Squeezing Value Out of Lower-End Cards

Conclusion

This article was spurred by reader feedback with some curiosity of our own. It is clear from the data we generated that overclocking can add some extra horsepower to your older cards. The interesting thing about this project was seeing the older graphics cores of the NVIDIA NV43 and ATI R430 get some extra life. We only wish they would have ramped these up a year ago to keep driving innovation.

Both the 6600 with DDR2 and the redesigned GTO are both valid choices for gaming with PCI Express on a budget. The new PowerColor model brings the R430 from the XL's lofty $280 price point into the hands of the consumer for $185. The added $65 over the 6600 makes it a very reasonable purchase. The next idea would be to run two NVIDIA GeForce 6600s in SLI versus the cheapest ATI cards in CrossFire and see where dual cards will lead us, but we will save that for another article.