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Albatron GeForce TC6200Q Review - Page 2 of 8

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Being an entry level graphics card, it is assumed that marginal performance will be attained. But the fact remains that the TC6200 has the latest in NVIDIA technologies. Possessing shader model 3.0 capability and designed for PCI-Express, it should reveal some interesting possibilities not normally seen on entry level cards.

Like in the previous review of the Gigabyte PC6600, on the surface there does not seem to be anything to get excited about. The name TurboCache does imply power, but looking at the card I am going to pass on commenting on that. Listed below are the key features of TurboCache technology, which does employ a unique method of rendering system memory to decrease costs. Overall, I am not too impressed other than the fact that the card is very small, the cooling is passive, and it will undoubtedly have a light appetite for electrical power.

What can be expected from the Albatron TC6200Q? Well, the memory default setting is 250MHz (500MHz effective), supplied by 3.6ns ram, with its unique ability to render directly to system memory. The GPU default clock is at 300MHz and is of NVIDIA's NV44 design. Everything about the card is small and compact, even the NV44 graphics processor is tiny.

Can the card actually run Doom 3, Half-Life 2 and Far Cry, or is it just going to be acceptable for light gaming and installation in a second backup or web-surfing computer with 2D and light 3D applications? A lot of questions, most would be easily answered up front if not due consideration was given to the advanced technology NVIDIA has employed is this small, compact card provided by Albatron. Well, enough on that, let's get on with the list of features and specifications, and then on to some tests to see if this entry level card can take the stress of some of the newest games.

Key features of the TurboCache architecture:

  • Patented hardware and software technologies that render directly to system memory
     

  • A TurboCache Manager (TCM), which dynamically allocates memory for maximum system performance
     

  • Intelligent software algorithms that maximize application performance
     

  • Bidirectional PCI Express® bandwidth, in conjunction with TurboCache architecture, which improves graphics price/performance

OVERVIEW

For a brief overview of NVIDIA's TurboCache technology, first, it allows the GPU to render portions of the 3D graphics data into system memory. This reduces the memory burden and memory requirements on the card, thus lowering component costs for the card. This means that the TC6200 engineering sample containing 16MB in its frame buffer increases the useable VGA memory to a maximum of 128MB by borrowing from system memory while the TC6200Q's 64MB increase useable VGA memory to 256MB maximum.

TurboCache works by dynamically searching system memory for space that can be used for graphics rendering. This technology then takes advantage of the PCI-Express high-speed, bi-directional data transfers to store and retrieve data to and from system memory, as needed.

The total system memory that can be attained by the VGA card depends on the system memory available. For example, a mainboard with 512MB of system memory could allow a TC6200 card with 16MB to increase its maximum effective total VGA memory buffer to 128MB. A mainboard with only 256MB of system memory would allow the same card to attain a maximum effective VGA memory buffer of 64MB.

Comparing the cards in this review
paired with 256MB and 512MB system memory

 

As you can see from the table above 512MB of "System Memory" is the premium in order to obtain "Highest Effective Total VGA Memory" in NVIDIA's TurboCache Technology 6200 PCI-Express video cards.

Albatron's TC6200Q Features

  1. Powered by NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache GPU

  2. PCI 16X with PCI express Texturing and Fast Writes

  3. CineFX 3.0 Engine supports DirectX9.0 & OpenGL1.5

  4. NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology

  5. RAMDACs 400MHz

  6. D-Sub, TV-out and DVI Ports

  7. Supports nView Technology
     

Albatron's TC6200Q System Requirement

  1. PCI express 16X port

  2. CD or DVD ROM for software installation

  3. 256MB system RAM minimum

  4. 30MB free hard disk space minimum

  5. Operation system - Windows XP, Windows 2000
     

GeForce 6200 TurboCache Chipset Features

  1. CineFX 3.0 Engine
    Powers the next generation of cinematic realism. Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture delivers faster and smoother gameplay.
     

  2. UltraShadow II Technology
    Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games, like id Software's Doom III, that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects. 2nd-generation technology delivers more than 4x the shadow processing power over the previous generation.
     

  3. Intellisample 3.0 Technology
    The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds. Visual quality is taken to new heights through a new rotated grid sampling pattern
     

  4. nView Multi-Display Technology
    The nView hardware and software technology combination delivers maximum flexibility for multi-display options, and provides unprecedented end-user control of the desktop experience. NVIDIA GPUs are enabled to support multi-displays, but graphics cards vary. Please verify multi-display support in the graphics card before purchasing
     

  5. OpenGL 1.5 Optimizations and Support
    Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all OpenGL applications.
     

  6. Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
    Blazing-fast RAMDACs support dual QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates up to 2048x1536@85Hz.
     

  7. Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support
    Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX 9 applications, including Shader Model 3.0 titles.


Next Page: Bundle and Specifications

Last Updated on March 21, 2005


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