Retail Geforce 6600GT Exploration

by Derek Wilson on 12/9/2004 9:06 PM EST
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  • princethorpe - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - link

    I've been checking the various forums and found thisone on the 6600gt's excellent. I don't know if anyone else has found them but Asus are making these cards and do a faster than standard model by using faster memory they recon according to their site they run 10% faster than the standard. I've ordered the Asus board by preference because of the build quality Reply
  • GollumSmeagol - Monday, May 02, 2005 - link

    I came across a forum a few months ago here in Hungary, and the people were talking about Leadtek's 6600GTs being faulty/freezing. Strange enough, a few weeks later, the main distributor of Leadtek, took off 6600GTs from their pricelists on the web. Wonder if they are waiting for a bugfix, or simply ran out of stock and wait for the next shipment.

    Another beauty I've just came across, is Gigabyte's TurboForce edition, which is a slightly overclocked version of the 6600 series (both PCI-Ex and AGP 8x). I'm shopping for a SILENT AGP one, (that's where I came across this review), and found this beauty

    http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-...

    This one has sg. they call Silent-Pipe as a cooler. Not much specs on Gigabyte's page, but from the picture, it looks like there is no fan at all, just a huge copper(-colored?) heatsink, that covers about 2/3rd of the card. (Well, a Zalman FB123 could still be used to move some air)
    The memory clock is wrote to be 1120MHz (remember, TurboForce), plus when I zoomed in on to the box picture, I could spot "VIVO" written on the box. This is also supported by the info on the local dealer's page, where they say "Y" to the TV-OUT of the regular GV-N66T128D, but they say "IN/OUT" for the GV-N66T128VP. All this for roughly 20 USD extra (local price).
    Reply
  • dpp - Saturday, November 19, 2005 - link

    I've bought http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-...">Gigabyte GV-NX66T128VP (TurboForce, no fan at all)
    Start up temperature 52C, maximum 65C.
    Is that normal?
    Reply
  • ylp88 - Monday, April 18, 2005 - link

    I found the article quite informative. Thank you. I purchased two Palit 6600GT cards a week ago and have put them in SLI mode.

    I have a few questions/comments:
    1) The Palit overview is rather short compared to the others. The Palit card is also never mentioned on the last page. Is there a reason for this?
    2) The Palit cards I got DO NOT have memory heatsinks as indicted on the photo for the Palit card. The memory remins cool, however.

    Thanks again for the article.

    ylp88
    Reply
  • zexe - Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - link

    Do not go for XFX 6600GT !!!!
    The card is NOT longer equipped with 1.6ns
    The chips on my card are Samsung K4J55323QF-GC20
    THAT MEANS 2.ms !!!
    Reply
  • zexe - Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • marketmuse - Friday, April 01, 2005 - link

    does anyone know the difference between the Leadtek A6600GT and PX6600GT, besides the PCI-E and AGP?

    I'm looking to purchase a A6600GT, but I don't know if it will have the same performance as the PX version.

    Thanks
    MM
    Reply
  • Monypennyuk - Monday, March 14, 2005 - link

    Hello all.

    WOW a great review site.:)

    Just one problem. I was having problems deciding between two of these cards on the ebuyer.co.uk site.

    PNY Verto GeForce 6 6600GT AGP8x £119

    or

    Inno 3D 128MB GeForce 6600 GT 8xAGP TV-Out DVI DirectX9 £116

    This review does not mention the PNY version. although i now notice that they have the LEADTEK at about the same price. Going by these comments i GUESS i should get the LEADTEk??? Anyone know about the PNY cos my mate rekons thats the better one...

    Leadtek Winfast Geforce 6600 Gt128mb Ddr3 Agp Dvi-i Tv-out £117.

    Any help much appreciated.

    A

    Reply
  • BlackMamba - Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - link

    #75: That link to MSI is for the AGP version (note the sink for the bridge chip).

    Not sure if they've fixed the problems with the PCI-E version, and would also like to know.
    Reply
  • JensErik - Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - link

    Looking at the pictures of the MSI card in the review and the pics at MSI's page it seems that MSI has changed the a lot on their card, including the HSF.

