Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A Videocard Review
When one looks around at the different sectors of the videocard market - low
end, mainstream, high end - all indicators are that nVIDIA has got the mainstream product down pat. The
PCI Express GeForce 6600-class videocards are better than ATi's Radeon X700 Pro, largely due to
SLI, and when we look back to AGP solutions the situation is even brighter.
There is quite a price & performance gap between nVIDIA's
GeForce 6600 and 6600GT class videocards, even though the names are very similar.
Crafty manufacturers are trying to capitalize on this, and Asus is the latest to try
The Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A PCI Express x16
videocard uses a vanilla GeForce 6600 GPU, but backs it up with Samsung GDDR3 memory
(128MB, 2.0ns DRAM). ASUS has also set the GPU and memory clock speeds of
this card considerably higher than that of a stock GeForce 6600, accordingly
the speeds are 400Mhz core and 900MHz memory.
Extreme N6600Top videocard natively supports TV-Output as well as dual
analog monitors (care of the included DVI-analog converter). The software bundle is
a bit on the thin side with just the game Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising, AsusDVD, PowerDirector
3DE and Medi@ Show SE 2.0 included. The N6600TOP installs into a PCI
Express x16 slot, and is SLI compatible too.
The Asus Extreme
N6600TOP/TD/128M/A uses the same PCB layout that higher end GeForce 6600GT
videocards employ. Asus is not the only one who uses a blue PCB and we noticed
that the card looks virtually identical to Gigabyte's
GV-NX66T128D videocard, aside from a different cooling
The Asus Extreme
N6600TOP/TD/128M/A appears to have been built with overclockers in mind as it is
equiped with a pretty hefty aluminum GPU cooler. During testing we could barely
hear the fan even though it our test system was not enclosed inside a case.
The memory is cooled with some
small heatsinks which work quite nicely. The heatsinks are attached to the
memory via double sided tape, those of you who are adventurous might want to
remove that and replace it with thermal epoxy.
Officially speaking, only
GeForce 6600GT class videocards and up are supposed to support SLI mode. But it
should be possible to make two Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A GeForce 6600
cards run together, since the PCB includes the SLI connector. We were unable to
test this feature, as the manufacturer only supplied one card for
About the only thing I have to
complain about is that Asus does not include a printed user manual. Having one
on CD is fine, but it doesn't help much if someone is having problems installing
their videocard. Especially as the quick installation guide is also a bit thin