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anzak
08-30-05, 10:41 PM
The transition to PCI Express is happening more quickly than anyone was expecting. The lack of an AGP 7800GTX is a good example of this. With that it mind I didn't hesitate to make the move to PCIe. Since the only two next gen cards (7800GT and GTX) are only 256mb at the moment, I decided to buy a cheap PCIe card to hold me over till the 512mb cards arrive. I ended up going with this Leadtek 6200TC 256mb which cost $60 at newegg.

The card is passively cooled which is a plus IMO. It has 64mb of local memory which is rated at 3.6ns. The stock clock speeds are 350/550. The box included a drivers cd, component video out cables, and a DVI to VGA converter.

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/4948/6200tc22ln.jpg

With the heatsink removed you can see just how small the 77 million transistor die is.

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/1328/6200tc2fa.jpg

The first thing I did after initially checking that the card worked was remove the heatsink and apply AS5 thermal paste. After letting the paste set up overnight the idle temp was 48 degrees and the load 59. Next I tried to find the max overclock. I increased the core and memory in 10mhz increments until I reached 450/490 which began to show artifacts so I back it off to 440/680. The card was perfectly stable at these clock speeds through all of the benchmarking.

I wanted to see how the 6200TC could hold up to graphics intensive games such as F.E.A.R and the Chronicles of Riddick: EFBB. I also included 3dmark03. Quality was set in the CP with the optimizations enabled. The system specs are in my sig.

F.E.A.R. Demo - 800x600 medium detail w/ shadows disabled. I used fraps and played up through the first encounter with the soldiers. I made 3 runs and found the average.

350/550 - Min. 24fps Avg. 30fps Max. 50fps
440/680 - Min. 27fps Avg. 38fps Max. 63fps

I tried enabling shadows, but even at 640x480 it was unplayable. Overall the game looks great at these settings. Overclocking made a huge difference here making the game much smoother.

Chronicles of Riddick: EFBB - 640x480 max details w/ shadows. A custom timedemo was used which plays through Riddick's dream at the beginning of the game.

350/550 - Avg. 28fps
440/680 - Avg. 33fps

By disabling shadows and moving down to SM1.1 I was able to raise the resolution to 800x600 or even 1024x768, but it wasn't worth sacrificing the effects. 28fps may seems low, but I didn't have a problem playing at these settings. I didn't know it was running below 30fps until I ran the timedemo.

3DMark03

350/550 - 2739
440/680 - 3296

Another reason I chose to use FEAR and CoR was to show a worse case scenero. Most other newer games run fine at 1024x768 and older games with some AA and AF applied.

I seem to be getting better scores than most of the older reviews on the web. I'm guessing this is because nVidia has improved Turbocache performance in recent driver sets. I've also read that AMD's integrated memory controller helps provide the card with more bandwidth than Intel chipsets, but don't hold me to that.

Hardware acceleration of WMV9 HD video is another reason I went with 6200TC instead of the X550. I tested the CPU usage while watching the 1080p version of the Batman Begins trailer. Without the patch my CPU usage would skyrocket to 100% and the video would begin to get choppy. After applying the patch the cpu usage would hover between 40% and 60%.

Overall the Leadtek 6200TC is an excellent value for the money. Never before has a $50-$60 card been able to play the most recent games at medium or max settings. It also provides better 2D image quality, a DVI port, and WMV9 HD acceleration for non-gamers.

Pros:

Price
Performance at lower resolutions
SM3.0 Support
WMV9 HD acceleration
High overclocking potential
Low power requirements
Silent

Cons:

Dips into system memory

My Score: 9/10

Mr_LoL
08-31-05, 03:59 PM
ouch 3296 in 3d mark 03. Thats gotta hurt.

anzak
08-31-05, 07:28 PM
Wow, this thread has been totally overlooked. I guess no one cares about the 6200TC. It really did turn out to be a good performer. Here is the second round of benchmarks.

---

I created a server with the Office map and 15 bots. I played "by-hand" with fraps running in the background for about 5 minutes to get a good idea of how it ran.

