PCI-Express Mainstream Roundup Part 2: nVidia 6600 and 6600GT
Still saving up your lunch money for a PCI Express graphics card? Salivating in anticipation for Nvidia 6600 series graphics card benchmark numbers? Or just bored enough to read part II of our PCI Express Graphics card comparison? No matter, we got you covered here as we added an Albatron 6600 and a XFX 6600GT to the mix, stirred the pot, and came up with some interesting numbers that just may change your opinion of mainstream PCI Express graphics cards.
Benefit of 256Mb over 128Mb
I am looking at putting a spec together at the moment and have come to GFX cards. I would like to go with PCI Express as the board I hope to get (Asus A8N SLI Socket 939 nForce 4 SLI PCI-E ATX) supports SLI and is NForce4, and have been looking at the GeForce 6600GT range.
What I am wondering is whether there is a clear front runner/best value card (The XFX reviewed sounds favourite at the moment), and also what are the benefits (if any) of having 256Mb instead of 128Mb as there doesn't seem to be much difference in price...?
Any comments/info anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated :ws:
brands? my personal favorites are Albatron & Leadtek
memory? well, a 256mb will help with newer games IF the memory is the same quality as the 128mb equivalent. it's common practise to use inferior memory on 256mb models to push the price down, so be careful.
it is also still pretty uncommon to see a 256mb 6600GT (at least here in belgium), but there are many standard 6600 cards with 256mb. double check the model to be sure you buy the right card.
Thanks for your reply.
Ah... so that's why the cards seemingly have twice as much memory but are the same price - the difference is the 'GT'. I reckon I would be best getting a 128Mb GT instead of a 256Mb non GT then... At least that way, with an SLI mobo, I can buy another 128 card in a while and double my performance!
A friend told me that you have to have identical cards to take advantage of the PCI Express/SLI features of the mobos... Is that true...? Or would it be possible to have a 128GT and a 256 normal made by different manufacturers and still get 384Mb of memory working for you? :super:
keep in mind that atm SLI only supports a few popular games & no other. nvidia had promised new drivers that will dynamically enable it to work on almost all games though.
also keep in mind that it is very strongly advised to buy exactly the same brand as well (said by nvidia & the cards manufacturers). different brands have already been succesfully coupled, but this is not always the case. especially when the manufacturers chose to deviate from standard reference design.
bottomline: to be safe, exact same model from exactly the same manufacturer.
Thanks very much for all this info.
Another person has now recommended that I look at a 6800 instead of the 6600. In his words 'If you are putting together a gaming rig, it would be a shame to scrimp on the GFX card' which I guess is true. So I may be spending another £100 on one of those...
Well you almost had me reconsidering the SLI mobo for a minute there, but if NVidia are due to release drivers to enable compatibility then hopefully that will take care of backwards compat. whilst I try to buy for future proofing's sake.
Although I am now wondering whether it will be worth going for an SLI mobo at all if I am going to get a 6800 :huh: It may just end up costing me more for the mobo and meaning that if I want to take advantage of SLI I will have to spend another £200.
Can you get mobos that use PCI express without having SLI, or do they mostly come with SLI and not vary much in price depending upon whether of not they have it? Maybe I would be better forgetting about PCI Express as well? Although I thought it was the shape of things to come :wow:
It's really hard to know what to get for the best combo as this is my first build. I would just like to ensure that what I buy is not completely useless inside 12 months, and that I am in the position to take advantage of new technologies (like SLI, PCI-E etc...). I am definitely going for a 64 bit Athlon. That's for sure.
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