About a week ago I bought a 7600gs for my brother’s computer. It was an easy install and so far has been a very good “bang for the buck” device. For only about 100 dollars, he is able to run UT 2004 and Counter Strike Source on highest graphics. He runs them on 1024×768 due to monitor limitations, but at about 60-120 fps in UT and 35-70 in CS:S.
Although it was only 100 dollars (and I wasn’t able to spring for a new PCI-E motherboard,) it has been a great product. Nothing lags on it and it has pretty much taken any game thrown at it. As always, Nvidia’s drivers have been good. The temperature works its way up to around 60 degrees under max load. I would recommend this card for the casual to semi-serious gamer that wants to play the latest games.
I also would recommend if you are a more serious gamer but need a quick video fix, to upgrade your motherboard to a PCI-E supporting motherboard. This will allow you to run future video cards without having to upgrade later (and PCI-E cards are becoming cheaper than AGP and have better speeds.) Here is a link to this video card and here is a link to the PCI-E version. (The PCI-E one sports 512 mb of GDDR2) This is a great upgrade to that slowly decreasing computer your friend has (or maybe you have.) If you do decide to get this card, make sure your computer meets the following specifications taken off eVGa’s site:
– Have an available 4 pin molex hard drive power dongle (it comes with a dongle splitter so shouldn’t be a problem)
– A minimum of a 350 watt power supply with a 12 Volt rating of 18 Amps (I would go with 400 watt to be safe)
– Easy installation
– 256 MB GDDR2 ram
– Good for people on a budget
– Will run most games out with suitable CPU and RAM
– Newegg + eVGA = good warranty and RMA support
– Not GDDR3 Video Ram
– Could use larger fan