IntroductionI think we can all agree that the mid-range crown on both PCI Express and AGP is currently owned by NVIDIA's NV43-based GeForce 6600 GT. Readily available on both interconnects with good performance, SLI ability for the PCI Express version, sometimes dual-DVI and for an attractive mid-range price, it's going to be the GPU of choice for quite a few of you, I'd imagine. Assuming you're interested in grabbing one, the next thing to figure out is what AIB partner you want to give your money to.
That's the hard part of any purchase decision that involves a computer component. So many companies all offering the same basic product, just wrapped up differently. While it'd be nice to just buy that product direct from NVIDIA, or whoever, there's no real incentive to the IHV to do that. So you're buying from an AIB partner and there are literally dozens to choose from, all selling a wide variety of very similar SKUs, especially at the lower end of the market. Fun. Not.
That's where we come in, in some respects. Grabbing the most interesting SKUs from various partners to present to you in reviews, ignoring the detritus and OEM-only stuff (with some exceptions!), filtering it all down to what we think are the most popular enthusiast level products. We widen our net at times, but on the whole it's the general stuff we show you, and I think that's a good thing.
So applying that filter process to the 6600 GT discussed at the top of the article, with the world's largest graphics board vendor, on PCI Express, results in a pair of boards popping out the other end. "A pair of cards?", I hear you cry. That'll be SLI.
Say hello to MSI's GeForce 6600 GT, snappily named NX6600GT-TD128E, based on GeForce FX. If you believe the box that is. Turn the page and I'll show you what I mean.