CS: Source - 1280x960 w/8xAF, max settings (DX9)

350/550 Min. 17 Avg. 34 Max. 76
440/680 Min. 19 Avg. 44 Max. 121

At stock speeds the game was far too choppy. So I lowered the settings to 1024x768 w/8xAF and played for another 5 minutes.

350/550 Min. 18 Avg. 42 Max. 93

Better, but still not as fast as overclocking and running at a higher resolution.

---

Half Life 2 - Max settings. [H]OCP Coast demo.

800x600 w/8xAF

350/550 - 59fps
440/680 - 62fps

1027x768 w/8xAF

350/550 - 45fps
440/680 - 52fps

1280x1024 w/8xAF

350/550 - 29fps
440/680 - 36fps

1024x768 w/8xAF was the best settings both overclocked and not overclocked.

---

One last benchmark. I only played this one overclocked.

Battlefield 2 - 1024x768 Medium Detail

440/680 - Min. 0 Max. 79 Avg. 39

This was about 7 minutes of play on the "Gulf of Oman" map, 32 player server. The 0fps is a result of stuttering. I'm just blown away at the fact that the game plays great at 1024x768. Never has a $60 graphics card provided this much performance.

This card manages to tie or beats my friend's 128mb Radeon 9600 in every D3D game and stomps it in OpenGL.

Mr_LoL
08-31-05, 07:54 PM
I am currently getting 10 fps in battlefield 2. Loving it really

anzak
09-01-05, 12:47 PM
Ouch, only 125 views after 3 days. Whats the point of doing a review of a low end graphics card if nobody cares?

CaptNKILL
09-01-05, 01:03 PM
Damn, Im a bit surprised myself. This is really good news for me because these cards are relatively cheap and it looks like a decent gaming card to put into low\mid range systems we build where I work. We have been using MX4000s because they are dirt cheap but I keep telling them its just going to cause problems later when people find out they cant play any game from the past 3 years.

Thanks for the review, I'll keep this card in mind for future low end system builds :)

Edge
09-01-05, 02:09 PM
For a low-end card, it looks to be decent. Still a hell of a lot better than Nvidia's past low-end solutions (the Geforce4mx and FX5200). At least it has USABLE DX9 support, even if it's only playable at low resolutions. I'm wondering what kind of a difference the Turbocache instead of onboard memory makes...for the extra price would it be worth getting a regular 6200 card (with even 128 megs of video ram) instead?

Gentle
09-01-05, 02:21 PM
Ouch, only 125 views after 3 days. Whats the point of doing a review of a low end graphics card if nobody cares?

O.k. One possible reason this isn't going "smashingly"...

You aren't marketing it to the appropriate group.

I would think many of the people that visit the forums are already using a video card better than a 6200TC.

Gentle

msxyz
09-01-05, 04:16 PM
It's probably the best NVidia low end videocard since the original GeForceMX.

The scores are pretty impressive for such a cheap cart. 3200 points in 3DMark 03 is close to what a 5700Ultra achieve with 3 times the memory bandwidth and a more expensive design. In 3DMark 05 the tiny NV44 is twice faster than said 5700U !

Let's not forget that the NV44 is now also available in an AGP variant called NV44A (it seems that AGP is harder to die that many want to believe). The scores are similar.

Unlike previous 64bit bus cheap cards, the NV44 is the first to feature a crossbar controller (2x32bit).

The only thing that made me rise an eybrow about this card is why NVidia removed FP blending but FP texture/buffer support and filtering is still in. I wonder what use it may have since blending alone is probably the most important basic function of a videocard

Subtestube
09-01-05, 04:44 PM
Anzak - I appreciate your review - I'm generally interested in cards all the way up the scale. Unfortunately, I'm not building any new PCs now (although if I were, I'd seriously consider the 6200 now as a 'tide me over until the market is clear and mid-high prices are not so high' solution). Nice work.

ragejg
09-01-05, 05:52 PM
Well, I don't have the "TC" variant, but I do own a Leadtek 6200 128mb, and I'm very very pleased with it. IIRC, it scores something like 16k in '01, 7k in '03, and 3k in '05... ha, this MIGHT be :rolleyes: because I got an unlockable one... so maybe I should call it a 6600? :p

Wahtever the case, nv definitely has a winner on its hands with the 6200. It's a great budget chip. :)