There's a large disparity in
performance and price between the GeForce 6600 and 6600GT cards and it seems
like manufacturers have caught on. Many are now offering "factory overclocked"
GeForce 6600 videocards to those who want better performance than a regular 6600
offers, but can't afford to go all out and get a 6600GT.
The Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A is a prime example
of manufacturer ingenuity and it's a darn good
card too. Based around the GeForce 6600 core, Asus raised the clock speed
slightly and equipped the videocard with the same memory that's found on 6600GT
class cards, though clocked slightly slower.
The Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A uses a GeForce
6600GT reference design PCB and layout so it shouldn't be much of a surprise to
see that the card overclocks well. The large aluminum HSF on the core kept it
nice and cool and the memory RAMsinks were a nice touch.
At stock speeds, the ASUS N6600TOP/TD/128M/A offers an excellent mid way point
between a vanilla 6600 and 6600GT in terms of performance. In many cases, it was
as fast as the higher end PowerColor Radeon X700 Pro. When it came to
overclocking, our particular test sample was quite up to the challenge. The
stock core speed of the N6600TOP/TD/128M/A is 400 MHz and we were able to push
this bad boy all the way up to 616 MHz! The memory was decent as well and hit a
high of 1.03 GHz.
Unfortunately the Asus N6600TOP/TD/128M/A has not
reached the retail market yet, but we'd expect it to retail in the $230ish CDN
range. This is slightly less than a full fledged 6600GT and a bit more than a
regular 6600. the N6600TOP/TD/128M/A is a fast videocard and a solid choice for
gamers on a budget.
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