NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT - Value Based PCI-Express Part II

Article Index

HH Test System and Eye Candy

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the GeForce 6600GT on a Shuttle SB81 i915 Chipsest based motherboard, powered by an Intel Pentium 4 550 @ 3.4GHz CPU. The first thing we did when configuring this test system was enter the BIOS and loaded the "High Performance Defaults". Then we set the memory to operate at 200MHz in dual-channel mode, with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set by the SPD, and then we set the AGP aperture size to 256MB. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP1 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the Intel chipset drivers and hit the Windows Update site to download and install all of the available updates. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers for the rest of our components and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating, System Restore and Drive Indexing were then disabled, the hard drive was de-fragmented and a 768MB permanent page file was created on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed the benchmarking software and ran all of the tests.

The HotHardware Test System
Intel Powered Screamer
Hardware:
Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Cards -



Memory -


Audio -

Hard Drive -


Optical Drive -

Other -

Software:
Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-

Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz

Shuttle SB81 Motherboard
i915G Chipset

GeForce 6600 GT

ATI Radeon X600 XT
GeForce PCX 5750

1024MB Kingston HyperX PC3500
CAS 2

Integrated SoundMax Audio

Western Digital "Raptor"
36GB - 10,000RPM - SATA

Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM

3.5" Floppy Drive


Windows XP Professional SP2 (Fully Patched)
Intel INF v6.0.1.1002
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst v4.9
NVIDIA Forceware v65.76
Image Quality
Looking Sharp

No video card review would be complete without a few screenshots from a popular game or two.  There is no denying that currently Doom 3 is the most popular title on the market today.  With NVIDIA touting the GeForce 6600 GT as one of the best Doom 3 video cards, it didn't seem right not including some shots to demonstrate image quality.  Below are a series taken with 4X AA enabled in drivers and 8X Anisotropic filtering enabled in the game.  The game settings were set to High Quality and the screen resolution was set for 1024x768.  There is image compression as a result of reducing file size for browsing, but you'll get the picture.

   

   

These are a few random shots that took a while to accumulate since the majority of the game is rather dark.  The effects of the steam pipe and barrel exploding are very impressive as are the textures on the zombie and other baddies. We also like the flashlight effect, which even has particles in the air floating through the beam.

With so much attention being paid to Doom 3 as of late, we figured we'd dig up another favorite with the HH crew, Need For Speed Underground.

   

   

This is one of those vibrant, sharp games with a lot going on the game's environment, from detailed buildings, to colored lights, reflections and ominous clouds.  This game really sunk its teeth into a few of us when it was first released.  It was definitely fun to revisit it once again, reminding us how good it looks.


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