LAN Party Sites
XFX NVidia G-Force 6600 GT 128meg AGP Video Card
With all the new products coming out sometimes it is really hard to keep up with every new innovation without putting yourself in the poor house.. It seems every time you turn around the industry changes some sort of standard and what you bought a month ago is now obsolete. That is the main reason I decided to do a review on the XFX 6600GT AGP card rather then the PCI-e. For the average consumer, dropping 400 bucks on a video card every year is out of the question. For situations such as this XFX makes a mid grade gaming solution the 6600GT. This card is clocked out at very high speeds selling around 200 USD. It even has the new DDR3 fast RAM. The nice thing about this card is essentially it is the PCI-e version with a converter chip that ports it to AGP.. If this performs well there no reason to go out and buy a hole new PC that support PCI-e when your AGP slot will do fine for the next year or two especially if you have the AMD64 boards that only support AGP.
Pentium® III/4/Celeron™ or AMD® Athlon®/Duron® AGP 2.0 or later AGP slot 128MB of system memory Installation software requires CD-ROM drive minimum 300W system power supply An available hard disk drive power dongle (smaller floppy disk drive connector is not sufficient). DVD playback requires DVD drive Recommended Pentium® 4 or AMD® Athlon® XP AGP 3.0 Slot
Operating systems support
Microsoft Windows 2000 Microsoft Windows XP Microsoft Windows Me Microsoft Windows 98/95
Price: 200USD Monarch Price 199.00 USD as of 02/04/05 Purchase Link A very good price for this card...
For the benefit of anyone that has not installed a video card, the install is pretty standard. The only tricky part of this install is remembering that you need to connect the 4-pin Molex power directly to the video card itself. ** Note: It will boot with the 4-pin not connected, only you wont have a very stable PC. Expect it to shut down frequently without the power connected.** Other then this, the install is pretty standard, same routine. Remove the old card from the AGP slot. Insert new card, fasten screw to motherboard mount, and let her rip. It was not necessary for me to do any other tweaking to the BIO settings on the SOYO CK8 which we are using to test this card on but if you have any problems, please consult your user manual. Sometimes it is necessary to tweak a setting or two when it come to vid cards.
Note: Photo above is rev 1 with old heat sink
The first thing I noticed was the fan/heat sink. According to the photos on the web, it was supposed to be pretty much the stock fan with a XFX customer graphic. What I got was a pleasant surprise! After reading XFX's website I found a tech note that XFX has replaced the stock 6600 GT cooler with a new and improved version. Not sure how it will perform differently from the stock but from the looks, it will do well. The card is made with the NVIDIA default base using the teal blue board. Note that XFX uses a dual Digital Video out but only supplies one DV to analog converter. I had an extra converter so this was not a big deal, plus not everyone uses a dual monitor setup. Just note that if you do, make sure to have a converter if needed. The box and presentation of the card is exceptional. I like the promotional logos and overall appearance.
We are going to run this card using an AMD socket 754 3200+ along with 2x512 Corsair 3200XMS Pro RAM sticks. all on a SOYO CK8 board. The hard drive is a Western Digital 120 gig IDE 133ATA. Our goal is to compare the 6600GT to a 5700LE just to show the difference between the two generations of cards and to give you an idea of what you can expect when upgrading from the old to the new. The 570LE is made from ProLink and has double the RAM of the 6600GT, but in comparison they were around the same class of cards depending on release. What I mean is that the 5700 is a mid range 5000 FX series card and the 6600 is the mid range for the 6000 series, so it is a reasonable upgrade plan and both support the dual video and DV importing from S-video or RCA to S-video. Anyhow, here are some numbers:
3DMark05Pro Revision 2 Build 0
3DMark03Pro Revision 6 Build 0
3DMark01Pro SE Build 3.0
Detailed 3DMark01 Results Link
Unreal Tournament 2003
This test was run using the Direct3D
This test was run using utility provided by [H]ard|OCP
As you can see from the results the 6600GT out performs the 5700LE as expected, more then doubling and in some cases tripling the test scores. It is easy to see why this is a cost effective upgrade. At the 200 USD range, the XFX 6600GT will more then satisfy most needs for even an avid gaming enthusiast. As I mentioned earlier, the reason we used a 5700 as opposed to a 5950 for comparison is that in general it is probably more likely that a person using a 5700 would upgrade to a 6600, where a person using a 5950 would most likely go with the 6800 keeping in line with quality versus price, at an average 150USD to 250USD cheaper for the 6600 over the 6800.
Another note when discussing performance deals with the heat of the card and the drivers. NVIDIA provides a control to keep you informed as to when the GPU is stressed and this will even sound an alarm. These setting are found in the drive. Note in the screenshot below that even under stress conditions this card stays nice and cool around 50 degrees.
The quality is what you would expect with an NVIDIA card. XFX uses the stock NVIDIA board so there are no worries of defects, but also no extras. I like the new Heat sink and fan XFX decided to go with for their second revision of this card. It is much more solid and seems of a better quality. The packaging that came with this video card was exceptional. There is a dual layer outer layer which is in an X shape to match the XFX theme, and the inner box just adds for protection when shipping this product. Also in addition, XFX put the card itself in a hardened plastic container for a third layer of protection from any type of impact damage.
Very cost effective.
Great drivers and extras (games & video import).
New cooler is great.
Could have provided a second DV to analog converter.
If you are contemplating upgrading your video card but do not want to spend 400 dollars, take a close look at the XFX 6600GT. This card performs exceptional and at a moderate price. With the new PCI-e board coming out, this is a logical solution to make your current AGP system perform into the next year, saving up for the new stuff hot off the assembly lines. Great product XFX! You earned the Marns CDA Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval. Congratulations!
Rating: 5 out of 6 Stars
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
Review Date: 02/04/05
XFX Online Services
Other Good Links
Mod Sites & Guides
12-23-04 reLANtless Dec. LAN Party Photos
11-24-04 CD Stealth Mod By Jess
10-28-04 UV Pen Mod By Lee
10-23-04 Red CCFL Fan Kit Review
10-14-04 Corsair XLPro XMS3200 Benchmark Results
10 -04-04 ATI RADEON 9600 XT 128 Meg
09-22-04 Message Board Check it Out!!!
Chip Set Cooler
Reactive PSU Covers 09-01-2004
Sound Wave Website updated
A Linux server Project Blue Drake
09-17-04 FrozenCPU UV Reactive PSU Covers
09-01-2004 Project Sound Wave Website updated
08-25 2004 Started A Linux server Project Blue Drake
© 2004 Marns CDA