Overclocking the NX6600GT-VTD128SP & Final Thoughts
Before wrapping things up, we spent some time overclocking the NX6600GT to see what kind of clock speed headroom was left in its core and memory. To get the job done, we used PowerStrip to find the peak frequency the core and Samsung GDDR3 memory were capable of.
Overall, the NX6600GT overclocked like a champ, peaking at a 600MHz core, while the memory topped out at 1075MHz DDR. We managed to tack on an additional 100MHz to the core while the GDDR3 memory yielded another 75MHz over stock speed. This resulted in the GPU running 20% faster, which pushed our Half-Life 2 scores up 12% or 4.31 FPS.
For those on a budget looking for a decent AGP card, the MSI NX6600GT-VTD128SP would not be a bad choice. The NV43 GPU at its heart offers respectable performance for an 8-Pixel Pipe part and the retail bundle is excellent, including a newer gaming title in The Chronicles of Riddick - Escape From Butcher Bay (Developer's Cut). Factor in the VIVO capabilities of the NX6600GT-VTD128SP and you end up with a potent, well rounded package.
To get an idea of this card's value, we weighed it against some other options that are available today. The NX6600GT-VTD128SP retails in the ballpark of $200-210, whereas a non-SP version falls in around the $180 mark, but the non-SP version doesn't come with all of the extras. Both of the 12-Pipe cards we used solely for reference sell closer to the $280 mark, but that's for version with twice the memory of the NX6600GT. If we looked up the 128MB equivalents, the pricing fell in around $195 for a 128MB GeForce 6800 or $190 for a PCIe X800 Pro.
In the end though, if AGP is a must, the NX6600GT-VTD128SP is a decent buy for the price. You'll be able to play most games at 1024x768 with Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering enabled, and will even be able to run a few at 1600x1200. The VIVO bundle was a solid addition for those looking to do more than just game with the card. And, of course, we think the included copy of Chronicles of Riddick was a definite plus, that will surely help MSI sell a few more of these cards. However, for a few dollars more, the X800 Pro offers better overall performance for only a little more money and 128MB 6800s are available for a few dollars less.
We give the NX6600GT-VTD128SP a Hot Hardware Heat Meter of 7.5