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

Test Setup

The clock rates of some of the GeForce 6600 graphics cards tested differ radically from the default reference values set by NVIDIA. To highlight the differences we subjected the cards to extensive performance tests in three modern DirectX 9 games, as well as 3DMark 2005. The test platform for AGP models was based on an Intel D875PBZ motherboard with an Intel i875 chipset. For PCI Express models an Intel D925XCV motherboard with an i975 chipset was used. In both cases we used an Intel Pentium 4 CPU with 3.2 GHz and 1 GB RAM. AGP and PCIe can be legitimately compared with each other, despite the very different bus systems.

The screen resolutions chosen were oriented to the customary native resolutions among TFT displays : 1024x768 and 1280x1024. Apart from the standard representation qualities, the cards also had to show off their paces with 4-fold anti-aliasing (FSAA) and 8-fold anisotropic filtering (AF) activated.

For the sake of better comparisons we also tested various current alternatives to the GeForce 6600, as well as cards of older generations. AGP models are marked with an "*" in the benchmark tables.

AGP Test System
CPU Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz
FSB 200 MHz
Motherboard Intel D875 PBZ
Memory 4x Corsair CMX256A-3200LL DDR, 1024 MB
HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120 GB S-ATA (8 MB)
DVD Hitachi GD-7000
LAN Netgear FA-312
Power Supply Antec True Control 550W
PCI Express Test System
CPU Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz
FSB 200 MHz
Motherboard Intel D925 XCV
Memory 2x Micron DDRII, 533 MHz, 1024 MB
HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120 GB S-ATA (8 MB)
DVD Hitachi GD-7000
LAN Netgear FA-312
Power Supply Antec True Control 550W
Drivers & Configuration
Graphics NVIDIA v71.84
Chipset Intel Inf. Update
OS Windows XP Prof. SP1a
DirectX DirectX 9.0c
Benchmarks
3DMark 2005 Standard Resolution
4x FSAA / 8x AF set by application
Doom3
v1.0.1282
Timedemo demo1
High Quality
The Chronicles Of Riddick (EFBB)
v1.0
Custom Timedemo demointro
PS 2.0
4x FSAA by Driver, 8x aniso by App.
Half-Life 2 Custom Timedemo mw_coast01
4x FSAA / 8x AF set by application
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