    (Check it out here: http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/vga/vga/pro...

    Does anyone know if this has solved the HSF mounting problem encountered in the test??
    Reply
  • Bonesdad - Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - link

    Yes, I too would like to see an update here...have any of the makers attacked the HSF mounting problems? Reply
  • 1q3er5 - Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - link

    can we please get an update on this article with more cards, and replacements of defective cards?

    I'm interested in the gigabyte card
    Reply
  • Yush - Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - link

    Those temperature results are pretty dodge. Surely no regular computer user would have a caseless computer. Those results are only favourable and only shed light on how cool the card CAN be, and not how hot they actually are in a regular scenario. The results would've been much more useful had the temperature been measured inside a case. Reply
  • Andrewliu6294 - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    i like the albatron best. Exactly how loud is it? like how many decibels? Reply
  • JClimbs - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Anyone have any information on the Galaxy part? I don't find it in a pricewatch or pricegrabber search at all. Reply
  • Abecedaria - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - link

    Hey there. I noticed that Gigabyte seems to have modified their HSI cooling solution. Has anyone had any experience with this? It looks much better.

    Comments?
    http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-...

    abc
    Reply
  • levicki - Sunday, January 09, 2005 - link

    Derek, do you read your email at all? I got Prolink 6600 GT card and I would like to hear a suggestion on improving the cooling solution. I can confirm that retail card reaches 95 C at full load and idles at 48 C. That is really bad image for nVidia. They should be informed about vendor's doing poor job on cooling design. I mean, you would expect it to be way better because those cards ain't cheap.
    Reply
  • levicki - Sunday, January 09, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • geogecko - Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - link

    Derek. Could you speculate on what thermal compound is used to interface between the HSF and the GPU on the XFX card? I e-mailed them, and they won't tell me what it is?! It would be great if it was paste or tape. I need to be able to remove it, and then later, would like to re-install it. I might be able to overlook not having the component video pod on the XFX card, as long as I get an HDTV that supports DVI. Reply
  • Beatnik - Friday, December 31, 2004 - link


    I thought I would add about the DUAL-DVI issue, in the new NVIDIA drivers, they show that the second DVI can be used for HDTV output. It appears that even the overscan adjustments are there.

    So not having the component "pod" on the XFX card appears to be less of a concern than I thought it might be. It would be nice to hear if someone tried running 1600x1200 + 1600x1200 on the XFX, just to know if the DVI is up to snuff for dual LCD use.
    Reply
  • geogecko - Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - link

    Well, two e-mails later to XFX, without an answer to my questions, and now I see this PNY PCI-E card with dual dvi and hdtv out pod...guess who's going to get my money? Reply
  • Beatnik - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - link


    Two links of interest:

    http://www.xfxforce.com/pinetechnotes/Fan%20Update...

    http://www.pny.com/products/verto/performance/6600...

    Nice article folks!
    Reply
  • Beatnik - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - link


    Seems pretty clear that a lot of people are waiting on their next upgrade, hence the continued heavy AGP interest. w.r.t. the XFX, it looks like they have a online store, and now have a pretty cool looking heatsink on the AGP card:
    http://www.xfxforce.com/pinetechnotes/Fan%20Update...

    The PNY 6600GT AGP product looks interesting also: http://www.pny.com/products/verto/performance/6600...
    Might be the only DVI+DVI+component video out.
    (Outstanding article guys!)
    Reply
  • Rekonn - Monday, December 27, 2004 - link

    I too would really like to see a roundup like this one done for 6600GT AGP cards. Reply
  • zoros - Sunday, December 26, 2004 - link

    Anyone know how well PNY 6600GT is doing in there tests.. I have tried to find information everywhere, but with no sucess.. :-( Reply
  • geogecko - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I agree. PC's have started to move into the home theater more than ever now, and people (me included) are reading your articles to obtain knowledge when building home theater PC's. This information is not there, and thus still leaves me in the dark as to which video card to purchase for my HTPC.

    No word from XFX on their HDTV Output compatibility, so I must assume they don't support it, which stinks, considering they have the only card with dual DVI connectors, and a decent HSF design.

