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Nvidia Geforce 6600/6600GT Videocard Roundup

Nvidia Geforce 6600/6600GT Videocard Roundup - PCSTATS
Abstract: PCstats is testing out nine Geforce 6600 and Geforce 6600 GT based videocards, in both AGP and PCI Express versions.
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: nvidia May 18 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > nvidia

Conclusions - Which Card Comes out on Top?

There's a set of very obvious conclusions to draw here, especially considering that the order of finishing in our benchmarks hardly changed at all... The cards that led in the first test were still leading in the last.

Our conclusions then - SLI has some excellent potential, and the nVidia Geforce 6600GT graphics processor provides an amazing value platform for it. We saw some impressive gains in synthetic benchmark performance, but what really impressed us were the gaming benchmarks, especially Doom 3. The idea of a couple of sub-$200 cards providing that kind of performance is quite exciting. If you are a gamer looking for top-notch performance at a not so high price, you might want to consider investing in an SLI motherboard soon...!

The 6600GT cards provide substantially better performance than the ATI X700 Pro card in most applications, for an average price of about $20 more. For mainstream cards, this seems to be the best current value.

Despite the fact that current games and video cards should not need the extra bandwidth that PCI Express offers, our PCI Express-based 6600 GT cards were slightly but consistently faster than their AGP8X counterparts. This could be because of the PCI Express to AGP bridge, or the chipsets involved, but whatever the reason the difference is real. If you are planning to upgrade your video card soon, consider moving to a PCI Express based system at the same time.

The plain Geforce 6600 GPU is adequate for gaming, but falls an order of magnitude behind the 6600GTs in our roundup. The price difference between these two GPUs is substantial (about $60-70 US) so the Albatron Trinity Geforce PC6600 and other 6600-based cards may still be the right choice for gamers on a tight budget, especially when overclocked. The Albatron Trinity Geforce PC6600U and the ASUS Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A, both of which use faster than stock speeds for the GPU and memory, should give you some idea of the performance you can expect from an overclocked 6600-based card.

All of our 6600GT cards gave more or less equivalent performance, making it hard to choose between them. The three AGP cards were slightly slower, as we mentioned, and the MSI NX6600GT-TD128 AGP also suffered from its lower stock memory speed. The Gigabyte GV-3D1 was the head of the class in most of our tests, even running in single (non-SLI) mode; this can be attributed to its memory being clocked faster than the rest of the cards in the roundup.

Of our thee AGP cards, the MSI NX6600GT-VTD128SP provided better overall performance, but we liked the MSI NX6600GT-TD128 AGP's combination of a slightly lower price, VIVO options and impressive software bundle as well. All three AGP cards provided good overclocking ability, which was nice to see. The Albatron card's slightly noisy fan stood out in this almost silent lineup. We couldn't help noticing all of these cards' higher prices and lack of SLI though. PCI Express is definitely the way to go if you have the option

Of the PCI Express based cards we reviewed, both the Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D and the MSI NX6600GT-TD128E provided top-notch performance at a decent price. The MSI card overclocked slightly better and had a more comprehensive bundle packaged with it, while the Gigabyte model came with newer games. Both represent excellent value. We were also impressed with the performance of the ASUS Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A. Though it is based on the 6600 core, ASUS' decision to boost the core and memory speeds paid off with a big performance increase, moving it close to full 6600GT territory. Also it's overclocking abilities were quite shocking, leading us to believe that ASUS has slipped a 'ringer' 6600GT core into the mix.

The Gigabyte GV-3D1 videocard was the unquestioned performance leader in this roundup, but things get a little confused when it comes to the overall value the card provides.
Best Value Overall:
MSI NX6600GT-TD128E
PCSTATS Best Value Award
According to Gigabyte, it will initially be packaged only with Gigabyte SLI motherboards, as it is not compatible with regular SLI boards. At a cost of ~$499US for the board and card, it represents decent value, but only if you need a full upgrade. The fact that this card will work with non-SLI motherboards (though only in single GPU mode obviously) gives it a little flexibility.

We were impressed with the performance, overclockability and SLI-capabilities of all the 6600GT cards in this roundup. It's clear that they offer exceptional value to any gamer on a budget, and the added promise of SLI only emphasizes this more. It's also clear that PCI Express is fast becoming a necessity, as the lack of SLI and overall higher prices hurt our AGP entries. We'd expect the next generation of video chipsets to show an even greater gap in performance between AGP8x and PCI Express, if AGP is even supported.

So who are the overall winners?

The Gigabyte GV-3D1 is without a doubt the best performing 6600GT card out there. It's an unusual card, and it might not sell too many units because of the limited range of boards it can be fully used with, but nothing touches it when it comes to performance, whether in single or SLI mode. The prize for the overall best card in this roundup, though, belongs to MSI and the NX6600GT-TD128E. It was close, but this card's combination of decent price, good core overclocking, great memory overclocking and solid standalone and SLI performance carried the day.

Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCstats latest hardware reviews right here.

Related Articles
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well...

1. Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A Videocard Review
2. MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E Geforce 6800GT Videocard Review
3. Gigabyte GV-RX80L256V Radeon X800XL Videocard Review
4. Dual MSI NX6600GT-TD128E SLI Videocard Review
5. Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U Videocard Review

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»

 

Contents of Article: nvidia
 Pg 1.  Nvidia Geforce 6600/6600GT Videocard Roundup
 Pg 2.  ASUS Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GVNX66T128D GeForce 6600GT
 Pg 4.  Gigabyte GV-3D1
 Pg 5.  Albatron Trinity GeForce PC6600U
 Pg 6.  Albatron Trinity GeForce 6600GT AGP
 Pg 7.  Albatron Trinity GeForce 6600
 Pg 8.  MSI NX6600GT-VTD128 AGP
 Pg 9.  MSI NX6600GT-VTD128SP AGP
 Pg 10.  MSI NX6600GT-TD128E
 Pg 11.  Test System Specs, Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: Codecreatures
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Aquamark 2.3
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: Aquamark 3, Gunmetal 2
 Pg 15.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 16.  Benchmarks: Doom3
 Pg 17.  — Conclusions - Which Card Comes out on Top?

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