Introduction

Until now, we haven't had the pleasure of playing with a midrange part based on current generation technology. At present, those who have wanted good performance at lower prices have gone with older cards that have fallen in price. This is all well and good, but consumers lose out on all the new and improved features of the latest architectures when buying high end cards of a previous generation over the midrange cards built with current technology. This is especially pertinent in light of NVIDIA's Shader Model 3.0 support. Generally, anything that can be done in SM3.0 can be done in SM2.0, but the advantage is code complexity and (sometimes) performance improvements. We've already seen examples of this in our SM3.0 analysis under FarCry.


The NV43 GPU behind the 6600 GT

Also with the new 6600 line of cards, NVIDIA is bringing out their first native PCIe line of GPUs. These should quickly be bridged back to AGP (we are told), and the sooner we see the AGP version the better. Even if PCI Express platform market share were better right now, the niche the 6600 series of cards proposes to fill is one that could appeal to everyone who uses a computer. The keys behind the 6600 series (aside from feature set) are performance and price point. All of the aspects of the 6600 series fall in line to offer a card that promises amazing value.

But we don't care about promises here. We will take a handful of the latest and greatest games across the spectrum (with a heavy focus on PS2.0), and we'll see how well the newest member of the NVIDIA family performs. As far as competition goes, we'll stack it up against current and previous generation ATI and NVIDIA cards and we'll include ATI's current midrange PCIe card, the X600XT. This isn't supposed to be a direct comparison, as the X600 is still based on previous generations ATI technology. We will make a bigger deal of the ATI/NVIDIA comparison when we have a midrange R4xx desktop part in our hands.

High-Tech Mid-Range
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  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    oops i mean it's probably for Socket 604 so they need 2 Xeons, preferably the Nocona's but they aren't LGA775 :D Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Yeh that would be possible in a way I believe,

    You can bench the Pentium 4 Prescott 3.4GHZ for i875P, with DDR400 2-2-2-5 for the AGP GPU.

    Then you can bench the Prescott 3.4GHZ LGA775 on the i925X plaform with DDR2-533 4-4-4-12, for the PCI Express GPU that would be roughly equivalent.

    Or you can supplement both with the Pentium 4 EE 3.4GHZ if you got both the S478 and LGA775 Edition of those two processors.

    It's too bad you can't bench SLI, but it's hard to expect them to, they need Xeons on the Tumwater chipset:S and isn't that for LGA775 only too? So they need 2 Noconas???
    Reply
  • JackHawksmoor - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Looks like a great card, but it looks like it's actually better than what they're showing here, since they're comparing it to weaker cards in systems with better CPUs...

    Really needs to be redone with everything but the video cards kept constant.
    Reply
  • DEMO24 - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Why the heck is that card beating a 6800? Hopefully that 6800 will pull ahead more than that with newer drivers. Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    RTFA Reply
  • Bored Guy - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    anyone know if the 6600 gpu will be available in an agp interface anytime soon? Reply
  • 8NP4iN - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    nice to see a 200$ card beating a 450$ 9800XT or 9800 pro...
    cant wait to upgrade when nforce4 comes out
    Reply
  • Carfax - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    I was just wondering, because I know the 65.76 drivers would have raised the 6800 series performance aswell! Reply
  • ZobarStyl - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    The point of the article was to compare the PCI-E mid-range, and guess what, if the 6600GT is 200 bucks, it's direct price competition is the x600XT and it can't even hold a candle to the 6600GT. If they release the AGP version at 200 it still is a great competitor to the 9800pro from performance alone, plus the added feature set is a bonus. nV is definitely taking advantage of the complete lack of midrange from ATi. Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Carfax, they have a standard testbed, so the numbers from the other NV cards come from previous benchmarks. If they upgrade the drivers on everything else, they'll have to re-run the benchmarks on everything else. Reply

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