Today, NVIDIA is announcing the GeForce 6200, which completes their top-to-bottom offering of desktop PC graphics processing units (GPU) based on the GeForce 6 Series. The GeForce 6 Series has been a very successful product for NVIDIA and was led by the exciting
GeForce 6 Ultra, which had two times the performance of the GeFore FX 5950 Ultra while providing improved image quality.
GeForce 6200 - PCI Express
While the availability of the GeForce 6800 Ultra continues to be limited, NVIDIA's Director of Public Relations, Derek Perez commented in a recent article at Gamers Depot that the lucrative GeForce 6800 GT is preferred over the Ultra at retail outlets. At the low-end of the enthusiast market is the GeForce 6800, while the GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6600 make up a solid mid-range offering.
The GeForce 6200 is a derivative of the GeForce 6600, aka NV43, and is being manufactured by TSMC using an 0.11-micron fabrication process. With 4 pixel pipelines and a 128-bit memory bus, the GeForce 6200 is targeted at the casual gamer. NVIDIA is also positioning the GeForce 6200 as a cost-effective upgrade from Intel's integrated graphics chipsets.
GeForce 6 Series Features
The GeForce 6200 has inherited just about every feature of the high-end GeForce 6 GPU including Shader Model 3.0. The reference card we received from NVIDIA was their PCI Express model with a core clock speed of 300MHz and memory clock speed of 500MHz. The GeForce 6200 is expected to be available in November and NVIDIA is also planning to release a variant of the GeForce 6200 with a 64-bit memory bus.
PCI Express is currently available on the Intel platform. AMD chipsets from NVIDIA and VIA with PCI Express should be appearing soon.
Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz Prescott
Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR Motherboard
Corsair PC3200 Value Select - (2) 512MB DIMMs - 1GB Total
Samsung 120GB, 7200RPM, ATA-133, 2MB Buffer, HDD
Western Digital 120GB, 7200RPM, ATA-100, 8MB Buffer, HDD
NVIDIA Beta ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 66.81 (Download Link)
32-Bit Color / Vsync Disabled / 85Hz Refresh Rate
Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c
Doom 3 - v1.0.1262
Unreal Tournament 2004 - v3270
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory - v2.56
3DMark03 - v3.4.0
3DMark05 - v1.1.0
All applications tested were patched to their latest version.
The variable com_maxfps was set to 999 prior to benchmarking Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.
FRAPS was used to capture frame rates in some benchmarks.
Although I conduct overclocking tests when reviewing a graphics card, the results are not always published. In this case, I believe that the overclocking results are well worth mentioning. It appears that this particular review sample is severely underclocked as overclocking provided a whopping 93% increase in the core clock speed and a 45% increase in the memory clock speed.
One Heck Of An Overclock! (from 300MHz/500MHz)
With the exception of graphics anomalies occurring in the 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 game tests, the remaining benchmarks ran without incident with the card overclocked to 580MHz/730MHz. Note that the Forceware driver did not have an option to monitor GPU temperature, but 600MHz/750MHz was previously reached with the central air conditioning running.
This discovery resulted in a re-evaluation of my testing process, which obviously limited the number of games that were benchmarked. All of the benchmark results show performance at the overclocked speeds (red bar) and the default clock speed (blue bar).
FRAPS was used to determine the average frame rate while playing back a demo at normal game speed from a 6 vs. 6 player match that takes place on the Railgun map. Performance was based on the first three minutes of the demo.
Enemy Territory Settings
Enemy Territory Benchmark Results
The built-in demo1 recording was used to measure performance in Doom 3. Each result is based on the second of two consecutive benchmark runs.
Doom 3 Settings
Doom 3 Benchmark Results
UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2004
Performance in UT2004 was measured by playing back a custom demo from the DM-Inferno map using the highest quality game settings.
UT2004 Benchmark Results
The following benchmarks are from Futuremark's 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 synthetic game tests. Default settings were used in both benchmarks.
3DMark03 Benchmark Results
3DMark05 Benchmark Results
CORE AND MEMORY OVERCLOCKING
The final benchmark results are from UT2004 at a resolution of 1024x768 with no AA/no AF and 1024x768 with 2X AA/8X AF using various core and memory clock speeds.
UT2004 Core and Memory Overclocking
This preview has certainly been interesting and NVIDIA did confirm that the core clock speed of the GeForce 6200 will be 300MHz while memory speeds will be determined by add-in manufacturers. However, I want to make it clear that the overclocking results presented in this article were based on a preview sample and may not be indicative of the results you would achieve from a retail card. We will have to wait for retail samples to hit the streets, but if you should receive an overclocking friendly GPU, you could end up with an excellent deal.
At its default clock speed, the 128MB GeForce 6200, which is expected to retail for $129, should provide acceptable performance at a resolution of 800x600 (Doom 3) or 1024x768 (UT2004) in the current generation of games. Antialiasing will likely be limited to 2X (UT2004) at a resolution of 800x600.
Older games should perform well at resolutions of 1024x768 (ET) and in some cases 1280x960 or 1280x1024. Antialiasing can be used on occasion and appears to be limited to 2X (ET) at a resolution of 1024x768. Should you require the ability to experience the current generation of games at a minimum resolution of 1024x768, I would recommend upgrading to the mid-range GeForce 6600GT.