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NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT AGP Preview - Page 5 of 5

OVERCLOCKING

Although XFX's GeForce 6600 GT AGP was clocked at 500MHz/1.0GHz, NVIDIA's reference card was running at 500MHz/900MHz. Overclocked speeds were initially determined using the Detect Optimal Frequencies feature under the Clock Frequency Settings, which is enabled via the Coolbits registry entry.

Clock Frequency Settings

Detect Optimal Frequencies resulted in a clock speed of 552MHz/1.02GHz. This result was somewhat aggressive as overclocking tests were conducted using Futuremark's 3DMark03, with artifact free runs being achieved at clock speeds of 540MHz/950MHz.

Overclocking Results

Overclocking provided an 8-10% increase in performance, which is typical.

HALF-LIFE 2

I purchased Half-Life 2 a few days after the initial preview and used AnandTech's c17_12 demo to test the performance of the GeForce 6600 GT AGP running at 540MHz/950MHz. Of the five custom demos they used, the C17 demo was the most intense and would appear to be representative of a worst case scenario.

The following screenshots are from AnandTech's c17_12 demo and were taken at a resolution of 1024x768 with 4X AA and 4X AF. Click the thumbnail images to view the corresponding full-size image.

Half-Life 2 at_c17_12 Demo

Half-Life 2 at_c17_12 Demo

Half-Life 2 at_c17_12 Demo

Half-Life 2 at_c17_12 Demo

Half-Life 2 at_c17_12 Demo

The minimum frame rate occurred near the end of the demo.

Minimum Frame Rate Occurrence

Benchmark Settings

The graphics settings were determined by Half-Life 2's hardware detection scheme. The only setting not at its highest quality was water detail, which was set to reflect world as opposed to reflect all.

Benchmark Results

The following graph provides the frame rate by second at 1024x768 with 4X AA and 4X AF.

Benchmark Results

While I prefer playing Half-Life 2 on the GeForce 6600 GT AGP at 1024x768 with 4X AA and 4X AF, there are a couple of additional settings which provide similar performance. The average and minimum frame rate from the benchmark results are provided.

  • 1024x768 - 4X AA and 4X AF - avg of 63 fps, min of 37 fps
  • 1280x960 - 2X AA and 4X AF - avg of 62 fps, min of 34 fps
  • 1600x1200 - no AA and no AF - avg of 55 fps, min of 32 fps

CONCLUSION

Although I have only used the GeForce 6600 GT AGP for less than a week, my initial impressions are very positive. In fact, I am looking forward to reading the feedback that this mid-range graphics card will be generating at a number of web sites.

Working on this preview was very reminiscent of the GeForce4 Ti 4200 preview, which was published back in April of 2002. In that preview, it didn't take long to realize that NVIDIA had delivered a special product. The GeForce4 Ti 4200 seemed to have the perfect price/performance mix, which made it one of the all-time leading graphics cards that gamers embraced.

GeForce 6600 GT Logo

With NVIDIA's last generation GeForce FX chipset, many were making a similar observation about the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. I even recall NVIDIA's President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang making such a statement in an earning conference call. While the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra was a capable graphics card for its time, I believe that the GeForce 6600 GT AGP will be the true successor to the crown that the GeForce4 Ti 4200 has been holding since 2002.

ADDITIONAL PREVIEWS

Additional previews of the GeForce 6600 GT AGP can be found at the following web sites:

CHANGE LOG

This following is a list of changes that have been made to this preview since it was originally published:

  • November 16, 2004 - Various Pages: Corrected spelling errors.


  • November 16, 2004 - Page 4: Added links to other previews of the GeForce 6600 GT AGP


  • November 16, 2004 - Page 2: Mentioned that beta driver 60.72 has been posted at NVIDIA's nZone web site. A "Negative LOD bias" control was added to address texture aliasing.


  • November 23, 2004 - Page 5: Added overclocking and Half-Life 2 benchmark results.


  • November 23, 2004 - Various Pages: Included comments about performance at 1024x768 with 8XS AA and 8X AF.


Back to nV News

Last Updated on November 23, 2004


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