So, which card is better you may be asking now? Both cards offer an excellent bang for buck with X700PRO winning 5 of the 11 benchmarks and the 6600GT winning 6 of the 11 which some of you mathematical geniuses may have figured out straight away. nVidia have always had the upper hand in OpenGL gaming so there is nothing new there but you can clearly see what kind of performance to expect from games like Doom 3.
With the original results for UT2K4 being mentioned you can see that the 6600GT is not sluggish at all with it clocking nearly a 150 FPS average in 1600 X 1200. nVidia have done an excellent job with the 6600GT and people opting for PCI Express may simply find themselves going with the brand they feel most comfortable with.
With that said the 6600GT is coming out in AGP very soon and this is going to be a huge advantage for nVidia in the AGP arena as ATI are yet to release anything new in the mid-range AGP market (which will still probably remain active for another 6 months or so) with the Canadian firm still relaying on the older 9600XT and 9800PRO. While nVidia might not increase market share in the PCI Express market with the release of the AGP version of the 6600GT since both cards will be very close to each other. There is no denying that people will want new technology in the AGP form and 2NS DDR3 memory on a mainstream AGP card not only sounds good to us but a lot of other people. We'll be taking a closer look at the AGP version of the 6600GT in the next week or so.
While it might sound like both cards are very close there is no denying that the ability to SLI the 6600GT is going to convince people to jump to the nVidia bandwagon. Knowing that users can get performance of a card (6800 Ultra) that costs more then twice the amount of two 6600GT's in SLI will effect the buying decision. The fact that you will be able to say that you run two Graphics Cards in your computer is going to be a big factor - much like a car which has twin turbos and compared to just one, or none. SLI is going to open up the case window market even more then ever as people will want to be showing off this very cool technology to their friends and at LAN parties.
Both ATI and nVidia have done an excellent job with their mainstream PCI E cards and we will see how we go in the near future with retail versions of the cards but I think we can honestly say that people are more excited about SLI then a retail X700PRO which might just give nVidia the edge this time. And with word floating around that nVidia's upcoming Intel chipset will also support SLI it will be great to not only let AMD people have this option but also Intel users.
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