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  • ShadowVlican - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    seems like #28 got pwned... think AGP ^_-

    very nice review Anand, it's quite astonishing how fast technology can grow isn't it? with the "top" cards of the last generation being eaten by this generation's top mid card... i'm looking forward to your next review when you have your vanilla 6800!
    Reply
  • Speedo - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    Hmm... I also agree with you people, which wonder if an upgrade to a faster graphics card would help and if you perhaps already are CPU limited.

    One way of checking the "status" of your current system is to play around with resolutions for a given game. For example, lets say you normally play UT2004 at 1024x768. Try setting the resolution to 512x384 and see where your framerates go. You will not probably go much above that, no matter how fast video card you upgrade to.

    You can also try upping the resolution one step from what you are usually using. If the framerate drops a lot, you would probably benefit from an upgrade.

    I know this doesn't tell *which* new card you should get. But if your low-res test shows that your CPU can deliver double the framerate, then a good balance could be to upgrade to a card that is at least double as fast as your current one.

    In my own system I seem to have a pretty good balance right now, with a 9800pro(xt mod) & barton@2.3Ghz.
    Reply
  • bigpow - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    I agree with the previous commentators.

    Most of us are stuck with our older generation platform, say P4 2.4c or AthlonXP 1700+ or 2500+

    Where's the result for these platforms, AT?

    Most of us (see above) will decide whether it is worth it to upgrade to 6600GT if we see these numbers.

    AT, step up and beat the competition.
    Don't be lazy and just compare with the expensive and uncommon FX CPU.
    Reply
  • Ender17 - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Those charts with the precentages are awesome!! and the head to stuff was great as well. Keep up the good work and try to get us that head to head with the 6800nu. Reply
  • Niatross - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Even when he's cpu limited he's limited by an FX-55 not an XP Barton. Yea I wonder how many 1000 dollar cpu systems have a 200 dollar card?

    Yea he's showing the cards abilities off well by using an FX-55 but it TELLS me nothing about what my experiance might be. I would just like to see what it would run like on the average machine. I said before that I've seen this hashed out many times on various sites and I see the value of the way it's usually done, just wishing I had my way (STOMP,STOMP BOO HOO,(LOL) I guess ;-) J
    Reply
  • ciwell - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Maybe an article/chart that lists the CPUs from the past couple of years and the theoretical GPU to go along with it that would MAX out, given a CPU bottleneck or what-not. Reply
  • navsimpson - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    While I get why the fastest CPU must be used to prevent CPU bottlenecking, what I don't understand is why someone who can afford a $1000 processor would buy a $200 video card and not shell out the extra 100 or so bucks to move up a notch. These reviews end up being technically sound - we do our best to see what the cards are actually capable of - but of much less consequence to those of us looking to figure out what cards to buy. Will it be worth it to get a 6600gt or would a 9600xt max out the performance of my Athlon 2600? That's what I - and a heck of a lot of other people - want to know. Reply
  • Pete - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Derek emerged from his underground bunker! Now that you've recovered enough to type ;), can you verify and maybe explain those 9700P Far Cry numbers? Reply
  • nserra - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    #57 ciwell

    What is really funny is that nvidia almost didn’t beat a 2 year old card!
    And that a similar hardware 5900 (to some people) at that time some even say it was better is in the ground.
    Where are the 5900 PS2.0+ and VS2.0+?

    This is the anandtech 5900 test conclusion:

    “From the ATI camp the $499 Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB, just like the NV35, is a difficult purchase to justify; even more difficult in this case because the GeForceFX 5900 Ultra does outperform it in a number of tests.”

    Where is the 5900 in all the benches? Who have bought an nvidia 5900 based on those comments?
    Reply
  • ciwell - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    I find it funny how nVidia has beaten ATI to the punch and the fanbois are coming out of the woodwork. :D Reply
  • Visual - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    i think it's important to compare the 6600GT with the normal 6800 and even the OEM 6800LEs that can be found around... also, any non-GT 6600s? because all these cards are around the best performance/value ratio... you should try to find/show which one is the best buy. you should also consider the 6800's chance of modding... Reply
  • nserra - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    #54
    But if the nvidia AGP numbers are equal to PCIe, wouldn’t ati numbers too? Is it because the card doesn’t exist?

    Why do you keep talking so much about the nvidia VP, when Ati has this feature since 2002, is it because it doesn’t work?

    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    #53

    There will be no x700 agp before years end. If we had one to test we would love to have included numbers for it.

