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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  • DeathByDuke - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    argh, keep charts consistent!

    also, would make more sense to directly compare to the 9800 XT/Pro, as they are in same price bracket, unlike X600/9600. meh. same applies to all the other sites. I dont give a damn if 9800 isnt on PCI-Express, tests have shown, like AGP 8x vs AGP 4x, theres no damn difference outside margins of error. so.... AGP 6600 should perform the same. At least we'd know then whether this £150 9800 Pro is worth it against a £150-£200 6600. I'm off to pray the X700 reviews dont pit it against a Geforce PCX 5300, Cos thats precisely what comparing a 6600 to a 9600/X600 is.
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    yeah i see it now... not sure how i missed that :D. It certainly sounds like a kickn' card! One thing i was disappointed about in the article was that you didnt try and overclock the card... That was one of the things that made the GForce2 MX a great buy. Im not sure if that is something that still carries into the current gen cards, but i would be interesting to see how well it ocs Reply
  • mcveigh - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    read the article.

    inshort: not yet but they are exprcted to.
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    do they make a non-PCIe version? I really dont want to spend the money to convert to Intel Reply
  • mcveigh - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    anyone know if it can take a dvi->component adapter?
    I heard a rumor the 6600 series would be able to do this like radeon's can.
    Reply
  • FuryVII - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Yea, "nobody 'looses'". Reply
  • mickyb - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    How loud is this card? I need something quiter than I have. I built a SFF system for my stereo rack and it looks like this card may be the ticket. Reply
  • Jalf - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Yeah, I wondered about that too. Why did some of the charts only show two cards? I wouldn't call it a piece of shit article, and the card does look like really great value, but I did wonder about that. :)

    Still, I'd call it a good article, and a good card.
    Reply
  • Questar - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    OMFG I can't beleive what has happened to this place.

    Can we please at least have the charts consistant from one page to another? Let's see on this page I'll make a chart with a 6800U and an X600, then on this page I'll throw in 10 other cards, and on the next page I'll take two out!

    What a piece of shit article.
    Reply
  • Illissius - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Didn't your card have 256MB memory by any chance? It's very, very odd how it pulls away from the 9800XT and 6800 at higher resolutions is some games, when by all logical reasons if there's any change at all compared to lower resolutions, the opposite should be happening... Reply

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