Last week we had presented the world with our preview of the NVIDIA GeForce 7900GT 256MB in the form of the EVGA e-GeForce 7900GT CO SUPERCLOCKED 256MB. We are back again today with our complete Linux gaming benchmark results as well as seeking the maximum frequency when overclocking. Although the new Linux display drivers which support the GeForce 7300/7600/7900 series have not been publicly release, we have managed to obtain a pre-release Beta package of these upcoming drivers, which still appear to be a few weeks away. While we will not go into detail as to these changes coming up in the next driver released, they do include full support for the GeForce 7600/7900 series. The version we have our hands on today is 1.0-8751. We will cover the driver information upon its launch-date. Keep in mind, this is almost five months since the previous NVIDIA Linux display drivers were released. Do the issues we had originally faced when dealing with the 7800GTX last year now plague the 7900 series? We shall find out as we compare the 7900GT against two popular NVIDIA competitors -- the 7800GTX 256MB and 6800GT 256MB. In addition, all of the benchmarks were also run when at its overclocked speeds of 560MHz on the G71 core and 1660MHz memory (3D Clock Frequencies). The overclocking was done through enabling Linux CoolBits; the open-source NVClock at this time does not fully support the new GeForce 7900 series. These overclocked speeds were done with EVGA's stock single-slot heatsink as well no modifications (hardware or software) to the device. Reaching these speeds were appropriate considering the EVGA is "SUPERCLOCKED" and runs above NVIDIA's reference specifications. NVIDIA's reference specifications call for 450MHz core and 1320MHz memory. We had also run the EVGA card at these reduced speeds to get a better understanding for the potential of non-overclocked solutions. We will also be delivering additional GeForce 7900 series (including the 7600 series) benchmarks and reviews in the very near future. As Linux SLI has yet to reach its prime, we are holding off on delivering NVIDIA 7900 Scalable Link Interface results for a later date. Below is the system configuration used during the testing process.
|Processor:||AMD Athlon 64 3000+ @ 2.25GHz|
|Motherboard:||Tyan Tomcat K8E-SLI (nForce PRO 2200)|
|Memory:||2 x 1GB OCZ PC-4000|
|Graphics Card:||EVGA 7900GT CO SC 256MB
Leadtek PX7800GTX 256MB
EVGA 6800GT 256MB
|Hard Drives:||Western Digital 160GB SATA|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 4|
|Linux Kernel:||2.6.15-1.833_FC4 (i686)|
|GCC - GNU Compiler:||4.0.0|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8751 (Beta)|
The system was overclocked using a 250MHz FSB in order to run the CPU at 2.25GHz and DDR PC-4000. While Linux remains a minority operating system for desktop users and especially gamers, we will continue to see many of the popular Microsoft Windows games not being ported to Linux. However, with that said the benchmarks used today were the traditional Enemy Territory, Doom 3, Quake 4, and Unreal Tournament 2004 (although two of the games are rather CPU-bound). Soon we plan on delivering additional gaming and workstation benchmarks, along with possibly CEDEGA gaming emulation on these new cards. The Unreal Tournament 2004 demo was used in conjunction with UMark Linux BETA 3. As always, our standard Phoronix benchmarking procedures and variables were maintained. If you had missed our NVIDIA GeForce 7900GT 256MB (EVGA 7900GT CO SUPERCLOCKED 256MB) article, it is available here. On the following pages are our tests from this array of testing. Keep in mind, these results are preliminary as they are using the NVIDIA internal Beta drivers we have been provided with today.