    I realize this was a quick review, but video cards are now being required to have HD compatibility since so many people are interested in HTPC's these days. No one wants a DVR that forces advertising on them when they fast forward past commercials...so why not build a DVR that does more than TiVo intead...

    How about an update with HDTV Output compatibility, along with who includes the cables?
    Reply
  • nvdm24 - Sunday, December 19, 2004 - link

    How much longer will us readers allow these ridiculous reviews to go on? Many of the readers of these tech sites want to know the FULL capabilities of these cards, not just how they run doom 3 and other 3d games. Sadly, reviewers at anandtech and every other tech site ignore the VIDEO capabilities of VIDEO cards. Even this review of the new 6600 agp ignores the video aspect of the 6600, despite the problems of the 6800, that weren't discovered by any reviewer, since none of them tested it for video. Not testing the video aspect does a HUGE disservice to readers. It's quite simple, just test a dvd movie and make sure the video aspect works and let readers know. If you feel particularly energetic, you could also test how fast it renders home movies, etc. You may think this is the job of a VIDEO site or PC site, but you are a PC site, a tech site. You would be surprised at the people who read your reviews. Others are going to start doing the job better, thus pull away readers if you don't get it together. Reply
  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Friday, December 17, 2004 - link

    Hi Derek,

    any word from the manufactures that had problems, are they sending you new cards?

    I was reading some user reviews for the MSI 6600GT _AGP_ at gameve.com and it also has heating problems, which is disapointing. Do you plan a similar article on the 6600GT AGP cards?
    Reply
  • 1q3er5 - Friday, December 17, 2004 - link

    ouch u got me good there :( im never posting again :o lol Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, December 17, 2004 - link

    #54 We scored cards more on construction, cooling, and noise, rather than on overclockability. thus the Albatron didn't get an award.

    Also, the leadtek card you liked to is the AGP version. We tested PCI Express parts only. The heatsink you mention is not cooling RAM, but the HSI (PCIe to AGP bridge).
    Reply
  • 1q3er5 - Thursday, December 16, 2004 - link

    errr weird how the albatron despite its so called HSF mounting problem scored so high on all the tests albeit a bit loud and didn't get an award !

    Also looks like LEADTEK changed the design of the board of the bit

    http://www.leadtek.com/3d_graphic/winfast_a6600_gt...

    They added a heatsink on the RAM and you may also notice that the shroud now extends right over the other chips on the card.
    Reply
  • miketus - Thursday, December 16, 2004 - link

    Hi, has anyboby experience with Albatron 6600GT for AGP Reply
  • geogecko - Monday, December 13, 2004 - link

    Personally, I'd be willing to spend the extra $15-20 to get a decent HSF on these cards. Of course, the first one I buy will go in an HTPC, which will all be passively cooled, so the HSF in this case doesn't matter, because I'll just be removing it.

    However, for my PC, I sure would like a decent quality HSF. It would stink to have a $200 card burn up in your PC because of a $10 HSF setup.
    Reply
  • WT - Monday, December 13, 2004 - link

    Interesting that GigaByte used a passive HSF on their 6800 card (with great results), but went with a craptastic fan on the 6600GT. I have an MSI 5900 and didn't want to settle for the cheesy MSI 5900XT cards HSF setup, so we are seeing the same thing occur with the 6600GTs .... cut costs by using a cheaper HSF.
    Excellent article .. I found it answered every question I had left on the GT cards, further convincing me to buy the 6800 series.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    #49 -- it was a problem with our sample ... the actual issue was not a design flaw, but if the design (of most 6600 GT cards) was different, it might have been possible for our sample to have avoid breakage.

    That's kind of a complicated way of saying that you should be alright as long as you are careful with the card when you install it.

    After it's installed, the way to tell if you have a problem is to run a 3D game/application in windowed mode. Open display properies and click on the system tab. Hit the advanced button and select the NVIDIA tab. select the temperature option and if you see temperatures of 90 degrees C and higher, you probably have a problem.

    if your temp is lower than that you're fine.
    Reply
  • Vico26 - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    Derek,

    was the 6600 GT MSI a broken piece, or is there a problem with the HS design? Plz let me know, as I bought the MSI card on the same day as you published the article. Now, I am shocked, and I would like to find a solution - new cooling system? Am I able to install it (I m not a sort of professional)?

