PCI-Express is here!
Today nV News reviews Gigabyte's 6600 PCI-Express video card. This is our first
Gigabyte product to review and we are eager to see just what they provide in
this new format. I have personally owned several Gigabyte motherboards and found
all to be high quality, trouble-free units but this is the first Gigabyte video
card that I have laid my hands on. So to begin, let's take a look at the card.
The card follows NVIDIA's reference design with little, or no, exceptions.
It's small at approximately 7¼ x 4½ inches with a 3 x 3 inch copper heatsink and
fan (HSF) providing air flow for cooling the graphics processing unit (GPU).
Notice that the card does not require a power connector as sufficient power is
supplied through the motherboard's PCI-Express connection.
Looking closer at the GeForce 6600's specifications, we find the supported PCI-Express
16x interface and 128MB of Hynix DDR SDRAM, which are allocated in 8 chips on the front side of the circuit board. This RAM is rates at 3.6ns, which translates to a clock speed of 275MHz (550MHz effective). The GeForce 6600 GPU is based on the
NV43 core and runs at a core frequency of 300MHz, which is 200MHz less than the GeForce 6600 GT. Additional specifications include a 128-bit memory bus, 8 pixel pipelines, and 3 vertex processing units.
GIGABYTE GeForce 6600 GV-NX66128DP
Looking at the picture above, you can see the copper HSF and the GDDR1 ram. Also
evident is the small footprint of the card which makes me think about ease of
application in a small form factor (SFF) case.
From the back you can see the sparse, but neatly configured circuitry layout
and the pins securing the HSF. With the cooling performance I experienced during
the review and gameplay sessions, I don't see a need to replace the stock HSF
unless a passive cooling heatsink is desired. Noise level of the fan was
acceptable and could not be heard over the stock Pentium 4 CPU fan.