XFX GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2 - HotHardware

XFX GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2

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Around this time last month, ATI made a lot of noise with the launch of their new X1000 series of graphics cards. With much of the buzz still continuing a month later, it's little surprise that NVIDIA is feeling the need to showcase something new. With their 7800 boards covering the enthusiast market, and the new 6800 GS tackling the mainstream, NVIDIA has re-worked an existing product to specifically compete against new ATI's entry-level offering, the Radeon X1300 Pro. The card we have for you today isn't exactly new technology, it's a GeForce 6600, but some modifications have been made to boost performance.

DDR2 memory, as many of you may recall, was first by NVIDIA on their GeForce FX 5800.  Then ATI had their turn with the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro. Early DDR2 RAM chips ran relatively hot though, so hot in fact that they required the use of ramsinks. Since then, DDR2 hasn't been widely used on a graphics card and GDDR3 has taken over. But here we are, a few years later, and DDR2 is back!  And NVIDIA has put 256MB of it on a GeForce 6600. In addition to the new memory, the GeForce 6600 DDR2 reference specifications call for a 350MHz core, and 400MHz memory (DDR 800MHz). This is a considerable step up from the previous 300MHz / 250MHz version of the GeForce 6600.

What we have on-tap for you all today, is XFX's version of the "new" GeForce 6600 DDR2, which actually comes in clocked at 400MHz / 400MHz. The 50MHz increase to the core clock should offer a nice performance boost, and with FarCry thrown into the bundle as well, its clear XFX is looking to differentiate this product from competing products in its class.

Specifications & Features of The GeForce 6600
NVIDIA's Newest Value Priced PCI-Express GPU
CINEFX 3.0 SHADING ARCHITECTURE
  • Vertex Shaders
    Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
    Displacement mapping
    Geometry Instancing
    Infinite length vertex programs*
  • Pixel Shaders
    Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
    Full pixel branching support
    Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
    Infinite length pixel programs*
  • Next-Generation Texture Engine
    Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
    Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
    Support for non-power of two textures
    Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
    DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes

64-BIT TEXTURE FILTERING AND BLENDING

  • Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
  • Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
  • Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
  • Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions

INTELLISAMPLE 3.0 TECHNOLOGY

  • Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering
  • Blistering-fast anti-aliasing and compression performance
  • New rotated-grid anti-aliasing removes jagged edges for incredible edge quality
  • Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
  • Fast z-clear
  • High-resolution compression technology (HCT) increases performance at higher resolutions through advances in compression technology

ADVANCED ENGINEERING

  • Designed for PCI Express x1
  • Designed for high-speed memory
  • 128-bit advanced memory interface
  • 0.11 micron process technology
  • Advanced thermal management and thermal monitoring
ULTRASHADOW II TECHNOLOGY
  • Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games, like id Softwares Doom III
ADVANCED VIDEO AND DISPLAY FUNCTIONALITY
  • Dedicated on-chip video processor
  • MPEG video encode and decode
  • WMV9 decode acceleration
  • Advanced adaptive de-interlacing
  • High-quality video scaling and filtering
  • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
  • Dual integrated 400 MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048x1536 at 85Hz.
  • Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
  • Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
  • Full NVIDIA nView multi-display technology capability

NVIDIA DIGITAL VIBRANCE CONTROL (DVC) 3.0

  • DVC color controls
  • DVC image sharpening controls

OPERATING SYSTEMS

  • Windows XP
  • Windows ME
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows 9X
  • Macintosh OS, including OS X
  • Linux

API SUPPORT

  • Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0
  • Full OpenGL, including OpenGL 1.5

* The operating system or APIs can impose limits, but the hardware does not limit shader program length.


  

    

The bundle you see here is basic, but complete. Drivers, a manual, and an S-Video cable are included with the XFX GeForce 6600 DDR 256MB, along with two DVI to VGA adapters. But gamers need something to show off the power of their new card, right? Well, that's why the DVD version of Far Cry has been included with the package. Though FarCry can now be found for a relatively low price almost everywhere, it's still an excellent game and is a good, solid, title that should showcase the capabilities of this card very well. About the only thing missing is some sort of DVD playback software, but because of this card's low selling price this isn't a major problem.

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