    Anyway many thanks, I should have waited a day...
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    http://www.gfe.com.hk/news/buy.asp Reply
  • Nyati13 - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    What I'd like to know is where are the Galaxy 6600GTs available? I've looked at some e-tailers that I know of, and searched pricewatch and e-bay, and there aren't any Galaxy cards for sale. Reply
  • geogecko - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    Well, I actually meant to say something in that last post.

    Anyway, short and sweet. That's the way I like these articles. Who wants to spend more than about 15-30 minutes to find out which card is best for them.

    I do think that the HDTV thing could have been looked at, but other than that, it's a great article.
    Reply
  • geogecko - Sunday, December 12, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Saturday, December 11, 2004 - link

    #41, please remember this is a 20 page article, and things were written in a way people can easily read all 20 pages.
    Reply
  • overclockingoodness - Saturday, December 11, 2004 - link

    #41: What do you mean barely readable? You are not some scholor who needs perfect writing in order to understand something. If you don't like it, don't read it.

    The reason why the review style was like a "quickly-patched email" is because it is a round-up of 11 cards.

    The point of a round-up is to cover the positives and negatives of a plethora of similar products at the same time. Since AnandTech has already done extensive 6600 benchmarks, they decided to do quick comparison and be done with it.

    Now you which 6600 to go for.

    If you don't know how things work, it's better to be quiet.
    Reply
  • skunkbuster - Saturday, December 11, 2004 - link

    #41 lets see if you can do better then Reply
  • mrscintilla - Saturday, December 11, 2004 - link

    Sorry to say this, but the article Derek wrote was barely readable. It reads more like a quickly-patched email than an edited article. The writing quality has to improve in the future.

    Reply
  • SleepNoMore - Saturday, December 11, 2004 - link

    Thank God XFX offers an AGP version of this card. I am not FORCED to buy a PCI-Express slot motherboard and trash my current system. Reply
  • QuestMGD - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    MSI heatsink really sucks. I had supicions about the heatsink after I got my MSI card from NewEgg. This article verified it. Since the card isn't in a computer yet, I pulled of the heatsink and sanded it down.

    I'm not done yet, but after a while it does look like I can get it to fit tightly, it was just a PIA. The mounting springs seem to have been originally designed correctly, the heatsink casting was just crap.

    BTW heatsink is just copper colored coating over Aluminum or whatever, that's probably why the casting ended up so poor.

    Could anyone e-mail me whether I can use CPU thermal compound on my Graphics Card memory chips, or should I go out and get something else? I've heard mixed opinions regarding this. Thanks.
    Reply
  • threeply - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    I noticed No Evga card was included in the review. Any reason why this card was not included? Reply
  • Momental - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Cobbling with your bogus dink is not recommended. See your doctor if condition persists. ;)

    A really great article. Extremely informative and gives "down and dirty", which I like. I'm in the market for a PCI-e 6600GT (sounds like a new motorcycle from Suzuki) and this article really gives one some serious food for thought rather then just the standard angle of "which one is the fastest and/or cheapest?"

    The last thing I want is to have to handle one of these things like it was some sort of rare antiquity from the Ming Dynasty. While I don't do my best imitation of a ferrit on crack inside a case, it's good to know that there is the possibility of damaging the HSF quite easily. Who'd a thought!
    Reply
  • ShadowVlican - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    thanks for the excellent write up Derek, i hope the vendors follow your advice to improve the contact issues with the HSF and GPU, since i won't be purchasing a gfx card with poor design that can be fixed so easily

