NVIDIA Takes a New Stab at the Mainstream with GeForce 6600

SLI Ready!

What many thought impossible has come to pass. The GeForce 6600 supports SLI operation (see NVIDIA Takes a Walk on the SLI Side with Double Graphics Processing ), at least in its "GT" version. However, it remains to be seen whether all the card manufacturers will design their GeForce 6600 GT boards for SLI operation.

The GT variant of the GeForce 6600 is SLI-capable.

Previously NVDIA only specified GeForce 6800 Ultra and 6800 GT for SLI operation, which made SLI only of interest to absolute enthusiasts as a result of its high acquisition costs. With the GeForce 6600GT, on the other hand, an SLI can be constructed at much lower cost. It is indeed not yet clear how a dual 6600GT set-up will fare against a 6800GT for approximately the same price, but simply the option of buying a second card at any time is an unbeatable reason to buy.

In all the euphoria and enthusiasm about SLI, the question of the availability of motherboard chipsets still remains unanswered. To demonstrate SLI, NVIDIA is currently using motherboards with the Intel "Tumwater" workstation chipset, which is of absolutely no interest in terms of price for mainstream requirements. In addition to which there is a bandwidth of only x4 PCIe available for the second PCI Express slot on the Tumwater, which corresponds approximately to AGP 4x. AGP 4x operation does not really slow things down to a great extent (see ), but it would not be a good solution in the long term.

The idea behind NVIDIA's SLI only works if there are suitable mainstream chipsets available on the market, with two x16 PCI Express slots. NVIDIA is in fact hinting that there will be suitable nForce chipsets, but we have as yet no further details about them.