It is without doubt that the GeForce 6 family of products from nVidia now covers a wide range of product segments from entry level all the way up to the king of the hill. Currently there are six major families, with sub products under each family which cater for each product segment. We have in the direct line the newly released 6200, the 6600 and the 6800 GPU's all with different specifications but with major technology common among each - that being DirectX 9.0c compliance, Pixel Shader 3.0 engine and support for the latest PCI-E interface.
Before we go directly into our topic of today's article let us explore the GeForce 6 family. At the budget end of the line the 6200 GPU comes in. At the moment we have the 6200 with a 128-bit memory interface and support for a 128MB frame buffer, a 4 Pixel Shader engine and 3 Vertex engines. At the sub line nVidia is expected to have the 6200LE. This new version supports a slower 64-bit memory interface, reducing the price and performance to a very budget card capable of taking on the X300SE from ATI. This series of card is set to only come out on the PCI-Express x16 bus with no plans to migrate into the AGP realm as in this section the FX5200 is taking care of business for nVidia right now.
In the middle we have the 6600 series with two variants. First we have the 6600 core which supports a 128MB 128-bit frame buffer and it is the lowest clocked unit and available in PCI-Express only. The 6600GT is the top of the 6600 line which adds support for SLI (dual graphics cards for PCI-Express only) and increases the speed of the core and memory clock. PCI Express and now AGP variants are available which is what we will be talking about today.
The final core is the 6800 which includes three variants. First off is 6800 standard which uses 12 Pixel and 6 vertex engines, supports up to 265MB of DDR SDRAM on a 256bit bus but SLI is not supported. The 6800GT is the middle of the line. This card increases core and memory clocks, adds support for SLI on PCI Express models and increases the Pixel count to 16. The 6800Ultra is the top dog for nVidia at the moment. It shares the same features as the 6800GT but increases the maximum amount of supported memory to 512MB (though no card has been released with this much memory yet) and increases core and memory clocks some more.
Today we are taking a close look at the nVidia GeForce 6600GT in the AGP form and comparing it to its PCI Express x16 brother (which we took a closer look at here earlier this month) to see just what is has to offer and what has been changed.
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