    the leadtek will be on top of my list and likely in my next comp as soon as a64 pci-e motherboards come out
    Reply
  • JClimbs - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Excellent article, focusing on a few key issues that performance buffs tend to overlook in their quest for higher framerates.
    My overall take after reading this was that the 6600GT's market is really limited to people/companies willing to pull things apart and fix them up right. The cooling solutions all seem either bogus or cobbled, with cobbled being the best of the bunch. If you don't want to dink with your purchase, get a cobbled one; if you WILL dink with it, you can get a bogus model and fix it.
    One thing I would like to have seen compared is power usage. I'm curious to see what the spread is there. And also, harking back to an earlier article, if improving the power supply improves overclocking performance.
    Once again, excellent article, Derek!
    Reply
  • geogecko - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    #33. I agree completely. That's why I'm curious about the HDTV output. I want to build an HTPC that is somewhat future-proof, and if that is the case, then I need the HDTV Out feature to work. From a review on newegg.com's web site on the XFX card, he couldn't seem to get and HDTV Out to work with the card.

    NVDVD would also be a plus if it was included, but I doubt it. I sent an e-mail to tech support over at XFX, asking these particular questions. Hopefully, I'll get an answer.
    Reply
  • jamawass - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Well there's more to a graphics card than gaming. The 6600 series is causing quite a stir in the htpc community because of the video decoding capabilites and hdtv output. It would've been helpful if the reviewer had mentioned the various manufacturers' suppport for HDTV output out of the box, which cards come with the NDVD codec, component adapter etc. Reply
  • bigpow - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    -> hex value 3 = decimal value 3 Reply
  • geogecko - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Great article Derek. Been looking for a 6600GT round up article for a while now.

    Question though. A few of these cards come with an HDTV cable, which, I guess I'm a little confused to what this actually is. I prefer the XFX card, because of the dual DVI outputs (and no need to overclock the card). It doesn't list as coming with an HDTV cable, so I'm wondering, what is the impact on not having this cable? What is the cable? Can't one usually just hook up a DVI cable to an HDTV?
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Nice round-up, and your bringing attention to the potential problems with some of the heatsinks is very much appreciated.

    Maybe as a follow up we need a round-up of some after-market heatsinks for the 6600GT.

    Any reason to assume that these conclusions reached for the PCIe cards do or do not apply to the AGP versions? I know the AGP versions typically have their heatsinks set on a diagonal in order to accomodate the bridge chip.

    Space
    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    my last comment was in response to #25

    #27 - Derek is talking about his "IT friendly" list, those cards he felt had the most reliable hsf implementation

    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    it does consistently lead in performance, worth noting by all means, but also, as it was mentioned in the review, these cards probably all perform even better on an nforce4, and the rank and file in performance among these cards might be a little different on an nforce4

    but I would definitely get an arctic cooler for the albatron anyways (if a compatible one is released) to quiet it down, that fan on it is tiny, thin, and loud
    Reply
  • Houdani - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    On the last page [Final Words] you are listing why some cards aren't worthy of an Editor's Choice award. The next to last paragraph states:

    "XFX doesn't make the list because..."

    But, ummm, isn't XFX the Silver choice?
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    I know the Albatron didn't have a great mounting mechanism, but it was better than many of the others Reply
  • Aquila76 - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Why wasn't the Albatron given any medal? It has the best OC, best or near best performance in all the tests, and great temps even under load with the high OC. So the fan is a little noisier than the rest, is that any reason to dirt on this card? Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    my mistake, didn't actually read some of the article Reply
  • bbomb - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    #20 Derek said that Pine = XFX so he did review the card with the buy me link.
    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    #21 - i guess thats what arctic cooling is for...

    speaking of which, its good to see some makers adopting similar hsf designs to the arctic coolers, except for the part about shunting the air directly out of the case

    I just saw that asus does have a 6600gt coming, and it has a very arctic cooling-esque design which I like, also, I think the albatron in this round-up has some semblance as well, too bad its fan is so loud
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    I agree, the heatsinks (and particularly fans) are disappointing. If they just abandoned the idea of the fansink only taking up one slot-height they'd have a lot more freedom to improve things (like fan thickness, which could combat noise AND longevity). It might even be better to prevent someone from sandwiching another card in next to the video anyway, taking up more than one slot thickness could be a positive thing all around. Not that it would "need" be two slots thick, but even an extra 5mm is a lot on such a thin 'sink. Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    the leadtek has just looked like a solid card since i first saw it, I'm not surprised by the results, this card is clearly the best of all in this roundup

    #6 - I agree that most of the other HSF's look really cheap, especially the Chaintech, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Inno3d, and MSI just from eye-balling them.

