I bought the Galaxy GeForce 7100GS last week when I was short of a graphic card after selling off my BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra. I had to prepare a temporary card while waiting for a new card to come in, after which this card will be used on my other rig. 😀
So, what do I have to say about this card? Let’s see……
A simple looking card with a nice dark-blue PCB.
It comes with a VGA port, an S-video port and also a DVI port. Speaking of the VGA port, it’s a long time since I last come by a card that has a VGA port linked to the card via cable.
The card is also equipped with a small heatsink and a transparent fan, sufficient to do it’s job at cooling the card but I found it to be a bit noisy. Nothing grand about this card, can’t expect much from a budget card, isn’t it?
Just the driver, an S-video cable and a DVI-to-VGA converter (which has a label ATi on it…….).
Alright, let me make this clear to everyone – This is a budget card. OK? Don’t expect wonders how out of it, if you love to play 3D games at decent detail levels then this is not the card for you. This card is for people who wish to play 3D games but don’t mind low resolution and low details.
I’ve tested this card on Futuremark’s 3Dmark06 and also 4 other games – Need For Speed : Most Wanted, Supreme Commander, Command & Conquer 3 : Tiberium Wars and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Being a low-performance card, throwing high-details at it isn’t going to help tell us anything about it. It is A LOW PERFORMANCE CARD, 🙂 hence my objective was to see whether this card can actually be used for playing 3D games.
The card was tested on 1024×768 on various detail settings, 800×600 only when needed. 🙂
Nothing much to talk about, it’s a 3 digit score. While it’s a low score, does this mean this card is absolutely crap? No, it isn’t. Let’s move on.
Need For Speed : Most Wanted
What? I’m using game released towards the end of 2005 for this review? Yes I am, despite the game being almost 2 years of age, it’s still a very good game with great eye-candy and it’s so much nicer than 2006’s Need For Speed : Carbon.
The 7100GS works fine on this game BUT you’ll have to live without most of the details to get decent framerates for racing. Then again if you look at the shots I’ve taken, it’s actually quite alright when you’re at high speed. With so much action and motion-blur, you wouldn’t have time to enjoy the details that much.
Commander & Conquer 3
I was told that this game worked well even on 7300GS running 1024×768 on high details, the 7100GS on this resolution works well on around medium settings and graphically the game looks presentable.
I have no problem maintaining framerates despite spamming tanks, the only issue I face is the crash that only seem to occur when I spam a lot of units. It’s something I’ve never come by on my other graphic cards even though I threw much heavier stuff at them.
I have to tune down most of the details in Supreme Commander, the framerates got the biggest boost by turning the details for shadows off.
The game was playable by sacrificing quite a lot of details however the saving grace was that in Supreme Commander, you spend of your time at a zoom level that gives you better overview of the Theater of War where the units are represented by icons.
Hopeless, utterly hopeless. The game was totally unplayable on the 7100GS and strangely enough – it was not due to framerates!
I’ve tried both 800×600 and 1024×768 and depending on my settings, getting 40 – 60fps wasn’t a problem. Even with maximum details at 800×600, this game was playable as it achieved great framerates, apparently the card doesn’t render the graphics of this game well 🙁 In fact it was so bad, it wasn’t even fun to play the game.
It seems that it’s the lighting issues that’s a problem for the card. On ‘static lighting’ it was as if I was playing the game on a really old LCD monitor where response time was horrible. It was annoying, the fact that I could put it at such high details and achieve nice framerates yet unable to play it due to such “additional effects”.
On ‘dynamic’ lighting, it looked like I was caught in a forest inferno rather than a serene country-side. So yeah, that’s the second annoyance – I still can’t play it, even though the framerates were decent.
Regardless, it was unplayable.
Well there you have it – It was a decent card for it’s price, at least you still get to play 3D games as long as you’re willing to put up with the lack of details.
Overclocking? Nah, no point overclocking a snail into a turtle – it’s still slow.
Overall I’m like this card and have no problem recommending it to people who are looking for a very cost-effective solution for gaming purpose as long as they understand what they’re getting out of this card.
PC Specifications Used
Processor : AMD X2 3600+ @ 2.5ghz
RAM : 1GB DDR2 667
Monitor : 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
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