Gigabyte's GA660Plus TNT2 Ultra - HotHardware

Gigabyte's GA660Plus TNT2 Ultra

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The Gigabyte GA660Plus - TNT2-A

What a difference a "rev." makes!


Most companies dealing with circuit board design and manufacturing go through a refinement process of their product which makes improvements to the original release product with each iteration. Gigabyte had a little help from NVidia, the manufacturers of the TNT2 chip, on this revision. The GA660Plus is the identical board design and layout of the original GA660, with one exception. This board is populated with the all new NVidia TNT2-A, a .22 Micron version of the TNT2, which was originally fab'ed using .25 Micron technology. We all know what that means...

Smaller Die Size = Lower Power Consumption+Less Heat+ Higher Core Frequency

We like that equation...

 


Click here...

Hmm, those pics are vaguely familiar. Perhaps that is because the GA660 and GA660 Plus look exactly the same with the exception of the "Plus" on the board marking. Just make sure if you buy one, that the silk screen markings say "Plus" next to the GA660. Also, the rev of the first GA660 board is 1.3. A Plus board will have a 1.4 Rev. on it. Other than that, only a few key parameters have changed, namely SPEED! (Our favorite word)

The same excellent high performance cooling aproach is used on the GA660Plus as was used on the original design. Gigabyte installs a heatsink and fan combo on the front and a nice heatsink on the back of the board as well. This TNT2 "sandwich" keeps things really cool under pressure and lets the clock frequencies crank! Let's look at the rest of the criticals.

 


NVIDIA RIVA TNT2-A, 2D/3D Graphics Processor

  • 128-bit TwiN-Texel (TNT) architecture
  • 32/16MB frame buffer with 128-bit interface
  • AGP 4X/2X/1X interface with sideband addressing
  • 300MHz RAMDAC

Graphics Controller: NVIDIA RIVA TNT2-A at 149MHz or 170MHz Turbo Mode
Memory: 32MB 6ns SDRAM at
166MHz or 180MHz Turbo Mode

  • Single-pass multi-texturing
  • 32-bit true color rendering
  • Per-pixel MIP-mapping
  • Optimized for Direct3D acceleration

ADVANCED 3D FEATURES

  • Hardware triangle setup engine
  • Optimized for Direct3D acceleration
  • Complete DirectX 6.X support
  • TwiN-Texel (TNT) 32-bit graphics pipeline
  • 2 texture-mapped, lit pixels per clock
  • Single pass multi-texturing
  • Square and non-square texture support
  • Texture blending support, including:
  • Multi-textures, bump maps, texture modulation, Light maps, reflection maps, environmental maps
  • Procedural textures
  • Back end blending, including: DirectX 6.X: 121 modes supported for source, destination and alpha blending
  • 32-bit ARGB rendering with destination alpha
  • Point sampled, bilinear, trilinear, and 8-tap anisotropic filtering (better than trilinear mip-mapping)
  • Per-pixel, perspective-correct, texture mapping, including fog, light, mip mapping
  • 24-bit or 16-bit Z-buffer and 8-bit stencil buffer
  • Anti-aliasing (full scene and order independent)

2D ACCELERATION

  • 128-bit graphics engine, optimized for single cycle operation
  • Internal 256-bit data paths for high speed Windows acceleration
  • Pipeline optimized for multiple color depths
  • Execution of all 256 raster operations
  • Multi-buffering (double, triple, and quad) for smooth animation
  • True color hardware cursor

 

VIDEO ACCELERATION

  • Acceleration of full-motion video playback, sustaining 30 frames per second with high quality color resolution
  • Implements true bilinear filtering for scaled video
  • Backend hardware video scaling for video conferencing and playback
  • Hardware color space conversion and multi-tap X and Y filtering
  • Support for scaled field interframing
  • Per-pixel color keying
  • Multiple video windows with hardware color space conversion and filtering
  • Support for software MPEG acceleration and H.261 video conferencing
  • DVD sub-picture alpha blending compositing
  • Video acceleration for DirectShow, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and Indeo

Just in case you were sleeping through those specs, the key difference for the "Plus" version is that the TNT2 Core Speed by default is 149MHz. and when you have the Turbo Mode engaged with the on board jumper, it runs rock solid stable at 170MHz.! In addition the memory speed jumps from the standard mode 166MHz. to 180MHz. ! We of course cranked the GA660Plus up a little higher than that and were able to run it at 175MHz Core and 190MHz. Memory Clock with full stability. You may of course see slightly different results with your board. You know how it goes...  
     
 
 
 

Get ready! Set! B-E-N-C-H-M-A-R-K-S !!

     
     

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