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XFX NVidia G-Force 6600 GT 128meg AGP Video Card

by

pr101j (Paul)

   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.

 

Specs:


Chipset/Core Speed: nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT/500MHz
Memory: 128MB GDDR3

BUS: AGP 8X
Ports: TV-Out (S-Video) + 2x DVI
Support 3D API: DirectX 9(Shader Model 3.0), OpenGL 1.5
Max Resolution@32bit Color: 2048X1536@85Hz
Cable/Accessories: S-Video Cable, 2x DVI to VGA Adapter, Manual, Driver CD, Games and Software

System Requirements

    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

Performance

  • Graphics Core: 256-bit

  • Memory Interface: 128-bit

  • Memory Data Rate: 1000 MHz

  • RAMDACs: 400 MHz

Operating systems support

    Microsoft Windows 2000 Microsoft Windows XP Microsoft Windows Me Microsoft Windows 98/95

Monitor support

  • Dual DVI-Out digital output (for attaching LCD Monitors)

  • DVI to VGA adapters included (for attaching analog CRT monitors)

Display support

  • Dual DVI-Out for sharp LCD monitor output (DVI to VGA adapters included for use with analog CRT displays)

  • Video out Module enabling big-screen gaming, digital timeshifting VCR, and video-editing applications

Product Page

Price:  200USD   Monarch Price 199.00 USD as of 02/04/05 Purchase Link A very good price for this card...

 

Installation:

   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.

 

 

Appearance:

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.

 

 

Performance:

   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

Default Mode

3DMark03 Score

XFX 6600GT 128meg

3048

Detailed 3DMark05 Results Link

 

3DMark03Pro Revision 6 Build 0

Default Mode

3DMark03 Score

ProLink 5700LE 256meg

2184
7821

XFX 6600GT 128meg

Detailed 3DMark03 Results Link

 

3DMark01Pro SE Build 3.0

High Quality Mode

3DMark01 Score

ProLink 5700LE 256meg

9874
17593

XFX 6600GT 128meg

Low Quality Mode

3DMark01 Score

ProLink 5700LE 256meg

9836
17406

XFX 6600GT 128meg

Detailed 3DMark01 Results Link

 

Aquamark

  XFX 6600GT 128meg DDR3 ProLink 5700LE 256meg
DisplayWidth: 1024 1024
DisplayHeight: 768 768
DisplayDepth: 32 32
AntialiasingMode: 0 0
AntialiasingQuality: 0 0
AnisotropicFiltering: 4 4
DetailLevel: 4 4
AvgFPS: 51.082573 16.230688
MinFPS: 17.175505 4.683819
MaxFPS: 129.740524 54.027473
AvgFPSRender: 72.395546 17.820213
AvgFPSSimulation: 173.517151 181.960739
AvgTrianglesPerSecond: 15377497 4885959
MinTrianglesPerSecond: 2649363 848856
MaxTrianglesPerSecond: 35476726 10495513
AquamarkScoreRender: 7239 1782
AquamarkScoreSimulation: 8675 9098
AquamarkScore: 51082 16230

 

Unreal Tournament 2003

Blue Background = XFX 6600GT
White Background = ProLink 5700LE

Average FPS

 

Resolution dm-antalus dm-asbestos ctf-citadel
CPU Bench 1024x768 139.194702    
CPU Bench 1024x768 92.327644    
Min Detail 1024x768 222.941605 339.839264 294.434601
Min Detail 1024x768 116.297455 213.314270 102.611610
Max Detail 1024x768 196.046494 279.719818 169.311264
Max Detail 1024x768 77.079887 106.660011 83.338501

High FPS

  Resolution dm-antalus dm-asbestos ctf-citadel
CPU Bench 1024x768 657.850037    
CPU Bench 1024x768 693.546631    
Min Detail 1024x768 974.496460 828.238586 772.713745
Min Detail 1024x768 329.002991 579.995972 311.735931
Max Detail 1024x768 739.075500 670.951965 470.049713
Max Detail 1024x768 197.190323 258.877869 191.444153

This test was run using the Direct3D Rendering Engine
This test was run using the demo version of Unreal Tournament 2003

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.

 

 

Quality:

   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.

Pros:

Very cost effective.

Superior packaging.

Extreme performance.

Great drivers and extras (games & video import).

New cooler is great.

Cons:

Could have provided a second DV to analog converter.

Conclusion:

   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

 

Company Info

 

XFX Online Services
XFX Technologies, Inc.
18567 East Gale Ave
City Of Industry, CA 91748
U.S.A
Telephone: (626)912-9100

 

Marns CDA

By

pr101j

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