Final Words

NVIDIA's 6600GT was a strong performer when it was released as a PCI Express solution, but now as an AGP card it is even stronger for two reasons:

1) The market for a $200 - $250 AGP card is currently much larger than the market for a PCI Express version of such a card, and
2) ATI will be very late to market with their X700 XT AGP, thus giving the 6600GT AGP a unique window of opportunity for the remainder of 2004.

Compared to the $200 - $300 AGP cards available today, the GeForce 6600GT AGP can't be beat. While the Radeon 9800 Pro offers close performance in older games, switch to any of the latest titles and the 6600GT truly spreads its wings.

The performance improvement the 6600GT offers over NVIDIA's older $200 price point card, the 5900XT, is nothing short of amazing. The performance comparisons we showed here today are a testament to how much NVIDIA has improved their core architecture since the days of NV3x, with the 6600GT completely demolishing the 5900XT in performance. Even the $400 5900 Ultra is outperformed by the 6600GT in almost all of the benchmarks.

NVIDIA didn't do anything that ATI couldn't have done with the 6600GT AGP, however it was NVIDIA's PCI Express to AGP bridge that they tested and validated several months ago that gave NVIDIA the time to market advantage over ATI.

For the first time in recent history our GPU recommendation is clear: the best bang for your AGP buck is none other than the GeForce 6600GT.

The Sims 2 Performance
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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

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