Power Consumption and Conclusions
The X1300 Pro does show some benefits here by having a lower total power consumption than the 6600 card when the card is being peaked.
There is little doubt now that NVIDIA again has the upper hand in the sub-$100 GPU market with their re-made 6600 product. By doubling the memory and speeding it up to DDR2 speeds from DDR1, the new 6600 256 MB DDR2 card is able to outpace the X1300 Pro GPU from ATI in nearly all of our tests. Only in a couple of tests did the ATI card tie or win (and when it did it was VERY close) and in many cases the NVIDIA card simply dominated the competition.
Gaming on this card
Does the 6600 DDR2 make a good gaming option for budget systems? In most cases the answer is yes; the 6600 can be found for around $100 and does perform well enough for gaming in a variety of applications. However, in two cases we found that the 6600 was really not up to the task — FEAR and Call of Duty 2. Both of these titles are VERY GPU intensive and require a whole lot of horsepower to run efficiently with all the effects and features enabled. You can always turn down the options, but you will be missing some of the “wow” factor in these titles.
Casual gamers will find the 6600 DDR2 256 MB card to be more than suited for their needs but gamer’s always on the lookout for the latest titles may want to move a couple of steps up on the GPU ladder.
Pricing and Availability
NVIDIA has been pushing immediate availability in all of their latest releases, and the new 6600 DRR2 256 MB keeps that trend going. The fact that we are reviewing the retail XFX card for this product should be a good indication of that.
There are a TON of different 6600 configurations from XFX and making sure you get the right model (like we reviewed here) can be difficult. I would suggest you look at the online retailers and look for this specific model number:
The one you want to match is “PVT43PUDS7”. The part is currently available at Newegg.com for about $117 — a bit higher than we expected. You can find these cards for much closer to $100 by here at a couple of different retailers.
The new NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with DDR2 memory support again takes the performance lead in the budget GPU market. Casual gamers and second-system builders will definitely want to give this GPU, and in particular this model from our friends at XFX, a good look.
Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the XFX 6600 256 MB, and anything else you may want to buy!