Biostar 7600GS PCIE Videocard Review


With the launch of the Nvidia 8800 series of video cards, all other cards seem obsolete, but this is how it always happens, technology advances and those without the cash are left to make due with what they can. If you don’t have the cash to throw down on an 8800 series vid card, there are still many other options available out there, even the so-called budget cards are still very good for what they are. Today for review I have the Biostar 7600GS video card, it is a lower end card for the gamer on a budget, but still plays games and has some nice features including a very low price point, you can run two of them is SLI mode for about $200. Read on to check it out…


Biostar 7600GS PCIE 256Mb Videocard

Reviewed by: Kristofer Brozio AkA Dracos

Sponsor: DragonSteelMods


Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:

Sigma Gate

Biostar 7600GS

Model: V7602GS21

{amazon id=’B000KISD9M’ align=’RIGHT’}

Quick Specs:

GeForce 7600GS GPU

256MB, 128bit, DDR2

Dual DVI / TV-out

Supports HDTV function



256MB, 128-bit DDR2 Memory

Superscalar 12-pipe GPU Architecture

Innovation PCI Express with Dual DVI/ TV-out ports

CineFX 4.0 Engine supports DirectX 9.0c, OpenGL 2.0 & Shader Model 3.0

Supports SLI technology & PureVideo Technology & Full nView Multi-Display Technology

Supports Intellisample 4.0 & UltraShadow II & Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology

Supports True High dynamic-range (HDR) Lighting


Gpu Clock: 400Mhz


Mem Clock: 800Mhz

Interface: PCI-E

Memory: 256Mb/DDR2 128Bit

GPU Features:

Next-Generation Superscalar GPU Architecture

Full Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support

NVIDIA CineFX4.0 Engine

NVIDIA SLI Technology

NVIDIA Intellisample 4.0 Technology

True High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Rendering Support

NVIDIA PureVideo Technology

Adaptable Programmable Video Processor

High-Definition H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV Hardware Acceleration

Advanced Spatial Temporal De-Interlacing

High-Quality Scaling

Video Color Correction

Integrated HDTV Encoder

NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology

128-Bit Studio-Precision Computation

Full-Speed 32-Bit Color Precision

NVIDIA ForceWare Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)

OpenGL 2.0 Optimizations and Support

NVIDIA nView Multi-Display Technology

NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control3.0 Technology

PCI Express Support

Dual 400MHz RAMDACs

Dual-Link DVI Support

90nm Process Technology

Built for Microsoft Windows Vista

$102.99 from NewEgg at time of review

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!

A Better Look at Things


The box is cool, very nice and bright with a sexy check on the cover. Basic specs are on the cover of the box to let you know briefly about the card inside.

on the back of the box we find sort of a generic Nvidia advertisement really, something that you see on most Nvidia card boxes, nothing really special here. The sides of the box of course have listings of specs etc.

One point of interest is the side of the box where we find the ‘Built for Windows Vista’ logo, can a 7600GS handle Vista and all its features?

Opening the box up we find the card packaged fairly well. Included is the card of course, in an anti-static bag with user manual, driver disc, Windvd bundle and full version Trackmania video game, we also find the HDTV cable as well.


The card looks fairly cool actually, the fan has a cool little dragon on it and no fan guard. With the 7600GS there is no PCIE power connection, but there is an SLI connector so you can run these in SLI mode if you wish to make a nice cheap SLI setup.

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!

A Better Look at Things


The heatsink is a solid block with an interesting heatpipe sticking out the back, I have also found that there are two versions of this card, one without the fan and one with the fan.

The heastink/fan covers the GPU and ram to help cool it, or at least I thought it did, upon closer inspection I found that the heatsink does not actually touch the ram at all. The gap is tiny and I really could not get a good pictures of it, but the gap is there. The heatsink has these plastic little feet stuck to it to keep it aligned with the core.

The heatsink base itself is horrible, the machining lines are extremely deep and just random every which way lines. It could use a long lapping to make it better, even my palm sander would have done a better job on it…

Nothing special about the back of the card, just your usual identifying stickers can be found there.

The card does have a VGA and a DVI port as well as the S-Video/HDTV connection.

Despite the machining on the heatsink, the 7600GS seems like a decent card, but only the tests will tell us that, so let’s continue on to the next section…

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!

Installation and Testing:

Installation is easy, just plug it into your free PCIE slot and power the system on, of course you’ll need to install/update the drivers if you need to. Biostar also included it’s own overclocking software as well which you can install if you wish to play around with overclocking your new card.

The Biostar Oveclocking software is a GUI based control panel in the shape of their Sigma logo. It has sliders to manually adjust the core and memory clocks quickly, or you can use the plus and minus buttons to increase the clocks slowly. The software also features an auto overclock button as well, I found that using the auto overclock sometimes doesn’t work quite right, but it makes a nice starting point at oc’ing. Of course there are buttons for exit, save, load and auto start with oc’d settings. There is also a nice button that will test your overclock for you, how exactly it does this I’m not sure, as nothing happens on the screen, when you press the button a couple seconds go by and a little message box pops up to tell you if your overclock was successful or not. I personally wouldn’t trust this little ‘test’ program for any serious overclocking, but it is a nice start, especially for someone new to oc’ing.

For testing a video card I run the full gamut of games and benchmarks to get a nice rounded feel for the card and to see if it can handle it. During testing I can quickly find out if the card is stable or not at it’s current settings and find out what exactly it can handle, or what it can’t…

Everyone has a different approach to testing, but I like to run at it full bore, load up a game, max the settings and see what happens from there. Then I can tweak the settings down if need be to find where it is playable.

