I'm your average kinda gamer, the gamer that plays regularly but not obsessively, the type of gamer that won't fork out $800+ for a graphics card. However, when playing, getting a good FPS with decent graphic settings (max on most occasions) is a much desired want. On average, a mere $200 graphics card won't be able to deliver the goods. But I think I may of found a great card for the average gamer that wants great graphics and good performance without the hefty price tag of its beefier counterparts. The Gigabyte GeForce 6600 DDR2 (GV-NX66256DP2) graphics card could be well your answer to affordable gaming goodness.
So lets get straight into the technical specs shall we? I have listed below are the features and specifications of this card:
The Core Features
- Powered by NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GPU
- Supports NVIDIA SLI Technology
- Supports PCI Express and 8 pipelines
- Microsoft DirectX 9.0C andL 1.5 support
- Integrated with 256MB DDR2 memory and 128-bit memory interface
- Features DVI-I / D-sub / TV-OUT
- Supports HDTV function and HDTV cable enclosed
- GIGABYTE's Turbo Force Ultra Edition guarantee
- Unique Silent-Pipe design
- Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 6600
- Memory: 256mb
- Memory Bus: 128 bit
- Memory Type: DDRII 16Mx16
- PCB Form: ATX
- BUS: PCI-e x 16
- D-SUB: Yes
- TV-Out: Yes
- DVI Port: Yes (DVI-I)
- VIVO: No
- MultiView: Yes
- Tools: V-Tuner II
- Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support: Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX 9 applications, including Shader Model 3.0 titles.
- PCI Express Certified: Designed to run perfectly with the next-generation PCI Express bus architecture. This new bus doubles the bandwidth of AGP 8X delivering over 4 GB per second in both upstream and downstream data transfers.
- High-Speed GDDR3 Memory Interface: Support for high-speed GDDR3 memory delivers fluid frame rates for even the most advanced games and applications. (GeForce 6600 GT only)
- 64-Bit Floating Point Texture Filtering and Blending: Based on theXR technology from Industrial Light & Magic (http://www.xr.com/), NVIDIA’s 64-bit texture implementation sets new standards for image clarity and quality through floating point capabilities in filtering, texturing, and high dynamic-range (HDR) lighting.
- NVIDIA SLI Multi-GPU Ready: Dramatically scales performance by allowing two graphics cards to be run in parallel.
- Revolutionary Superscalar Architecture: Delivers up to 8x the shading power of previous generation products for screaming gaming performance.
- NVIDIA's CineFX™ 3.0 Engine: Powers the next generation of cinematic realism. Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture delivers faster and smoother gameplay.
- NVIDIA's PureVideo Technology*: The combination of high-definition video processors and software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater.
- Adaptable Programmable Video Processor: PureVideo’s programmable technology adapts to new video encoding formats as they are developed to provide a future-proof video solution.
- High-Definition MPEG-2 and WMV Hardware Acceleration*: Smoothly playback all MPEG-2 and WMV video—including WMV-HD— with minimal CPU usage so the PC is free to do other work.
- Advanced Motion Adaptive De-Interlacing*: Smoothes video and DVD playback on progressive displays to deliver a crisp, clear picture that rivals high-end home theater systems.
- Video Scaling and Filtering: High-quality scaling and filtering technology delivers a clear, clean image at any window size, including full-screen HDTV resolutions up to 1080i.
- Video Color Correction*: Color temperature correction makes actors’ faces appear natural, rather than washed out and pale, when playing videos on LCD and CRT displays. Display gamma correction ensures videos are not too dark, overly bright, or washed out regardless of the video format or display.
- Integrated HDTV Encoder: Provides world-class TV-out functionality up to 1080i resolution.
- NVIDIA's UltraShadow™ II Technology: Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games, like id Software’s Doom III, that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects. Second-generation technology delivers more than 4x the shadow processing power over the previous generation.
- Full-Speed 32-Bit Color Precision: Delivers increased image quality with no performance compromise.
- NVIDIA's Intellisample™ 3.0 Technology: The industry’s fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds. Visual quality is taken to new heights through a new rotated grid sampling pattern.
- NVIDIA's ForceWare™ Unified Driver Architecture (UDA): Delivers rock-solid forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. Simplifies upgrading to a new NVIDIA product or driver because all NVIDIA products work with the same driver software. Includes full support for PCI Express and AGP.
- NVIDIA's nView™ Multi-Display Technology: Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.
- NVIDIA's Digital Vibrance Control™ 3.0 Technology: Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.
- L 2.0 Optimizations and Support: Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for allL applications.
- Dual 400 MHz RAMDACs: Blazing-fast RAMDACs support dual QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates up to and including 2048 × 1536 at 85 Hz.
- Dual Single-Link DVI Support: Able to drive the industry’s largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays up to and including 1900 ×1200.
Whats in the box?
Your card will come nicely packaged in a nicely designed red box with everything you need to get going, plus some nice extras. Some of which you may probably never use.
- GeForce 6600 VGA Card
- DVI/D-SUB adapter
- HDTV cable
- Xpand Rally (Full Version)
- PowerDVD 6.0 (Full Version)
- User's manual
Above: A photo of the four pack bundle of Gigabyte GeForce 6600 we received
Above: The card, software, HDTV cable, manual,
Above: Silent Pipe Technology covering both sides of the graphics card.
One of the major features you will notice about the card itself is the huge silent pipe that replaces common fan solutions. And as the name suggests, yes it is very much silent. The card itself is quite heavy.
Albatron K8SLI, Bios R/8/25
Geil 1Gb PC3200
Gigabyte GeForce 6600 DDR2 PCI-E
Seagate 80GB SATA
LG 16x DVD-RAM Drive
Windows XP Home SP2
ForceWare Release 80
Release Date: December 21, 2005
3DMark 2003 Results:
Above: SLI mode enabled
Above: No SLI
3DMark 2005 Results:
Above: SLI mode enabled
Above: No SLI
UT2004: SLI vs. No SLI
Above: The FPS difference between SLI mode and Non SLI mode in UT2004 is
DOOM 3 : SLI vs. No SLI
Above: The FPS difference between SLI mode and Non SLI mode in DOOM 3 at
1024 x 768 is 12fps.
It is safe to assume that some games are not completely optimized to take full advantage of SLi mode. 3DMark 2003 and 2005 gave the best example in what a pair of these cards will do. With SLI setup, you will get on average, about points more in the 3Dmark 2003 / 2005 benchmarks. As time moves on we will see more and more developers optimizing their games for SLI.
I didn't get into overclocking in this particular review, however, Gigabyte have included their V Tuner 2 application for overclocking. V Tuner 2 will monitor your temps, voltages etc in real time and of course give you the ability to change your cards core and memory frequencies, sure beats the crap out of the coolbits registry tweak.
The Gigabyte GV-NX66256DP2 exceeded my expectations in performance and value. No longer will you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a card to play the latest and greatest games. For about $400 AUD you can have a SLi setup that will perform as good as the more expensive single card solutions. The silent pipe technology keeps the card cool, as well as helping cut back the db's in your rig. DDR2 has provided a great improvement from the original DDR 6600 cards.
If your in the market for a high performing cheap video card, this is the one for you!
- Cheap $200 AUD
- Cheap SLi Solution
- Performance to value ratio
- 256MB DDR2
- Silent & fanless cooler
- Supports SLi
- DVI, D-SUB, TV-OUT
- Expected higher frame rates from SLi mode.
- Buying a second card for SLi purposes may not be worth it at this stage.
Highly Recommended: 8.7 / 10
Discuss this review here