Good 3D Performance at a Middling Price: GeForce 6600 Shootout

Asus Extreme N6600GT (EN6600GT/TD/128M/A)

Asus also went with the color blue for the circuit board on its NVIDIA graphics card series. Despite the name "Extreme", the N6600GT is more of a conventional GeForce 6600 GT implementation. With a rating of 500/1000 MHz, Asus keeps strictly to the NVIDIA reference specs. With Asus, the descriptor "Extreme" stands solely for the use of the PCI Express interface; it does not denote a faster-rated model as you might expect.

The shape of the cooler is strongly reminiscent of NVIDIA's reference model. It looks quite appealing, however, due to its copper-colored heatsink, matched with a transparent covering. The only thing that could be considered a real specialty of the Asus N6600GT would be the passive coolers on the memory modules.

You hardly notice the noise level of the fan while it's operating; it's not one of the quietest models in terms of actual sound volume, but it features a very unobtrusive and pleasant operating noise. The rotation speed is identical for 2D and 3D operation. Since the N6600GT is not equipped with a hardware monitoring function, the fan's speed cannot be regulated by the user. A TV output rounds out the card's components.