    #10 - nice point, Anand, why do you even include these deals on the review pages? I can only assume its basically an ad that the company is paying for, and you are half-way endorsing the product, and in this case, not even reviewing it as we meanwhile read about 11 other competing cards

    overall, these cards look pretty cheap, I think the quality control issues highlight this

    anyone know if asus or abit plans to make 6600gt's (or any other manufacturer)?
    Reply
  • Filibuster - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the info Derek! Reply
  • ocyl - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Derek > This is a follow-up to my post at #16. I have done a quick research, and here is a simple comparison chart of video-in implementations of these cards.

    Albatron PC6600GTV/PC6600GT: Yes/No (not sure which one was tested)

    Chaintech SE6600G: No

    Galaxy GF6600GT: No

    Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D/GV-NX66256D: No/No (Did Gigabyte send you a NX66256D? I don't know if they've got a wrong picture on their website but it looks like they may have sent you an overclocked 6600 instead of a real 6600GT).

    Inno3D GeForce 6600 GT: No

    Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH: No

    MSI NX6600GT-VTD128E/NX6600GT-TD128E: Yes/No (not sure which one was tested)

    Palit GeForce 6600GT: No

    Prolink PV-N43E(128LD): No

    Sparkle SP-PX43GVH/SP-PX43GDH: Yes/No (not sure which one was tested)

    XFX PVT43GNDD7: No

    In terms of full product lines (6600 series PCI Express + AGP), MSI has 4 out of 8 cards featuring video-in, followed by Sparkle (1 out of 4) and Albatron (1 out of 8).

    Oscar
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    I would like to appologize -- Galaxy just informed me that they are, in fact, shipping their 6600gts at 525/550 ...

    this modest overclock comes basically free to the end users -- this gets them an editors choice award as no other vendor has shipped with a default core oc.
    Reply
  • ocyl - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Derek > Thank you for paying attention to the noise issue in the report. It will be great if we can also see a discussion/comparison of VIVO implementation (or lack thereof) in the future since video processing is now a built-in feature of the GPU :)
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Yes, I oc'd myself ... but i'd like to know where i said clock stock so i can fix it ;-)

    Trogdor -- 3 mount points would have worked fine. there aren't any larger images... that was a mistake -- I appologize.

    redavnl -- Pine is XFX

    Fillibuster -- high quality for doom 3, and the gigabyte card may be called 6600 series, but it is a 6600 gt (clocked at 500/500 with sli)

    Pete -- as always, thanks for the constructive feedback. i've altered the sound bits to reflect 6db to 10db being a double in perceived volume. I knew 3db was the power doubling point not perception, i was just overclocking myself too much that night :-) ...

    we stick to 1M distances for a few logistic reasons. after this article: http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2126&... it was pointed out to us that a 5 cm distance skews the results because of things like turbulance from the fan. talking to some audio engineers, it seems measuring the spl level of a system at 1 meter is pretty standard.

    we do actually measure with no case. It does acutally sit on a desk on a layer of foam, though any sound deadening is secondary. I don't think I have any cases in my lab.

    We'll continue to look into the sound issue, but I wouldn't think having a box literally 12 inches from your ear is a commonly possible thing (i can't even get my monitor 12 inches from my eyes). I could see 5 decimeters maybe ...

    we will continue to look into the spl issue.
    Reply
  • Pete - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Obviously Derek OCed himself to get this article out, and he's beginning to show error. Better bump your (alarm) clocks down 10MHz (an hour) or so, Derek. Reply
  • pio!pio! - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Noticed a typo. At one point your wrote 'clock stock speed' instead of 'stock clock speed' easy mistake. Reply
  • Pete - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Another reason to narrow the distance b/w the mic and the noise source is that some of these cards may go into SFFs, or cases that sit on the desk. 12" may well be more indicative of the noise level those users would experience. Reply
  • Pete - Friday, December 10, 2004 - link

    Great article, Derek!

