PNY Verto GeForce 7900 GTX Limited Edition (PCI-E review: PNY Verto GeForce 7900 GTX Limited Edition (PCI-E

MSRP: $499.99
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Factory overclocked; SLI capable; two dual-link DVI connectors; includes tool kit and USB drive.

The Bad No bundled games; lackluster online support.

The Bottom Line PNY's highest-end 3D card is overclocked and comes with a few helpful accessories. We just wish that it included a game or two, as a $500 graphics card isn't very useful if you don't have anything to play with it.

6.8 Overall
  • Features 7.0
  • Service and support 5.0
Editor's note: Read our review of Nvidia's GeForce 7900 GTX for baseline benchmark results for that chip. You can expect that PNY's card using the same chip will be slightly faster due to overclocking. (5/15/06)

PNY's $525 Verto GeForce 7900 GTX Limited Edition packs a few perks in its bundle to distinguish it from boards from other Nvidia chip partners. It ships in a stylish metal-and-plastic carrying case and includes a computer-oriented screwdriver kit and a 512MB USB flash drive. PNY also throws in a component-output dongle for connecting your card to an HDTV. Those are all handy, but we'd sacrifice any of them for a bundled game or two (the metal case would go first). The Verto GeForce 7900 GTX Limited Edition is certainly easy to install, and thanks to its overclocked GPU and memory (a now-common practice among Nvidia's board partners), you get a little more bang for your performance buck. We just wish PNY offered a little more to do with the card out of the box.

PNY overclocked the GPU to 675MHz and the 512MB of DDR3 RAM runs at 820MHz, compared to 650MHz GPU and 800MHz memory for a stock card. Advanced users who want to try to overclock their cards even further will have to edit the registry on their computers to enable Nvidia's Coolbits feature; PNY doesn't include an overclocking utility, but we think this is a smart move. Why make it easy for people who don't know what they're doing to screw up their cards?

A splitter cable in the packaging bridges between four-pin and six-pin power connectors in case your current desktop power supply doesn't have a compatible PCI Express power output. You'll also need to be sure your power supply can supply the necessary juice. You need not just plenty of wattage--350 watts for a single card or 500 watts for SLI--but also a high amperage rating on the 12-volt channel (22 amps for one card, 30 amps for two).

The card features a pair of DVI outputs, as well as a seven-pin connector that accommodates both an S-Video cable for connecting analog televisions and an external component-output dongle for use with HDTVs. (Of course, many HDTV displays accept DVI inputs as well). Both DVI connectors support dual-link DVI, allowing you to drive two large flat-panel monitors at resolutions up to 2,560x1,600. Analog-only monitors are supported using included DVI-to-VGA adapters. And the included tool kit, packed with small screwdrivers, and the 28X speed flash drive are useful additions--the former especially for installation and general day-to-day PC maintenance.

PNY's warranty covers the card for just one year, but it extends to three years when you register the 7900 GTX on the company's Web site. Though the warranty doesn't compare to the lifetime warranties some competitors offer on their GeForce cards, chances are that buyers of high-end cards such as the 7900 GTX won't wait three years before their next upgrade anyway. The PNY support site, however, is disappointing. It includes a searchable FAQ, links to Nvidia's driver site, and a series of mostly outdated technical PDF files. Not only does it lack a user forum, there's no support form, nor even a support e-mail address listed. At least PNY offers a toll-free telephone support number, although it's buried in the documentation.

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