XFX GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2
The XFX GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2
This is what $100 will get you these days - and 8-pipe, SM3.0 compliant GPU clocked at 400MHz and 256MB of DDR2 memory running at an effective 800MHz. As you can see, the XFX GeForce 6600 256MB DDR2 is not a large graphics card. It is about the same size as ATI's X1300 Pro, and older GeForce 6600 cards. While inspecting the card, one of the first things we noticed, was the small aluminum cooler affixed to the GPU. For a budget card, you can't expect a big chunk of copper to be attached to the core. However, right on the box it does state, "Extreme Overclocking" as a feature. At first glance we had to wonder how much overclocking was possible with the included cooler. More on this later though. Usually smaller fans run at higher RPMs for effective cooling. This leads to the cooling solution having a loud, high pitch buzz. This cooler, however, is actually fairly quiet. Later in the review, we'll cover more on the cooler's performance.
Unlike the previous implementations of DDR2 memory on a graphics card, there are no ramsinks to be found here. This is not a problem though. DDR2 memory has matured significantly since its inception, and the current generation of DDR2 memories, have lower power requirements, and operate at lower temperatures.
Since this is a low-cost graphics card, dual DVI ports are not included. Also in line with NVIDIA's lower-end cards, is the absence of an SLI bridge. To run two of these baby's in SLI mode, all you need to do is plug them in and configure them correctly in the driver control panel. Finally, the blue PCB is a nice touch. With all the green and red we see these days, it's a welcome change.