What is a 7900 GTO?
A few days ago MSI officially annouced the NX7900GTO-T2D512E, a card that uses the unknown nVidia GeForce 7900 GTO chip. We have not received any news by nVidia or any of their other partners that they were planning to release a similar card, so naturally we were quite curious what this card could do. We have received a sample of the card have put it through all the normal video tests, and we can conclude that with this 7900 GTO MSI offers a lot of 3D power for a very small price.
Wat exactly is a 7900 GTO?
You might be wondering now what a 7900 GTO is exactly. As the name of the card indicates it is a direct descendant of the GeForce 7900 GTX, but nVidia only developed this card for OEM manufacturers. MSI received the unique rights from nVidia to start producing this card on a commercial basis, which is why all of a sudden this cards are popping up in the retail channels. We do expect however that the card will only be availbale for a very limited time and in limited quantities, as nVidia is trying to ship out as many 7900 chips as they can before the upcoming G80 release.
There are very little differences between the 7900 GTX cards and this 7900 GTO card, the chip used on both cards is identical, they both use the same cooler and they both have 512MB of GDDR3 on board. The 7900 GTO has not been downgraded, so the full 25 pixel pipelines and 8 vertex shaders are intact. The only difference we can spot is the memory speeds, the GTX card runs at 800MHz, where the GTO cards have to make do with only 660 MHz. The clock speeds of the cards are identical as well, both run at 650MHz. This means the card will perform somewhere between the 7950GT, as the memory speed is similar to that card, and the 7900 GTX, as the GPU speed is the same as that card.
The best thing about the card however must be the price, the cards will retail between € 235 and € 249 according to our price overview on the product pages. When looking for a faster card (and as we have seen only sligtly faster) you are looking at a price of at least € 400. As the 7950 GT card at the moment are retailing for about € 280, the GTO has got a very big advantage on its siblings.
The specification overview below shows a comparison between the 7900 GTO, the 7900GTX and the 7950 GT.