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


As with many other card manufacturers, there is only outdated user software in the box. PowerDirector 3ME is intended for video editing tasks (the current version is 4; an upgrade costs $49.95). In addition there is the video player software PowerDVD 5 (the current version is 6; upgrade cost is $29.95).

Screenshot from the games Joint Operations, Typhoon Rising and...

... Thief - Deadly Shadows.

The games bundle is far more attractive. Apart from the full version of Novalogic's first-person shooter Joint Operations, Gigabyte has also added the DVD version of the game Thief - Deadly Shadows.

The Gigabyte overclocking utility V-tuner2. The "Smart Tune Mode" sets the clock rates for 3D use.

On the driver CD, in addition to the drivers themselves, there are also various Gigabyte utilities for updating the card BIOS and reading card information, as well as the overclocking utility V-Tuner 2. The separation between 2D and 3D clocking in V-Tuner 2 is not clear, however - or rather, it only becomes understandable after studying the handbook.

Gigabyte does not supply video input and output connection cables. Instead there is just a breakout box with S-video and composite video inputs and an S-video output. There are also YPbPr connections for HDTV output and a DVI-to-VGA adapter to connect a second CRT display to the DVI output. A composite TV output is also missing.