    As usual, I keep my praise concise and my constructive criticism elaborate (although I could argue that the fact that I keep coming back is rather elaborate praise :)). I think you made the same mistake I made when discussing dB and perceived noise, confusing power with loudness. From the following two sources, I see that a 3dB increase equates to 2x more power, but is only 1.23x as loud. A 10db increase corresponds to 10x more power and a doubling of loudness. So apparently the loudest HSFs in this roundup are "merely" twice as loud as the quietest.

    http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/voltagelou...
    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article121-page1.htm...

    Speaking of measurements, do you think 1M is a bit too far away, perhaps affording less precision than, say, 12"?

    You might also consider changing the test system to a fanless PSU (Antec and others make them), with a Zalman Reserator cooling the CPU and placed at as great a distance from the mic as possible. I'd also suggest simply laying the test system out on a piece of (sound-dampening) foam, rather than fitting it in a case (with potential heat trapping and resonance). The HD should also be as quiet as possible (2.5"?).

    I still think you should buy these cards yourselves, a la Consumer Reports, if you want true samples (and independence). Surely AT can afford it, and you could always resell them in FS/FT for not much of a loss.

    Anyway, again, cheers for an interesting article.
    Reply
  • redavnI - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    Very nice article, but any chance we could get a part 2 with any replacement cards the manufacturers send and I'd like the see the Pine card reviewed too. It's being advertised as the Anandtech Deal at the top of this article and has dual dvi like the XFX card. Kind of odd one of the only cards not reviewed gets a big fat buy me link.

    To me it seems that with the 6600GT/6800 series Nvidia has their best offering since the Geforce4 TI's...I'm sure I'm not the only one still hanging on to my Ti4600.

    Reply
  • Filibuster - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    Something I've just realized: The Gigabyte NX66T256D is not a GT yet supports SLI. Are they using a GT that can't run at the faster speeds and selling it as a 6600 standard? It has 256MB.
    We ordered two from a vendor who said it definately does SLI.

    http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-...

    Can you guys find out for sure?
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    Derek, the "enlarged images" all seem to be missing, or else the links are somehow broken. I tested with Firefox and IE6 and neither one would resolve the image links.

    Other than that, *wow* - who knew HSFs could be such an issue? I'm quite surprised that they are only secured at two corners. Would it really have been that difficult to use four mount points? The long-term prospects for these cards are not looking too good.
    Reply
  • CrystalBay - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    Great job on the quality control inspections of these cards D.W. Hopefully IHV's take notice and resolve these potentially damageing problems. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    I didn't see a single card in this review that didn't have a really cheesey looking fan...the type that might last a couple years if you're really lucky, but might last six months on some cards if you're not. The GeForce 6600GT is a decent card; for $175-250 (depending on PCIe or AGP) you'd think vendors would put a fan deserving of the price. My PNY 6800NU came with a squirrel-cage fan and super heavy heatsink that I know will last. Hopefully, Arctic Cooling will come out with an NV Silencer soon for the 6600 family; I wouldn't trust any of the fans I saw here to last. Reply
  • Filibuster - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    What quality settings were used in the games?

    I am assuming that Doom 3 is in medium since these are 128MB cards.
    I've read that there are some 6600GT 256MB cards coming out (Gigabyte GV-NX66T256D and MSI 6600GT-256E, maybe more) Please show us some tests with the 256MB models once they hit the streets (or if you know they are definately not, please tell us that too)

    Even though the cards only have 128bit bus, wouldn't the extra ram help out in places like Doom 3 where texture quality is a matter of ram quantity? The local video ram still has to be faster than fetching it from system ram.
    Reply
  • Kccdx2 - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    rofl at the incident with the gigabyte card. Reply
  • LeadFrog - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    wow. Are you planning to do this thing with any other cards? Reply
  • kuljc - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    lol me too! it's magic! Reply
  • glennpratt - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    Coo! There was only one page when I started reading this. They filled in as I read. :) Reply

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