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NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT Preview - Page 1 of 4

INTRODUCTION

Back in September, we looked at our first native PCI-Express based graphics card from NVIDIA - the GeForce 6600 GT. The transition to PCI-Express is well underway, but consumers will be slow to adopt to the new technology. Since an overwhelming number of personal computers continue to be powered by AGP add-in graphics cards, you can be assurred that NVIDIA will continue to supply this market as long as the demand exists. Today, NVIDIA is announcing the immediate availability of the GeForce 6600 GT for AGP-based systems.

GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

The GeForce 6600 GT is an important product for NVIDIA as it represents the mid-range offering in the GeForce 6 Series lineup. The GeForce 6600 GT AGP is targeted to compete with AGP graphics cards in the $199-$249 price range, which includes ATI's successful, but older Radeon 9800 Pro. NVIDIA's initial GeForce 6600 GT offering was based on a native PCI-Express interface, while the AGP model is driven by a bi-directional High Speed Interconnect (HSI) that NVIDIA designed specifically for the AGP to PCI Express transition.

AVAILABLE AT LAUNCH

A few days before the launch of the GeForce 6600 GT AGP, I received an e-mail from Ryan Dumas who is the Technical Marketing Manager at XFX Graphics. Ryan really came through and shipped us a review sample of their GeForce 6600 GT AGP.

Although we will be publishing a seperate review of the XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP, the product is scheduled to be available to purchase on the day of the launch at Buy.com, Newegg, and TigerDirect.

The following pictures were taken of the XFX review sample, which is the actual retail product. The packaging is first-rate as the box shape and artwork are attention grabbers, which is an important feature in the retail space. The box is an engineering masterpiece and is contructed from cardboard. The graphics card is securely housed in a plastic enclosure and can be seen through an opening in the rear of the box.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

A visual inspection of the circuit board components reveals that the XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP is based on NVIDIA's reference design. The board contains 128MB of GDDR3 memory, which is operating at an effective clock speed of 1.0GHz. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is clocked at 500MHz.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

The AGP model of the GeForce 6600 GT requires an external source of power in order to operate at maximum frequency. An extra molex connector that would typically power a hard drive is sufficeint.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

The XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP bundle is pictured below and includes the full versions of Commandos 3, Nascar Thunder 2004, and X2-The Threat. A driver and utilites CD is provided along with a Multi-Language Quick Installation Guide and a User's Manual. Two VGA-to-DVI adapters and S-Video cable round out the bundle.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT - AGP

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

The test system used in this preview consists of the following components.

  • AMD Athlon 64 3400+ @ 2.2GHz
  • AOpen AK89 Max nForce3 Motherboard
  • Corsair PC3200 XMS Extreme Memory - (2) 512MB DIMMs - 1GB Total
  • Western Digital 80GB, 7200RPM, ATA-100, 8MB Buffer, Hard Disk Drives (2)
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT AGP - 128MB - 500MHz/900MHz
  • XFX GeForce 6600 GT AGP - 128MB - 500MHz/1.0GHz
  • NVIDIA WHQL ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 66.93
  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - 256MB
  • ATI Catalyst Driver Version 4.11
  • 32-Bit Color / Vsync Disabled / 75Hz Refresh Rate
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

Game Benchmarks

  • Call of Duty - v1.04 - OpenGL
  • Doom 3 - v1.0.1282 - OpenGL
  • Far Cry - v1.3 (Build 1337) - Direct3D
  • Half-Life 2 - v1.0 - Direct3D
  • Halo: Combat Evolved - v1.05 - Direct3D
  • Neverwinter Nights - v1.64.8062 - OpenGL
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 - v3323 - Direct3D
  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory - v2.56 - OpenGL

Notes

  • All applications tested were patched to their latest version.
  • Fraps was used to capture frame rates in some benchmarks.
  • Halo: Combat Evolved does not support antialiasing.

Next Page: Enemy Territory and Call of Duty Performance

Last Updated on November 23, 2004


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