The nVidia 6600GT GPU core has been the biggest success story for nVidia in quite some time. The GeForce 6 family has become a breath of fresh air for a company struggling to keep its biggest competitor, ATI, off their back.
When ATI released the Radeon 9xxx, GeForce FX certainly took a nose dive in performance and sales, especially due to the overheating cores and vacuum sounding coolers that were needed in order to keep the card cool. GeForce 6 made a huge power boost for the nVidia team, though there has been some controversy with its 6800 family and the broken support for Purevideo, but we won't get into that today - we are here to talk about the most popular core, the 6600GT.
6600GT was introduced to the market as the first PCI-Express native solution for the mid-range graphics card market, and hasn't it grown from there. Designed on the latest 0.11um process with support for SLI, it has become the video card of choice. Designed to work with PCI-E from the start, nVidia used its HSI bridge in order to convert the PCI-E signals the core uses into AGP signals that various AGP enabled motherboards still use. This has now made the 6600GT a possibility on AGP enabled systems.
Today we take a look at Gigabyte's retail offering of the 6600GT AGP edition and compare it to the reference video card to see just what (if any) speed advantages have come since the introduction of the reference card and then compare it to the PCI-Express edition.