    -- Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • nserra - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    #7 Decoder
    They can be solved, the funny thing is that Ati as decoding features since 07/18/02 and didn’t need of lots of transistors or processors to do that, and no one says that! Its like is a nv only feature. http://www.ati.com/vortal/videoinnovations/flash/i...

    #28 draazeejs
    There is no X700 AGP, but even so the 9800 does a great job for a 2 years old card.
    But there should be an X700 PCIe in the test to see how fast it is over the 6600.

    #29 Regs
    You are absolutely right; some one should pay for having recommended nvidia cards over Ati in some “past” reviews.

    #31 Cybercat
    9700 cards aren’t that bad...

    #32 vailr
    See my #7 reply.

    #34 Anand Lal Shimpi
    Yeah, Ati as encoding and decoding since 07/18/02 and I didn’t remember anyone talking about it. The new Ati driver as WMV acceleration option also, why I didn’t get tested yet!!! Just because of the nvidia fancy name “Video processor” yeah right, they are playing catch up with Ati they were 2 years late!

    #38 ChronoReverse
    You are so relying in the SM3.0, is a new shading language, which delivers new shading code. Are you sure it will be that BIG. Remember that Microsoft from PS1.1->1.4 calls DirectX8.1 and from SM2.0->SM3.0 Microsoft call it DirectX9.0c, if it is that important don’t you think the right name would be DirectX9.1 or 9.5?

    #39 Read the conclusion of own Anandtech on 04/11/04:
    "If all of the cards in this review actually stick to their MSRPs, then the clear suggestion would be the $149 ATI Radeon X700. In every single game outside of Doom 3, the X700 does extremely well, putting even the GeForce 6600 to shame" I don’t think that putting the X700 out of this test was a good idea! Since 6600AGP and PCIe is at the same level, so the X700 AGP should too?

    #40 Pete
    See the up post! And it’s also an Anandtech conclusion!
    Reply
  • R3MF - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    good article, cheers.

    i'll look forward to the vanilla 6800 benchies, as i'm building two PC's in short order, and i need the info. :)
    Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Edit to #49: Radeon 9800 Pro should be at a tie with the 6600GT in Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory, as the speed difference is at best very hard to see (the biggest difference of performance is in the 6% range, just like the difference between the 5900XT and the 6600GT)

    Calin
    Reply
  • danyel - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Does anyone know if there a plan for an AGP version of the plain geforce 6600 as I don’t see it mentioned anywhere? Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    Wolfenstein - Enemy territory is a tie, with the speed difference at most 6%. This is hardly a difference (however, the minimum frame rate have a bigger influence on game play than maximum frame rate)

    Calin
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    im ganna buy one asap, its exactly what i've been waiting for... my radeon 9600 pro chugs in doom3, and i can't even run it at my lcd's native res of 1280x1024...

    i've been holding off playing doom3 until a card like this came out.
    Reply
  • jay75 - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    the ATI 9800pro beats the 6600gt when anti-aliasing(AA) is implemented in far cry. it doesn't in counter strike but the frame rate is above 75 at 1280*1024(4x AA) anyway. this is something to be noted. Reply
  • Pythias - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    >>The impact of the bridge, as I mentioned in the review, is negligible. The bridge + slower memory results in a 0 - 5% performance difference between the PCI Express and AGP versions of the 6600GT (the 5% figure being because of the additional memory bandwidth courtesy of the 500/1000 clock vs. 500/900).

    Just so you guys know, I went out and picked up a vanilla 6800 for inclusion in my upcoming Half Life 2 GPU comparison. Know that your voice has been heard :)

    Take care,
    Anand<<<

    Anand, you kick teh bootay.
    Reply
  • Poser - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #42 He's not benching them with the fastest processor he can get his hands on just to show off what cool hardware he's got, you know. If you match up a fast video card with a slower processor, you can get benchmark scores that are CPU limited, instead of GPU limited like you want to see. You can see a little bit of what CPU limiting looks like when you look at the low resolution benchmarks with older games, and even with Unreal Tournament 2004 in this review. Every card ends up with essentially the same score, because it's no longer the video card that's the bottleneck -- it's the rest of the system, chiefly the CPU.

    If you knew all that already, my apologies for the mini-lecture =). I agree that it's nice to occassionally see benchmarks with a range of processors so that you can spot "yours" and see what sort of performance boost you'd get by upgrading, but it hardly seems practical to do that for every video card review and if you've got to pick ONE processor to test everything on, then the fastest available is a good choice.
    Reply
  • thebluesgnr - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #41,
    the PT894 Pro chipset should be sampling right now.

