hardware roundup has to have one part that doesn't fit in with the others, and
this is certainly the one! The Gigabyte GV-3D1 represents a unique
solution to the troubling requirement for two identical videocards to run nVidia
SLI: It puts two 6600GT cores on the same videocard, each with its own 128MB
memory supply and an internal interface which mimics the SLI bridge connector.
Each core runs at the default 500MHz clock speed, while the 1.6ns memory is
clocked at a significantly faster than stock 1.12Ghz or 1120MHz.
the Gigabyte GV-3D1 will only work with Gigabyte-manufactured SLI motherboards,
as the SLI switch and BIOS are customized to allow each GPU on the card discrete
access to eight lanes of PCI Express goodness from a single slot. According to
Gigabyte it will not even work in single GPU mode
with any other motherboard. We tested this out and found that it worked but only
with one GPU.
aluminium heatsink cools both cores and all the memory chips. It was somewhat
louder than the other videocard thermal solutions in this review, not surprising
considering its dual fans. The heatsink got quite hot during testing, up to 50C
degrees. As you might imagine, this card requires extra power to operate, using
a special 6-pin 12V connector that hooks up to a molex converter cable.
The Gigabyte GV-3D1 videocard is also considerably longer
than the other models in this roundup, so tiny cases need not apply. the front
connector still contains the typical trio of VGA, DVI and s-Video/breakout
intends to bundle the GV-3D1 card with its GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard, and this is
how we received our test version. The bundle includes a breakout box which is a
video-out only type featuring both component and S-video outputs (and a handy
velcro strip; also included are copies of Joint Operations: Typhoon rising and
Thief: Deadly shadows as well as PowerDVD 5 and PowerCreator 3. A DVI-to-analog
converter is tossed in for dual-monitor operation.
Initially, we had no luck at all in overclocking this card. Running in
SLI mode, any attempt to overclock resulted in failure. Switching to non-SLI
mode, we managed to reach speeds of 519MHz core and 1.23GHz
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