Some games feature the auto detect, but I’ve found that sometimes you can eek out a bit more from your card than those settings call for. The auto-detect is kind of the safe-mode settings so you can quickly start playing the game without having to mess with all the various settings.

For benchmarking I run all three 3dmarks: 3dmark01se, 3dmark05 and 3dmark06.

For the games played, I use FRAPS benchmarking to record the details.

The games I played/tested are:




Far Cry




These games are old and new, and some can still stress the card quite a bit. Overall quality and playable frame rates are what we should be concerned about when we examine a video card in a review. The results you will see in the next section for the games are the frame rates at max settings with notes where applicable. Most of the games will run fine with everything maxed except Antialising and Anisotropic filtering, usually when only these are dropped the game will run fine. I have quite a few video cards here for comparison, but I will only throw in one high end card and a comparably priced card for the overall comparison to give you a good idea of the choices available to you.

I did all my testing in my main rig which mainly consists of:

AMD Athlon X2 4200+

ECS Extreme KN1 SLI Lite motherboard

Three gigs of OCZ ram (Gold and Plats)(2-3-3-5 @2T)

Seasonic S12 550Watt Energy+ PSU

Samsung 17 Syncmaster 740n (8ms) Max Res: 1280×1024

There are lots of other parts but they are not really important to our testing, so they won’t be listed…

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!

Testing and Comparison:

I did do a bit of overclocking on the card and I got to 504mhz on the core and 454mhz for the ram, not bad especially if you consider the shoddy workmanship of the heatsink and essentially no heatsinks on the ram at all.

For the comparison I’ve included scores for a BFG 7900GT OC (the higher end card) and a PowerColor x1300 (a comparably priced competing budget card)

The specs for the PowerColor X1300 are:

Memory & Bus Width 256 MB DDR2 / 128bit

Core Speed 450 MHz

Memory Speed 400 MHz x 2

Output Dual DVI / TV Out/ / / HDTV

Interface PCIE x16

Pixel Pipelines 4

The specs for the 7600GS are about the same, actually the PowerColor runs 50Mhz faster on the core than the 7600GS. The 7600GS though has 12 pipes superscaler as to the 4 pixel pipelines of the X1300.

There is no score for 3dmark05 overclocked as I didn’t run the test… But we can see that the comparably priced ATI card is pretty much blown away by the 7600GS. By overclocking the 7600GS we do gain quite a few points and a few frames per second as well. For example in 3dmark06 we went from 6.9 FPS in Return to Proxycon to 8.41FPS when overclocked, I know it doesn’t seem like much but a couple FPS do help. Another example would be Game 4-nature in 3dmark01se, the stock settings gave us 89.9FPS, while the OC’d settings gave us 104.5FPS, that’s a huge improvement overall.

The next graph is the listing of the games FPS at Max Settings. All the resulting FPS you see are the averages.

Again here you can see the x1300 is no match for the 7600GS, even in HALO, an older game, the X1300 just can’t keep up. These cards are about the same in price and what they can supposedly do, but in reality they aren’t are they?

Any game can be made to run at playable frame rates by just adjusting the settings, usually just the resolution and the AA, but as I mentioned I like to see what a card can handle.

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!

Testing and Comparison Continued, Final Observations:

Next up is F.E.A.R. , I took a different approach to this one, I ran maxed and recorded the score and then I used the ‘Auto-Detect’ feature and got those scores.

With FEAR we can of course see that the 7900GT can easily handle it with the others just lagging behind at max settings… using the auto detect feature the game was playable yes, and the FPS were great but with the x1300, the game was actually sort of ugly, almost blurry, very jagged edges and just really no fun at all to play, it reminded me almost of playing games on an NES system, very pixelated.

The 7600GS on the other hand was actually very good looking in the auto detect mode, enjoyable and very playable. Changing the resolution on the 7600GS to make it play at 1024res does allow some other features to be turned on without affecting the game too much, dropping it to 800res you can really turn the features on but eh what’s the point then?!

With the 7600GS you are able to get quite a bit more eye candy than with the comparably price x1300, the 7600GS seems to be able to play even the newest games at an acceptable FPS while allowing some of the eye candy.

It seems that all budget cards are not created equally are they? You could spend your $100 on the ATI and get an OK performance or spend your $100 on the Nvidia and get an excellent gaming experience.

And yes the X1300 can do Crossfire, like the 7600GS can do SLI, how much it would actually help is questionable.

For running everything else the 7600GS was great, movies were nice and clear on my LCD screen, and everything seemed very cool. The Biostar 7600GS card is fairly quiet as well, it barely added any extra noise to my system. I could see the 7600GS being used in an HTPC system as it does have the HDTV outputs etc on it and it’s nice and quiet.

I actually never looked at my test results till writing this review, I have a few more video card reviews coming and I went at it a few days with all the cards and just tested and recorded everything. I was myself surprised by just how much better the 7600GS is over the X1300, I actually thought my X1300 was a fairly decent card, oh well.. time to retire that card I see…

The Biostar 7600GS has a new home in my SFF gaming system. The X1300 will be sitting collecting dust somewhere…

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!


If you are looking for a nice budget gaming card, or a decent and quiet HTPC video card then the 7600GS might be what you want. Overall I love the card it’s quiet and it runs games at a fairly decent FPS while still having some of the eye candy on. For a budget card it’s excellent, for a cheap SLI setup it could be awesome. The Biostar 7600GS is a card that I can honestly recommend to anyone looking for a cheap but excellent video card for gaming and everything else you do.

DragonSteelMods gives the Biostar 7600GS a 5 out of 5 score and our Recommended Award as well.

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-Excellent budget card


-SLI ready


-For the price there are none

Find the 7600GS at ShopZilla!