    Reply
  • bhtooefr - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    draazeejs: Anand compared it against other cards that are the same price. So, a 2 year old card that is now that same price IS a fair comparison. Reply
  • Niatross - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    I know you've heard this comment a million times before. I don't have a FX 55 I've got an Athlon 2500 mobile. These benchs mean absolutly nothing to me Reply
  • Tanclearas - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    "Most enthusiast users appear to be sticking with their AGP platforms and while they would consider a GPU upgrade, they are not willing to upgrade their motherboard (and sometimes CPU and memory) just to get a faster graphics card."

    Don't you think this has something to do with the fact that you still can't purchase AMD PCIe boards? Not to mention that it looks like the only (realistic) SLI solution that will be available in the next several months will be for Athlon 64.
    Reply
  • Pete - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #28, as ATi won't be releasing the X700XT in AGP form for quite some time, and as they're actually going to (continue to) use the 9800P as competition at the $200 price point, your accusation is wholly without merit. If you want to see X700XT vs. 6600GT numbers, just read Anand's X700XT review. As it stands, the 6600GT is unchallenged in the field of new AGP cards at $200.

    But it's way overpriced for the $250 NewEgg is charging for it, dual DVI or not. For $250, you're better off with the BFG 6800OC at Outpost.com (which may even come with Far Cry, making it an even better deal).
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    The review at firingsquad also seems to paint the same pciture, the conclusion there is similar in wording to the conclusion here to me. It seems the 6600 GT AGP is most definitely a good video card for the mass market :P Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    To #28

    A quote from HardOCP

    "One thing is for sure, the GeForce 6600GT and the Radeon X700XT are very competitive products when it comes to overall gaming performance. If we had to edge out a card that offers up the better value we would have to lean towards the GeForce 6600GT at this point in time. In our two days of X700XT experience we saw it get held out of the top spot in terms of both framerate and image quality by the GeForce 6600GT. Keep in mind that the GeForce 6600 series also packs the performance potential of Shader Model 3.0 once games start using it."

    Any nVidia bias you attribute to Anandtech is unfounded.
    Reply
  • vailr - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Some AVSForum.com (/Home Theater Computers) postings had said that the 6600 video processor was fine; that only the 6800 (the AGP version specifically) had certain hardware problems, which "cannot be cured by a driver update". Or, that maybe some future Windows Media Player update would be needed, to enable hardware assisted .wmv files.
    So, general confusion, as to what the real facts are.
    "nVidia admits 6800 has faulty on chip decoder":
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&a...
    Reply
  • Pete - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Great article, Anand. Are you sure about your 9700P numbers for Far Cry, though? They seem awfully low, especially in relation to a 5900XT. Reply
  • SlinkyDink - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    /*The AGP version of the 6600GT obviously lacks SLI support given that you can only have a single AGP slot on a motherboard.*/

    Actually I believe that AGP 3.0 specs allow up two AGP slots (and both could be used used at once), but nobody ever decided to implement it :P

    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    I am not treating NVIDIA's Video Processor as a feature of any NV4x GPU until NVIDIA provides a working driver and commits to a public release date. The 6600GT AGP supposedly has the same video processor that the PCI Express version has (since they are the same GPU), but to this date NVIDIA has failed to deliver a working driver set to take advantage of it.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • slurmsmackenzie - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #28....

    remember, the point is that ati didn't have a bridge in the works at the release of the x700, so now that it has become apparent that agp is still the front running solution, they're behind it it's agp equivelant releases. so, as far as agp interface is concerned, the closest ati comparison is the 9800.
    Reply
  • vailr - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Any comments on: comparing the hardware video decoding, of the 6600 vs. the (reportedly faulty)6800; and overall video quality, in comparison with ATI's offerings?
    For those people interested in the best cost-to-performance video solution, for Home Theater PC use.
    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Cybercat - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    They couldn't have been using the NF4 reference motherboard, these are all AGP cards. Also, why is it that the 9800 Pro does 63% better than the 9700 Pro in FarCry? At most that card is around 30% better. Did you guys really rerun the tests with the 9700 Pro using the latest drivers, or did you merely recycle some of the numbers? Reply
  • marcnakm - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    The card I was waiting for.
    Good review, just missing the comparison with the regular 6800 which is very important.
    Reply
  • Regs - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    This review shows a lot of things. One of them was how the FX series was a horrible failure. Reply
  • draazeejs - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Did nVidia pay for this article? Is it really fair to put up this card against a 2-years old card, like R9800Pro? As far as I understood, the X700 should be the real competitor for 6600GT, because the X700 is supposed to be in the same price cathegory, no? There have been numerous reviews of the X700 on the net, why not include it here??? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    The impact of the bridge, as I mentioned in the review, is negligible. The bridge + slower memory results in a 0 - 5% performance difference between the PCI Express and AGP versions of the 6600GT (the 5% figure being because of the additional memory bandwidth courtesy of the 500/1000 clock vs. 500/900).

