boxes.  Many of the 7950 GX2's main features are listed right on package, including support for HDCP.

  

    

XFX includes a good assortment of software and accessories with their GeForce 7950 GX2 570M XXX. Along with the GX2 itself, we found a handful of manuals that detail the installation and features of the product, a pair of DVI-to-DB15 adapters, a dual-Molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapter, an S-Video cable, and an HD component output adapter.  In addition to these items, XFX includes a couple of CDs as well.  One disc contains the drivers necessary to install the GX2, and the other is a full version of Tomb Raider: Legend.  It was very nice to see an up-to-date A-List title included with high-end product like this.  Tomb Raider: Legend recently received a 90% rating in PC Gamer.

XFX's GeForce 7950 GX2 570M XXX
Can you really call it a single card?

      

    

If you've seen the 7800 GX2 and 7900 GX2 boards used in the first Quad-SLI systems, you'll immediately notice that the GeForce 7950 GX2 is significantly smaller.  In fact, the 7950 is about the same size as a 7900 GTX at approximately 9" long.  The 7950 GX2 also has only one SLI connector at the top, as opposed to the two found on earlier 7800 / 7900 GX2s.  The GeForce 7950 GX2 is equipped with two GeForce 7950 GPUs, each coupled to 512MB of fast GDDR3 memory, for a grand total of 1GB of frame buffer memory. The 7950 GPU is based on the same G71 design used on the 7900 GTX; it's just clocked a bit lower.  NVIDIA's reference 7950 GX2 specifications call for a 500MHz GPU clock with 600MHz (1.2GHz DDR) memory.  The XFX model pictured here, however, is clocked much higher at 570MHz / 775MHz (1.55GHz DDR).

Each GeForce 7950 GX2 is built from a pair of PCBs linked together through a proprietary interface.  If you look at the fourth picture above, you can actually see the connector that resides between the two PCBs.  The two GPUs and on-board memory all get their own slim coolers.  The GeForce 7950 GX2 requires only a single 6-pin PCI Express power feed, and cards features a pair of dual-link DVI outputs along with an S-Video / HD component output.  To use the GX2 in multi-monitor mode, however, multi-GPU mode must be disabled in the drivers, just like SLI.


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