Chaintech GeForce 6600GT AGP Review

chaintech-6600gt-agp

Introduction

The GeForce 6600 video card was initially released as a PCI-Express video card. Recently Nvidia released an AGP version of the 6600 for those who have not made the leap to the new bus type. Nvidia places the 6600 series in the performance category while the biggest and baddest 6800 is in the enthusiast category. Currently there are two models of the 6600 line, the regular 6600 and 6600GT which is faster than the regular 6600. This particular card that is on the review table today is a Chaintech GeForce 6600GT.

PCI-Express vs. AGP
Like I mentioned in the introduction this 6600 series was initially released only as PCI-Express. Because PCI-Express is not mature enough, many people are not able to make the move yet. There isn’t a big difference between the PCI-Express and AGP versions of this card but there are some. The memory on the PCI-Express version runs 100MHz faster than the AGP version at stock speeds. The memory bandwidth is also higher with the PCI-Express version which is probably due to the higher memory speed and the PCI-Express bus. Below is a table from Nvidia that outlines compares the two types of this card.

Technical Specifications

CineFX 3.0 Shading Architecture

  • Vertex Shaders
    • Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
    • Displacement mapping
    • Geometry instancing
    • Infinite length vertex programs
  • Pixel Shaders
    • Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
    • Full pixel branching support
    • Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
    • Infinite length pixel programs
  • Next-Generation Texture Engine
    • Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
    • Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
    • Support for non-power of two textures
    • Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
    • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
    • Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes

64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending1

  • Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
  • Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
  • Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
  • Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions

Intellisample 3.0 Technology2


  • Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering
  • Blistering-fast antialiasing and compression performance
  • New rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible edge quality
  • Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
  • Fast z-clear
  • High-resolution compression technology (HCT) increases performance at higher resolutions through advances in compression technology

UltraShadow II Technology

  • Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games, like id Software’s Doom 3

Advanced Video and Display Functionality

  • Dedicated on-chip video processor
  • MPEG video encode and decode
  • WMV9 decode acceleration
  • Advanced adaptive de-interlacing
  • High-quality video scaling and filtering
  • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
  • Dual integrated 400 MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048 × 1536 at 85Hz
  • Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
  • Microsoft® Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
  • Full NVIDIA® nView™ multi-display technology capability

Advanced Display Functionality

  • Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048×1536 at 85hz
  • Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
  • Full NVIDIA® nView™ multi-display technology capability

Advanced Engineering

  • Designed for PCI Express x16
  • Support for AGP 8X including Fast Writes and sideband addressing
  • Designed for high-speed GDDR3 memory
  • Advanced thermal management and thermal monitoring

NVIDIA® Digital Vibrance Control™ (DVC) 3.0

  • DVC color controls
  • DVC image sharpening controls

Operating Systems

  • Windows XP
  • Windows ME
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows 9X
  • Macintosh OS, including OS X
  • Linux

API Support

  • Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
  • Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 1.5