Overclocking the XFX GF6600
Remember that small cooler we talked about earlier? Well, let's see how it handles a few rounds of overclocking. Like we said, the box claims this card is for "Extreme Overclocking", so we were expecting the card to live up to this claim. The XFX 6600 DDR2 is already clocked 50MHz above the reference 6600 DDR2 core speed, so we were interested to see how much further it would go. We started out by enabling the hidden overclocking features in the Nvidia control panel, by using coolbits of course. Using the built in clock speed detector, the core was automatically set it 425MHz, and 850MHz memory. To test for artifacts, we used ATI tool, which has an artifact tester that is compatible with Nvidia cards. No artifacts were detected after 20 minutes so we decided to play a few levels of Quake 4. Even after 20 minutes of Quake 4, no artifacts were seen. So, we decided to go higher.
We decided to see how far we could go with ATI Tool, so we started the artifact tester, and raised the clock speeds 5MHz every 2 minutes. Artifacts were finally started appearing at around 530MHz. This is an amazing achievement for the XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2, as well as for the little cooler that's been assigned to disperse the heat. To overclock the memory, we put the core back down to its stock speed, and performed the same 5MHz increase every 2 minutes until artifacts were detected. 885MHz is what the new DDR2 memory on this card was able to dish out. We then set the card to 515MHz core and 885MHz memory, and tested for a full 60 minutes without an artifact. We also played a little more Quake 4, which lacked any artifacts. To give you an idea of the performance benefits, we decided to benchmark the same Quake 4 timedemo with our overclocked settings, and also used the same demo with the core clocked at 350MHz, and 400MHz for the memory. This, of course, is to give you an idea of how much faster the XFX card is over the reference GeFoce 6600 DDR2, and how much faster the XFX 6600 DDR2 can become with a little tweaking.
It's a nice improvement, that's for sure. The XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2 is a bit faster than the standard GeForce 6600 DDR2, and when overclocked, will give you some nice results. Playing Quake 4 at a resolution of 1280x1024 becomes a much smoother experience. We feel the memory is holding the core back somewhat, but 885MHz is all we could manage. We had a small fan blowing on our card to keep the heat down, as we wanted to see just how far this card could overclock. Depending on the airflow in your case, and the room temperature, overclocking results can vary. Also, you shouldn't expect the same results you see here from every card. Each card is different, so the results could be better or worse. We feel however, that most of you should getat leastt some kind of a decent overclock with the XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2.