All recorded results were obtained using the highest quality benchmark settings. Optimizations were at default settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel except for Vertical Synch which was set to OFF.
CodeCreatures provides a good DirectX 8.1 API stress test. This benchmark incorporates the use of Vertex and Pixel Shaders and requires a minimum of 128 MB of ram to store textures required for the test which will severely stress both cards. CodeCreatures plays a photo-realistic nature scene and calculates the performance of the graphics adapter by measuring the FPS that it can display at 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200 resolutions. However, for testing the 6200 TC cards only resolutions of 1024x768 and 1280x1024 were used and antialiasing was not included as either or the former settings reduced results to single digits.
CodeCreatures Benchmark Pro 2002 Results
- Intel 3.4E
The base resolution for this benchmark (1024x768) is enough to fully stress, if not over-stress, these cards. This heavily laden vertex and pixel shader DX8.1 benchmark puts stress even on the top end cards but just appears to be too much for the TC6200 to deal with. I omitted AA applied results as those were of no value with FPS results in the single digits. However, on a positive note, the TC6200Q's score of 21.2 FPS at 1024x768 is a respectable score for an entry-level card.
I still use this benchmark, on occasion, as one of the tests I use for evaluating a system's stability. Results gathered over time have aided in further evaluating a particular video card's capability to play games at specific settings. This has helped in defining the range of optimal settings relative to resolution, use of antialiasing, and anisotropic filtering capabilities.
For this review of entry-level cards the benchmark was run three times and the average of the benchmarks was recorded. Each benchmark test used settings of no AA and 4xAF at resolutions of 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024. Frame rates per second were recorded for the four gaming tests in each benchmark as well as the total score in 'Marks'. GT1 represents Wings of Fury, GT2 represents Battle of Proxycon, GT3 represents Troll's Lair, and GT4 represents Mother Nature.
It's obvious that amount of memory on the TC6200 creates a problem rendering at higher resolutions. Overclocking the Albatron TC6200Q does provide some respectable results at both 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions.
This benchmark concludes the testing in this review. FPS obtained with the benchmark's default settings (1024/768, No AA/4xAF, detail level set to very high) and results displaying the card's performance at default timings.
As previously stated, I have become familiar with the NVIDIA 6200 TurboCache PCI-Express card over the past couple of months and know with some degree of certainty what it can and cannot do. In rendering system memory it does a commendable job providing adequate game play in most of the new games at resolutions up to 1280x960 or 1024x768 on my 19-inch CRT monitor and in some instances 1280x1024 on my 17-inch NEC and Hitachi LCD monitors. Still, you will find more overall playability in resolutions such as 640x480 and 800x600.
Antialiasing, for the most part, is out of the question as it severely impacts performance and I found 2xAA to be of little benefit considering the reduction in overall performance. Benchmarks are not its calling and the results were sub-par but that may be a bit harsh and we must remember the limitations that I have previously outlined on these entry-level cards. That said, it does provide a solid mid 30's average frame rate in Half-Life 2 at 800x600 with no slow-downs or stuttering in the Intel test system or on my AMD A64-based system, and I should mention it plays Doom 3 thanks to the excellent Doom 3 engine.
Between the two cards I used in this review I definitely favor the Albatron TC6200Q mainly because the capability of being able to render 256MB of system ram. This really made a significant differences in Call of Duty and Half-Life 2. The 64/256MB memory capability permitted the use of higher resolutions in most of the other games tested. I did not mind playing Half-Life 2 at 800x600 but I am partial to 1024x768 and the Albatron TC6200Q is capable of performing at that resolution where the TC6200, 16MB, is better off at 800x600 resolution. Both cards displayed exceptional stability throughout all testing and gaming using ForceWare 71.20 or 71.84 drivers.
I would like to thank Albatron for supplying their entry-level TC6200Q for this review. This is my first experience with Albatron products and I was thoroughly impressed with the quality, packaging, functionality, and stability of this product. For those who game occasionally, or building that second computer for a family member, this card should be considered. I don't know of a card that can beat it at a price-point of $70 for value and performance.
Unique TurboCache technology rendering system memory for
Potential high overclock of GPU and memory
Small passive heatsink provides sufficient cooling for GPU even at overclocked settings
NVIDIA ForceWare drivers specified for TurboCache
Sufficient frame rates for enjoyable game play with consideration to limiting resolution and avoiding use of antialiasing.
(Note: the following deficiencies are based on potential performance enhancements and I should note, from a cost-cutting perspective, both of these CONS could be interrupted as PROS for the prospective buyer.)