IntroductionPNY Verto GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP
Here at HEXUS we are fortunate enough to get most of the latest hardware to evaluate, and we're amongst the very first to go live with products that are just being launched. However, the intrinsic problem with most cutting-edge hardware is that it's not available to you, the consumer, until the respective companies get their supply act together and feed these (p)reviewed products to online retailers. For example, take the Intel Extreme Edition 840 - the dual-core model. I took a look at it over a month ago but you can't buy one, unless you happen to know certain shady figures in the hardware world.
The second aspect with reviewing new hardware is that it tends to be top-end stuff. Given a month or two, you might be able to purchase it, but get ready to take that second mortgage out on the house or raid your student loan. £400 graphics cards and £600 CPUs, whilst nice to play with, don't offer much in the way of value for money. It's the midrange components in each class that deserve the most attention. They're out to market fairly quickly, usually outperform the previous generation's handily, and are within reach of most consumer's pockets.
In the graphics card world midrange goodness is provided by NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 GT and ATI's X700 line of GPUs. The GeForce 6600 GT, in particular, has sold well. It's a solid card that showcases much of the GeForce 6800 Ultra's talents, including all DX9-related candy and SLI-ready architecture, but at a much, much lower price. What's more, it's available in native PCI-Express form and good, old AGP, for those that have yet to take the leap into the newest iteration of motherboards for both AMD and Intel CPUs.
It's easy to see why NVIDIA board partners, or IHVs, want to run with the 6600 GT. PNY's been NVIDIA's stalwart for some time, so it's not altogether surprising that we'd come across, sooner rather than later, its implementation of NV43 in AGP form.