NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT Review

Discussion in 'Beyond3D Articles' started by Dave Baumann, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    [​IMG]First announced nearly a month back, NVIDIA are readying the GeForce 6600 series for release and now they are ready for the performance numbers to be unveiled for the higher end version, the GeForce 6600 GT. Here we take a full rundown of performance looking at games performance, Shader Performance from Shader 1.1 to 3.0, PCI Express throughputs, video decoding performance, amongst others.<blockquote>"Looking at the top level specifications it appears that the GeForce 6600 GT bears many similarities to the ill fated GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, however naturally the architecture its based on readdresses many of the performance issues associated with the FX architecture, and the smaller process alleviates the board level issues of noise and heat. Its interesting to note that the specifications for what were considered high end 18-22 months ago are now reaching mainstream price segments."</blockquote>Read the full review here
     
  2. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    the Doom 3 antialiasing comparison is mislabeled (both shots are listed as 6800GT).

    PS--wasn't a huge part of the 5800 Ultra's heat problem because of the first-gen DDR2? (well, first-gen DDR2 being overclocked?)
     
  3. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    And in the drop-down box you have "pertformance tests", but typos aside it was an outstanding read.

    I liked the Source engine test, and I really like how this card looks. A good mid-level card and the SLI possibilities do tickle the back of me brain.
     
  4. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    In the last paragraph of page 5, there is a "129-bit bus" that should be 128-bit :)

    Anyway, this is a very good preview. I didn't know NV40 can do only 8 pixels per cycle when blending before. Actually I just did a fillrate test yesterday and puzzled by the result as I can get only half of the peak fillrate, but in Ztest it gives near peak fillrate. Now I know where the problem is :)
     
  5. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Didn't you know this was a new bus size? ;) :p

    Been playing "spot the pipeline counts" with other reviews - looks like very few (bar Hexus, and I have a suspicion why! ;)) have picked up on the interesting pipeline structure.
     
  6. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    *COUGH-COUGH*andy*COUGH-COUGH*

    'Scuse me, I got a slight headcold. ;)
     
  7. MuFu

    MuFu Chief Spastic Baboon
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    Nice review, as always.

    With reference to Anand's results, I'm amazed at how well it does with FSAA enabled in comparison to the 9800XT (i.e. keeps up or beats).
     
  8. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    Not quite :wink:

    We chatted about it over VIA's plans to release an SLI SM4.0 part on 90nm using ATI tech, the other day.

    Rys
     
  9. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Doh! :oops:

    Thanks for setting me straight.

    I went and read the Hexus review and really liked it also, they really pointed out a few things that most other reviews ignored/glossed over. :)
     
  10. Tim

    Tim
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    So the NV43 has four "extreme" pipelines. ;-)

    Still a nice chip as long it has the shader performance of 8 pipe chip, it does not really matter at all.

    Edit:

    The D3 scores are suprising, it looks like D3 is not fillrate or Z-rate limited it is shader limited.
     
  11. Diplo

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    Great review, Dave - I was looking forward to reading this one :) Well done picking up on the pipelines - interesting! Would anyone hazard a guess if the 'problems' effecting Splinter Cell might also spill over into other adapted Unreal Engine games like DX:IW and Thief 3?

    Would it be right to assume that the forthcoming AGP version is going to perform almost indentically?

    Any idea what price these cards might be retail in the UK? I'm guessing around the £175-£200 mark. If that's the case, they seem to be competiting directly with the 6800 NU. Any chance of adding 6800 NU benchmarks into the fray so we can see how the 6600 GT stacks up against the 6800 NU? If not, which do you reckon would perform best?
     
  12. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    well, yeah, except in the bus benchmarks.
     
  13. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    I'm not entirely sure NVIDIA are ever going to release the plain three quad NV40 on PCI Express, so I guess it depends how sites do their comparisons. I know that as soon as I get the AGP version I'll drop the plain NV40 into the article.

    Some really basic GPU-bound benchmarks that are bus and platform agnostic do show it to be an interesting comparison though. Here's ShaderMark 2.0, for shits and giggles.

    http://img.hexus.net/v2/graphics_cards/nvidia/nv43gt/images/shadermark_vs_6800.png

    Note that 65.76 breaks a shader test again, compared to 61.34 (and 61.76/61.77 too iirc). Saying that, I really need to find some SM3.0 tests for next time :oops:

    Rys
     
  14. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    isn't the 6800 clocked at 325Mhz? so, wouldn't the clockspeed difference make up for the reduced pipelines? (I was looking for a fraction to use here. then I looked some more. finally, my brain exploded. I guess it'd be 2/3, but whatever.)

    then again, the fact that it can operate on 8 pixels at once but can only output 4 at any given time suggests that the 6800NU would have the lead with shaders that aren't very complex (e.g., can be outputted in just a few cycles). OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

    or maybe they're just detecting ShaderMark with 65.whatever. hehe, had to say it.
     
  15. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Another typical ATi fanboy comment. :roll:










































    ;)
     
  16. PatrickL

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    My brain is slow but does that mean that via will produce a chipset sli capable and with and ATI SM4.0 graphic core ? In 2006 ?
     
  17. Xmas

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    The 6600GT is actually ~3% faster regarding shading speed than the 6800. But the latter has a massive bandwidth(+40%)/fillrate(+160%) advantage. So you could say the 6600GT is the 2xAA card, while the 6800 is the 4xAA card.

    But thinking about it, the early NVidia roadmaps showing NV41 at the same speed as NV40 make sense. A NV41 at 500MHz wouldn't be a PCIE replacement for the plain 6800, but actually for the 6800GT. And NV45 widens the gap between GT and Ultra a bit.
     
  18. Neeyik

    Neeyik Homo ergaster
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    A query about the 4x2 label. The 4 is easy enough to follow but what about the 2? Can the separate pipeline quads operate on the same quad of pixels? The fillrate results in the preview suggest that this is the case because how else would you get 2 texels per pixel per cycle.
     
  19. Xmas

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    It is really an output limited 8x1 design. That is, it has two independent quad pipelines, writing their outputs to a quad fifo, but if the ROPs can't fetch quads fast enough the pipelines have to wait.
     
  20. LeGreg

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    I heard that Tommti had a shadermark 2.1 in preparation.
    http://www.tommti-systems.de/start.html
     
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