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nVidia GeForce 6200 GPU - Surprising Budget Gaming

By: Cameron Johnson | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Nov 29, 2004 5:00 am

nVidia GeForce 6200 Reference Card


The nVidia reference card we were sent for evaluation represents what we can expect to see from vendors when the retail units arrive on the market sometime soon if not already depending on your location.



The PCB design is a compact as nVidia was able to make it. The 6200 core is remarkably small and requires less voltage than most of the GeForce 6 series cards - power requirements are small enough in that if it were used on the AGP specifications you would be able to get away without a Molex plug on the card. This is great news since PCI-E can deliver more voltage than the AGP specs which makes things a lot easier.


The 6200 128-bit core version comes with an active heatsink and fan on the chip itself without any cooling on the memory modules. The fan itself runs almost silent. The 6200LE should be designed to run passively with lower clock speeds for silent PC operations. Even with the 6200 128-bit a large passive cooler could replace the active unit, as the GPU doesn't run that hot during operations. As you also can see this card is PCI Express based. nVidia has at this point no plans to release a AGP version. This however, doesn't mean we won't see them, as it simply requires adding in the HSI PCI Express bridge to the card to give AGP compatibility.



Under the heatsink we have the core itself. The core is manufactured on the 0.11um process in a Flip Chip Ball Grid Array or FC-BGA for short. The Flip Chip process was pioneered by Intel for the Pentium 3 Socket 370 CPU in order to reduce thermal loss and give a much better cooling profile. nVidia has used this for quite some time now with its GeForce 6 series GPU.


The memory used is DDR Samsung memory rated at 3.6ns using the TSOP-II packaging. The memory doesn't clock as high as the ones on the 6600 cores, so BGA memory isn't needed, nor is any kind of cooling. The reference cards come with 128MB onboard with eight modules covering the front of the card with none on the back of the card, minimizing the amount of PCB required and being clocked at 550DDR you get up to 8.8GB/s of memory bandwidth.



Finally we have a look at the external interface. nVidia has placed the two monitor connectors together with the S-VIDEO port to the top. This has become the standard for nVidia cards for some time and looks to be for some time to come.




When it came to overclocking, the 6200 reference card was not the best overclocking unit in the world. We managed to get from 300MHz default core to 332 MHz using the stock cooler. Memory was somewhat of a disappointment, at 275MHz or 550MHz DDR we only managed to push it to 300MHz (or 600MHz DDR) which is not the best in the world let me assure you.


Hopefully retail cards will have more refined cores and better memory modules to give that extra boost.


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