A Closer Look & Package Contents
We know what some of you are thinking, "That's a big chunk of copper!". Yes, the cooler on this card is big, and it's heavy, but it helps keep the GPU cool without making a sound. Another thing we're sure some of you are wondering, is whether or not this giant, heavy heatsink could damage the card or slot because of its weight. The answer to that question is most likely, No. It's a sturdy design, and ASUS has a reputation for using quality components. However, you should take caution when handling the card. Don't handle it by just the heatsink. You should also be careful not to grab the copper fins, as they're thin and it doesn't take much force to bend them.
On the backside of the card, you can see the copper ramsinks that are used to cool the card's RAM. With 256MB of GDDR3 installed, the memory can run at 1GHz without getting dangerously hot. The heatsink on the end, which contains the copper heatpipe, can be rotated upwards. This is a double edged sword, however. While in its upward state, it hovers over the CPU. This helps keep the card cool, as the fan on your CPU's heatsink will draw air through the copper fans. The problem with this, however, is that it could result in higher CPU temperatures because heated air will be blown over the CPU's heatsink. Assuming you don't have a highly overclocked CPU though, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Another important issue to consider, is whether or not the ASUS Extreme N6600GT Silencer will fit in your case. We're sure most cases should be able to accommodate this card, but we wouldn't go so far as to suggest a perfect fit in every enclosure.
When you do have the ASUS Extreme N6600GT Silencer in a case, you can be sure you're going to see a measurable increase in temperature. As we talked about earlier, with passive cooling and no exhaust fan, the heat generated by this card just sits inside your case, contributing to higher temperatures in the rest of your hardware. We know some of you are cringing at the moment, and we understand. At HotHardware, we prefer cooler running systems too. But we'll discuss temperatures a little later in the article.
ASUS has provided a decent bundle to go along with their silently cooled 6600GT. Along with the standard drivers and operation manual, ASUS included a few games, as well as some handy applications. PowerDirector 3DE, Medi@Show, and ASUS DVD are all included, as well as Xpand Rally, the ASUS Bonus Gamepack(Chaos League, Second Sight, and PowerDrome), and Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising. A VGA to DVI converter, and an dongle that has connectors for Video, S-Video, RCA and YPbPr are included as well.