Good 3D Performance at a Middling Price: GeForce 6600 Shootout

Equipment

The design of the packaging of the MSI NX6600 VTD128 Diamond draws attention to the special games bundle. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (5-CD Version) is a red-hot 3D shooter, based on the movie The Chronicles of Riddick. (The plot of the game, however, has nothing to do with the movie.) The graphics engine supports Shader Model 3.0, though given the performance of a GeForce 6600 card, playing in Shader Model 2.0 is more advisable.

Screenshots from the game "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay".

The rest of the software is MSI standard, in the form of a large package with partially outdated programs. On the DVD you'll find "Star DVD Family," Cyberlink's DVD Solution Packet - it includes the programs StarCinema, Star2Go und StarProducer. In addition there are the tools RestoreIT! Professional 3.0 (current version 6.0) and VirtualDrive 7.0 (current 9.0) from the manufacturer FarStone. On the driver CD MSI has another whole series of utilities for dealing with PCs. But during the test the overclocking software MSI 3D Turbo Experience caused some problems, proving impossible to start.

The MSI utility 3D Turbo Experience looks very old fashioned and did not work with both cards.

When it comes to the video cables and DVI-to-VGA adapters, MSI has tried to go for color highlights - the bright yellow-green is a refreshing contrast to the standard cables in black or gray. The breakout box for the video connections has all important extension cards: S-video and composite in & out, and YPbPr connections for HDTV. In addition, MSI provided a gratifyingly long S-video connection cable - naturally also in bright green. MSI even thought of a Y-adapter cable for the AGP model for its power supply

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Summary

NX6600 VTD128 Diamond


The MSI NX6600 VTD128 Diamond does not provide all of the 3D performance of a GeForce 6600 GT, but it is considerably faster than the conventional GeForce 6600 graphics cards. In combination with the good equipment and special game bundle the card represents a very interesting offer.

NX6600 VTD128E Diamond


The PCI Express version of the NX6600 Diamond only differs from the AGP model in terms of interface, thus the same conclusion applies to it.

Overview MSI
Product Name NX6600 VDT128
Diamond
NX6600 VDT128E
Diamond
Manufacturer MSI
Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 6600
Codename NV43
Bus Standard AGP 4x/8x x16 PEG
Memory 128MB 128MB
Memory Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Core Clock Speed 400 MHz 400 MHz
Memory Clock Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Buswidth 128 bit 128 bit
Memory Bandwidth 12.8 GB/s 12.8 GB/s
Pixel Pipelines 8 8
Vertex Shader Units 3 3
Outputs
VGA 1x 1x
DVI 1x 1x
TV-Out S-Video
Composite
S-Video
Composite
TV-Out HDTV Support + +
Dual-Link DVI - -
Inputs
Power Cable + -
Video-In S-Video
Composite
S-Video
Composite
TV-In (Tuner) - -
Audio-In - -
Equipment
Cooling Cooling Fan Cooling Fan
Adjustable Fan-Speed - -
Hardware-Monitoring Temperature Temperature
DVI-I -> VGA Adaptor + +
Cables S-Video
Y-Power Cable
S-Video
(HDTV) YPrPb output + +
Bundle
Software Bundle Star DVD Family
RestoreIT! Prof. 3.0
Virtual Drive 7.0
PC-Cillin
E-Color
BeTwin
Games Bundle The Chronicles of Riddick
Others/Specials - Blue LEDs
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