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The unofficial GeForce 6600LE review (56K warning)

post #1 of 3
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Alright. Yesterday I received the eVGA GeForce 6600LE. Already, I have done some testing on it, and here is my review of the card.

Overview, Features, and Installation:

Okay, the specs of the card are pretty basic, but here they are anyway:
-300MHz core speed/400MHz memory speed
-400MHz RAMDAC
-4 pixel pipes
-256MB DDR RAM, 128-bit interface
-AGP 4X/8X
-up to 2048x1536@85Hz
-supports OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 9.0
-DVI, VGA, S-Video

What you get in the box:
-The card itself
-Molex power-splitter
-S-Video cable
-DVI to VGA adapter
-The manual and the driver CD

Opening up the box, I was surprised how small the box was and how much was in it. The box my FX5200 came in was bigger and included only the card, the drivers, and an S-Video cable. However, eVGA did a good job on the packaging. The card itself came in an anti-static bag made out of bubble-wrap, which I personally have never encountered (this type of bag, that is). Taking the card out of the bag, I noticed the 4-pin molex power input, and the rather small heatsink and fan. The memory on the processor side was half-under the HSF, which could allow these chips to get cooled a little better. The manual was pretty informative, and I soon had it installed in my case. If you're using a system for securing cards like the one in the Cooler Master Centurion 5 series of cases, you'll probably want to attach it via a screw, as the card is reasonably heavy. Software was included, but I only installed the drivers, as I don't need any system-scanning utilities. I also updated to the latest nVidia drivers, which just came out about 9 days ago. And now, we move on to the benchmarks.

Benchmarks and Results:

Alright, for tests, I ended up using my system (duh.) at both stock speeds and overclocked speeds. For benchmarks, I used Aquamark3, 3DMark2001 SE, 3DMark03, and 3DMark05 on the overclocked tests. Speeds on the stock speed tests were 1.67GHz, possible from 133 FSBx12.5 multiplier. Memory was at 200MHz. Overclocked speeds were 1.75GHz from 142 FSBx12.5 Multiplier. Memory was at 208MHz. The GPU was at 342 core/489 mem. For reference purposes, I will include results from my FX5200, which was at 270 core/285 mem.

Test #1: Aquamark3
FX5200: 7,837
6600LE: 24,246
6600LE oc: 27,246

Obviously, the higher clock speeds, higher bandwidth, and larger memory capacity made the 6600LE a better performer. Overall, the tests were very similar for the 6600LE, with an average difference of about 3FPS.

Test #2: 3DMark2001 SE
FX5200: 4908
6600LE: 8726
6600LE oc: 9815

The 6600LE, like in test #1, completely blew the 5200 away. However, as the benchmark is older, you would expect that the 6600LE would be similar in both stock and overclocked speeds. However, the overclocking brought over 1,000 additional points. On the Lobby high-detail test, the test averaged about 100FPS on up.

Test #3: 3DMark03
FX5200: 1053
6600LE: 3386
6600LE oc: 3859

In this test, the 6600LE was about level on all of the tests. However, the non-overclocked 6600LE encountered massive artifacts during the CPU tests. I'm wondering as to what could cause this, but I'm sure the CPU was starting to bottleneck the system badly. Also, I had recently installed a new soundcard, and 3DMark would not properly recognize it, causing it to skip the sound tests. If I can find newer drivers that will work with 3DMark, I will retest the 6600LE to see if it performs even better.

Test #4: 3DMark05
6600LE oc: 1674

In this test, the overclocked 6600LE was the only card I tested, as I gave it a go after I had overclocked the card. I'm sure the 5200 would have scored around 200, and the stock 6600LE would probably be around 1000. None of the feature tests ran in this benchmark, so this score is representing the game tests and the CPU tests.

General Gaming Performance:

The main reason we ever invest in better graphics is because we love to play games. That's my reason leastways. Games tested with this card included Fable: The Lost Chapters and Myst V: End of Ages. All of these games were run at stock GPU and CPU speeds.

Fable: The Lost Chapters
When I got this game for Christmas, I installed it right away. I was surprised at the graphic quality I was getting on my 5200 with verry little lag. However, I was running 800x600 on medium quality settings with AA turned off. Text did have a nasty habit of disappearing at these settings, however. With the 6600LE, I was able to run 1024x768 on high quality settings with AA still turned off with even less lag then before. Text was fully visible, and my hero's white beard and hair looked very full and real. Scars were also more detailed, as was my hero's weaponry.

Myst V: End of Ages
I also got this game for Christmas, and unfortunately it did not run, because my sound card was not supported. However, graphics were very choppy, even at 800x600 with medium-low quality settings and no AA. Installing a new sound card and the 6600LE allowed me to finally enjoy the game properly. Most recently, I was running it at 1024x768 on high detail settings with 2xAA. The sky was blue, the rocks were a grayish-brown. Skin on Yeesha and Esher looked reasonably life-like, although their overall appearance was very stiff. There was a glitch, causing water to break up the reflections on it. This was probably from the 2xAA, which definitely took a performance hit.

Conclusion:

Overall, I am very impressed with this card. For $100, it is very cheap too and will do well in older systems based off of AGP motherboards. While it's not as powerful as a 6800GT or even a 6600GT, it is capable at running newer games at very reasonable settings. For the price, it does everything I need it to, and thus it receives my gold seal of approval.


Note: I am planning on posting pics sometime soon, but I need to upload them to the web first. I will probably use the free web space that comes with my e-mail account, but any other websites that are usable may be suggested.

Disclaimer: This review is the property of me, and as such is posted on overclock.net for the use of its members. All requests to post it on other sites must be directed through my PM account.
post #2 of 3
Nice review, with a lot of good information you can add that to our hardware review section here (it might be down but im not shure)
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
T2500 Core Duo Dell Laptop Quadro 1500m flashed--> 7900GTX 2x1GB G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
200GB SATA 5400RPM 8x DVD±RW Burner XP Home SP2 17" LCD (1920x1200) + 20.1" Samsung Widescreen 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
GE Keyboard 9 Cell Battery E1705 Frame Razer Diamondback 
Mouse Pad
Icemat 
  hide details  
Reply
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