    Just so you guys know, I went out and picked up a vanilla 6800 for inclusion in my upcoming Half Life 2 GPU comparison. Know that your voice has been heard :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Slaimus - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    What is missing is an AGP versus PCIE comparison, so the impact of the bridging can be seen. Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Newegg has one for $235.
    http://tinyurl.com/6cjej
    Reply
  • pio!pio! - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #8: What do you mean unlock the stuff? Can you flash the 6800GT BIOS onto the 6800 regular or something? Reply
  • Da3dalus - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    NVidia rocks again 8D Reply
  • Staples - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Hell yeah.

    I was hoping this card would hit before Christmas. My brother wants a 9800P for Christmas but after seeing the PCI-E vesion as a comprable price, it would pain me to buy a 9800P for the same price.
    Reply
  • Staples - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • Bonesdad - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Will the retail price here match the street price we see in the real world? Often the MSRP is appreciably higher than street price. Have to wait to see...if it is $175-$200 street price, then the message is clear Reply
  • FinalFantasy - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Awesome card...I might pick one up for my dad's rig. Reply
  • CU - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Anand you must be the only one in the world that can find 6800GT/U and x800Pro/XT, and now a 6600GT AGP the day it is out, but don't have a 6800nu to test with. I wish I had that problem.

    P.S. I don't mean this in a bad way or anything. I just thought it was funny.
    Reply
  • mldeveloper - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    will we see a pci express 6600gt vs. agp 6600gt to confirm if the bridge chip actually affects performance Reply
  • Avalon - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Thank you for taking our concerns into consideration, Anand :) Reply
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    That's intresting, how the 6800 GT dips like that in Sims 2 performance at 12x10, do you have any reason why? Even stranger still how the X800 Pro seems to be actually beating the 6800 GT in this particular game in high res. However it's FPS seems to be limited to 40FPS max across the board :S. Also could you possibly bench the Sims 2 under 1152x864, I would like to see what the performance of the 6800 GT is at that res for this game.

    Oh good review, would like a 300/700 6800 LE 8x1/4 and 325/700 6800 Vanilla 12x1/5 tested as well. To see how those compare to these cards,
    Reply
  • ciwell - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Hmm...try to get the BFG OC one then...

    :D :D
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the comments. We did not have a vanilla 6800 available for testing for this review, but as soon as we get one in we will make sure to include it in our upcoming reviews.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ciwell - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Yeah, I am wondering where the vanilla 6800 is too? It clearly is in direct competition with the 6600GT. Reply
  • ciwell - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • CU - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    I would also like to know why the 6800nu is not included. The message may not be so clear if the 6800nu was included. Reply
  • 9700prolover - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    I love the last sentense. Even the writer of anandtech loves the "the message is clear, xxx wins/fails" style of conclusion. Reply
  • Avalon - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Where was the vanilla 6800? You can get a BFG 6800 OC at Outpost for $249.99, and it's in stock at this moment. I recall the 6800 beating the 6600GT in 60% of benchmarks, while losing out in 40% of benchmarks. If the 6600GT is going to cost $225, that won't be much fun. I'd rather take the BFG 6800 and unlock the pipes and vertex shaders, artifact permitting. Reply
  • Decoder - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    What about the video decoding issues on the NVidia chips? Has that been resolved?

    http://techreport.com/ja.zz?comments=7535


    Reply
  • skunkbuster - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    not bad. but that cooler looks a little strange tilted like that :P Reply
  • Alphafox78 - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    so many graphs... ugg Reply
  • Illissius - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    awesome :)
    although, did you use the reference or the XFX 6600GT for the benchies? I don't remember it being mentioned...
    Reply
  • datamon - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    why no comparison with a regular 6800?

    right now the BFG 6800 can be had for around $250 and 6600GT AGP looks like it is starting at around $230, so they are competitors.
    Reply
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    :D Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Saweeettttt!!!!!!!!! ;) Reply

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