When we talk about video cards, the focus is typically on the latest high-profile offerings that leave many of us in a perpetual state of hardware envy. It's a common picture, with ATI or NVIDIA releasing a new model and the other usually answering with their own killer product not long after. It's a constant dance called "competition", which is the driving factor that keeps the technology moving forward. However, the high-end sector only accounts for a small percentage of the big picture, with mid-range and value class products comprising a much larger percentage of sales.
Back in December, NVIDIA showed us their most recent play in the value class market with their new TurboCache product line. With the nearly the same level of fanfare of their latest flagship release, NVIDIA proclaimed a major upgrade to the value-class sector. Not only did TurboCache bring a very affordable solution to the mainstream with an innovative approach to memory management, it also appeared to catch ATI off-guard. In fact, it took three months for ATI to respond with their HyperMemory solution, whose core design follows the TurboCache fundamentals at the most basic level. More so, when ATI unveiled HyperMemory, it was what we affectionately call a "paper launch" as the actual hardware is still not quite ready as we move into the second quarter of '05. So as it stands now, ATI looks to be playing catch-up while NVIDIA continues to take market share with its TurboCache line.
Today, we are going to take a look at the latest TurboCache model to hit the market, in the form of the Leadtek WinFast PX6200 TC TDH 256MB. This version of a TurboCache card comes with 64MB of on-board DDR while topping out at 256MB with TurboCache. The main goal with TurboCache is to offer an economical alternative to integrated graphics, improving overall performance while enabling base level gaming potential. We are not looking for killer gaming performance here, but if you are stuck with integrated graphics and want to play some of today's latest games, a TurboCache enabled video card can be an affordable way to upgrade to much more capable technology. Let's take a look.
350 /275 MHz
Effective Memory Bandwidth(GB/sec):
Fill Rate(billion texels/sec):
HDTV-out, DVI, VGA
* System memory must be 512MB or higher.
NVIDIA TurboCache technology
Shares the capacity and bandwidth of dedicated video memory and dynamically available system memory for turbo charged performance and larger total graphics memory.
PCI Express support
Designed to run perfectly with the next-generation PCI Express bus architecture. This new bus doubles the bandwidth of AGP 8x delivering over 4GB/s in both upstream and downstream data transfers.
|Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support
Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX 9 applications, including Shader Model 3.0 titles.
NVIDIA CineFX 3.0 engine
Powers the next generation of cinematic realism. Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture delivers faster and smoother game play.
NVIDIA UltraShadow II technology
Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games, like id Software's Doom III, that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects. Second-generation technology delivers more than 4x the shadow processing power over the previous generation.
NVIDIA Intellisample 3.0 technology
The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds. Visual quality is taken to new heights through a new rotated grid sampling pattern.
NVIDIA PureVideo technology
The combination of the GeForce 6 Series GPU's high-definition video processor and NVIDIA video decode software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater.
NVIDIA ForceWare Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
Delivers rock-solid forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. Simplifies upgrading to a new NVIDIA product or driver because all NVIDIA products work with the same driver software.
NVIDIA nView multi-display technology
Advanced technology provides the ultimate in viewing flexibility and control for multiple monitors.
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control 3.0 technology
Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.
OpenGL 1.5 optimizations and support
Ensures top-notch compatibility and performance for all OpenGL applications.
As one would expect with a value-class product, the retail package takes a minimalist approach, yet covered the bases nicely. While devoid of any gaming software, Leadtek did include solid documentation in the form of a Quick Installation Guide and General Guide. The package also came with an HDTV output cable as well as a VGA-to-DVI adapter.
The installation CD came with a good collection of other items as well. Along with drivers, Leadtek added several bonus software packages including their own WinFox software which sits in the system tray, offering quick access to the card's settings as well as overclocking options. Additionally, Leadtek added a number of other titles such as WinFast DVD, Muvee 3 and Coloreal. Overall, this is a decent bundle which includes fully functional DVD player software.
Next, let's take a closer look at the Leadtek Winfast PX6200 TC TDH 256MB itself.