IntroductionXFX GeForce 6600 GT 128MB Dual-DVI Edition
Enthusiasts looking to build new midrange systems now need to make a few hard choices. The first is which CPU company to opt for, Intel or AMD. Once that choice is made, the next thing to consider is which CPU form factor is best for them. Leading on from this is a choice of motherboard chipsets. Here's where it gets interesting, especially in terms of graphics cards. Our recent look at NVIDIA and ATI's midrange line-up highlighted both company's use of the new-fangled PCI-Express interface. Speaking of NVIDIA's excellent GeForce 6600 GT GPU in particular, it's only currently available in PCIe form, so you'll need to invest in a compatible motherboard. Fortunately for us, it seems as if everyone is jumping on the PCIe bandwagon with gusto, including VIA, Intel, NVIDIA, and now ATI.
Most GeForce 6600 GT cards ship with 128MB of onboard RAM and factory-default clocks of 500MHz core and 1000MHz memory, respectively. NVIDIA seems to have an agreement with partners such that default core clocks should be followed by one and all. However, there appears to be no such restriction on partners' choice of card DRAM. XFX has identified this area as a means of differentiating its product from the homogeneous crowd and has produced what it reckons is the finest GeForce 6600 GT card to date. Let's take a closer look at XFX's effort. Is this the must-have 6600 GT?. We'll attempt to find out.