Prolink PixelView GeForce 6600 GT SLI -
Well, you have to be at the least a little surprised how well SLI already works. Face it, this is a relatively new technology that works quite well out of the box. Of course there are some disadvantages. Not all games are widely supported and you probably will encounter some small issues.
Today's products tested worked excellent in our test setup. We really did not run into big time issues or anything. It performs as expected and planned. I do have one problem with it though and that's not from a technical or compatibility point of view though. Bare with me here ...
Why would you not buy a similar priced GeForce 6800 GT instead of two 6600GT in SLI mode? You will pay the same price and performance wise the 6800 GT will be better in higher resolutions as it has 256-bit memory in an actual 256 MB configuration. From that point of view you can't beat the 6800 GT.
I'm throwing in yet another little something. Buy a 6800 GT and you will be able to upgrade to SLI in the future when you need it. If you buy 2 6600GT's now your PCI-Express graphics card slots are full.
So the only reason not to buy a 6800 GT would be your budget. If you can not afford a 6800GT, well then a 6600GT makes a lot more sense. With that in mind you can buy another 6600GT when you can afford it. So the logic behind this is a little bit complex. But if we forget the "cool" factor then buying a 6800 GT would make more sense.
Well, that being said I must complement Prolink on building a SLI compatible graphics card that is offering really good performance. It's stable and even in SLI mode overclockable. Temperature stay within very acceptable limits, 70 Degrees C in 100% GPU utilization.
Yes, the new 71.81 WHQL drivers support temp monitoring again.
The build quality of the cards again looks really good. Although you have two cards in your system the coolers are relatively silent, nothing out of the ordinary sound wise, which is really good.
Performance will be increased thanks to SLI. Not all titles benefit from it just yet, but major titles of course show you the real deal. A single 6600GT in Doom 3 with 4xAA and 8x AF enabled will give you an average framerate of 30 where the SLI setup offered 53 FPs, this is the stuff that matters for sure.
Another positive is power consumption. I expected the SLI configuration to suck up really huge amounts of power. At mid-game we however never exceeded a 260 Watts peak. That's with an Athlon 64 4000+ processor, 512 MB memory and two HD's in that system. Make sure you have a little reserve though. PSU's are underestimated. Go for a good brand and at the very least 350 Watts PSU, I actually recommend 400 Watt as in the future you might expand your PC with other peripherals.
So concluding our complex verdict, compared to a GeForce 6800 GT the Dual 6600 GT SLI setup does not really offer a massive advantage. But from a budget point of view this form of scalability might be a really good option for you. The real guru's simply would go for a 2x GeForce 6800 GT/Ultra setup (which we really hope to review some day).
For me personally however it once again all boils down to what I call the X-factor. The first thing that people wanted to look at once they enter our lab is the SLI setup. The technology is of course fantastic to see. Imagine a nice brushed aluminum, watercooled, case-modded gaming rig. That's what it all is about isn't it? The X-factor and not just gaming per-se.Product: 2x GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (SLI) Graphics card
Price: 350 EUR/ 375 USD
MSRP mainboard: GA-K8NXP-SLI mainboard valued at 175 USD)
Two 128MB GeForce 6600 GT's in one PC, bridged together in SLI mode. That's what we'll be reviewing today. The cards are being made by that lovely company called Prolink, and the product series is of course PixelView.
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