For overclocking the 7900GS, I used ATI Tool. Yeah, I know, why am I using an ATI program to overclock an nVidia card? I used ATI Tool back when I had a Radeon card and liked it. Now, it supports nVidia cards. I like the little spinning fuzzy cube that it uses to heat up the GPU and check for artifacts. I also like the fact that it monitors the GPU temp, so no need to open the nVidia screen to check temps.
Idle temps at stock clock were in the low 50s, so I was pretty apprehensive overclocking with the stock cooler. The cube on ATI Tool heated the GPU into the low 60s. I tried some overclocking anyway, and even with a very mild overclock, I couldn't get through 3DMark06 without the program locking up. So, I install a Zalman FS-V7 that I had on an unused card. Idle temps immediately hit the low 40s.
The 7900GS stock clock is 450/660. I crank it up to 525/710 and ran 3DMark06. Then, I fired it up to 556/730 and ran 3DMark06 again. The results:
The Leadtek 7900GS responds very well to overclocking; probably the best response I have ever had while overclocking a video card.
Next, I ran the benchmark utility from Company of Heroes:
Once again, a favorable response. Though the 7900GS is far from maxxed out, I see no need to go any farther. I'm going to conclude this review.
Yes, the Leadtek WinFast 7900GS TDH is a far cry from the newer 8800 series and 7950 cards. But for the budget minded gamer, it is a viable upgrade from the 6600s, 6800EXtreme, 7300s, and 7600 series cards. At stock settings, it blows away the 6600GT and 7600GT. With some aftermarket cooling, it is very overclockable. A pair of 7900GSs in SLI would be very impressive indeed. Aside from the stock cooler, which is the quietest stock cooler I have ever owned, I found no complaints with this card. The stock cooler would suffice if the card was never to be overclocked. Priced at $164.99 at Geeks.com, this card is a real sleeper.
OCIA.net has awarded the Leadtek WinFast 7900GS TDH our seal of approval.