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Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U Videocard Review

Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: What makes the Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U special is that it is one of the first commercially available, virtually silent videocards.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Albatron Feb 14 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Albatron Trinity PC6600U

The NV43 and SLI!

There's been a lot of focus lately on how ATi and nVIDIA's mainstream cards only have half the rendering pipelines of their high end counterparts. Let's remember something here though, both the NV43 and R410 have eight pixel rendering pipelines. This is the same number as on the Radeon 9800XT, and twice that of the GeForceFX 5950 Ultra, and those cards are still pretty darn fast. That should already tell you that performance will be good.

Nvidia's GeForce 6600 core is built on IBM's 0.11 micron manufacturing process and contains a whopping 146 million transistors. nVIDIA has cut the vertex pipelines from the six found in the GeForce 6800 class cards to three in the GeForce 6600. To economize further, the memory controller has also been cut in half to 128bit. That means at high resolutions with AA/AF enabled, the NV43 will not be able to handle things as well as its more expensive sibling.

There are two models of the NV43, the GeForce 6600GT and plain GeForce 6600. The Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U that we're testing now is based off the Geforce 6600 and has a core clock speed of 400 MHz, and memory running at 700MHz.

Twin Videocards with nVidia


One of the most exciting features of the Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U is support for nVidia's SLI (Scalable Link Interface, not Scan Line Interface as 3dfx called it) technology. What this means is with a compatible motherboard, you can run two PCI Express GeForce 6600 videocards in parallel! In theory this will potentially double the raw rendering power of the system.

SLI today is different than it was back in 1998 when 3dfx released the Voodoo2. Back then, two Voodoo2 cards would each work on half the image to be rendered. The primary card would render all even lines of the resolution while the secondary card would render the odd lines.

nVIDIA does things a bit differently. One card renders the top half of the image and the other card renders the bottom half. These cards are linked together with a U-shaped connector that comes with the motherboard.

At the moment you can only SLI videocards of the same class, for example two GeForce 6600s or two GeForce 6800 Ultras, but not a 6600GT and a 6800 class card. Whether or not you'll be able to SLI lower end cards with higher end cards in the future is still unclear, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Heatpipe technology and the passive heatsink

The Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U is one of the few mainstream-performance videocards on the market to be cooled by heatpipe technology. Before we look closely at the cooler on this videocard, let's talk a bit about heatpipes in general.

A heatpipe is sealed copper tube which absorbs heat from one side (the source) and moves it to another location in an effort to cool off the source. The thermal transfer is achieved thanks to a working fluid (usually water) that is vacuum sealed inside a copper tube.

With a lower atmospheric pressure inside the tube, the working fluid will become vapour at a much lower temperature if one side of the heatpipe is heated. This is plain old physics at work - the lower the air pressure, the lower the temperature needed to boil water. When one end of the copper heatpipe starts warming up by the heat of the GPU, the working fluid inside the heatpipe will absorb that heat energy and convert from liquid to vapour.

As the working fluid changes phases, it absorbs the latent heat energy and carries it towards the cooler end of the heatpipe. Once the vapour reaches the cooler side, it releases its heat energy into the copper tube, and consequently condenses back into liquid form.

The cooler end of the heatpipe is connected to a standard heatsink, which then transfers the heat it has absorbed from the heatpipe into the surrounding environment (air). The newly condensed working fluid is then drawn by capillary action through an internal wick structure inside of the heatpipe back towards the hot end, and the entire process repeats itself.

This system seems to work extremely well with the Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U. The heatsink on the rear of the card was often as hot as the heatsink on the front where the VPU is, and the small rear fan enables the card to quickly release the waste heat.

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Contents of Article: Albatron Trinity PC6600U
 Pg 1.  Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — The NV43 and SLI!
 Pg 3.  Overclocking and Benchmarks
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3Dmark05, CodeCreatures
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: AquaMark 2.3
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Gun Metal 2
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: X2 The Threat
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 10.  Advanced Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, X2: The Threat
 Pg 11.  Advanced Benchmarks: UT2003

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   12 / 14 / 2019 | 1:13AM
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