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ASUS Geforce 6600GT EN6600GT Silencer/HTD Video Card ASUS Geforce 6600GT EN6600GT Silencer/HTD Video Card: We look at a noiseless video card. While silence may be golden, let's hope that performance is up to par.
Date: March 1, 2006
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

The 6600GT has long positioned itself (long in technical terms) as a high performance mid-range graphics solution. With this established, one has to wonder what can be brought to the table to differentiate one 6600GT from another with exception to the onboard memory?

The answers this question with not even a whisper. This silent cooling solution is just that, silent; there are no moving fans to interfere with whatever you are listening to. Even though we have seen them with other 6600GT variants, lets gander at the Specifications.

Specifications

• NVIDIA ® GeForce 6600 GT (@ 500MHz)
• NVIDIA® CineFX™ 3.0 engine
• Full support for Microsoft DirectX9.0 Shader model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects
• NVIDIA SLI Multi-GPU ready
• 256MB High-Speed GDDR3 memory (@ 1.0GHz)
• NVIDIA UltraShadow™ II technology
• NVIDIA® Intellisample™ 3.0 technology (HCT)
• NVIDIA® nView™ multi-display technology
• Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
• Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
• Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
• YPrPb component output for HDTV display connection
• Single and dual link external TMDS transmitter support for high resolution and/or multi-monitor DVI configurations
• Compatible with ATI's THEATER™ video decode and capture devices for VIVO (Video Input / Video Output) configurations
• Dual DVI + VIVO
• DirectX® 9 and OpenGL® supported

For the complete specifications and updates on the , please check out the .

has chosen to clock this particular GPU at the GT standard of 500Mhz and the GDDR at 1000MHZ. The cooling is done via silent Heat Pipe to a movable radiator copper fin, movable in that it can either point directly back, or rotated 90 degrees so that it is directly above the CPU HS/Fan (in most motherboards that is) allowing air to be pulled through it. Through several tests and temperature readings, I was unable to notice any increase in CPU temperature by having the movable radiator fins above the CPU Fan. I also noticed only a slight improvement in the GPU temperature.

Unpacking the box you find your manual, an advertisement flier and several CD's. Notice there are is only one cable included:

• DVI to VGA converter
• HDTV / S-Video / Composite All-in-one connector
• Software
• Asus Power Director
• Asus DVD
• Asus Media Show SE
• Asus CD Manual and Drivers / Utilities
• Joint Operations
• Xpand Rally
• Bonus GamePack
• Second Sight
• Chaos League
• PowerDrome

There are, of course, no DVI cables included, but most manufacturers of DVI capable monitors supply them. If this is not the case, its going to set you back another ~$70 to supply a DVI connection to your Television or Monitor. The 6600GT line of course does not require an additional power connector so you save yourself an additional connection to your power supply.

Looking over the card itself, you can see a well designed layout with Passive Heat Sinks all around. Asus has put together a smart looking well thought out design. The GPU and Memory are all protected via passive coolers that appear to be made of high quality materials and design. This card actually exudes that it is worth the money you lay down for it.

The Asus Extreme N 6600GT Silencer/HDT is taller then your average video card; this is due to the radiator sitting on top of the card. Notice here that in my TechStation the radiator actually hits the top.

Due to this I installed the Silencer in a Medium Tower case; notice there is in fact ample room. Make a note however, that in an HTPC this could be an issue as my TechStation is about the same height as most Lower Profile HTPC cases.

Installed in case I was able to rotate the radiator so that it was above the fan (the case is where I performed all of my tests btw). Here is another picture showing a possible limitation of this device.

The breather inlet from the side panel is now being obstructed by the Silencer's radiator. I fear most cases with this type of inlet will be obstructed. Only solutions are to either remove the inlet feeder and just leave the hole on the side panel, or run the Silencer with the radiator pointed straight back.

Installation went without a hitch with exception to the above issues. As with most PCIe video cards, this one snapped in nicely and felt snug with little to no play. The Asus Silencer is a single slot card; this is of course, if you only have one. Did I just confuse you? Well, I do not have 2 to prove this theory, but if you where to put these in SLI mode, they would in fact take up 4 slots, above the card. This is to say, that the radiators would take up 2 slots each, in most cases this will be above the cards in any other slots, so not an issue. If you have 2 of these cards however, make sure your SLI solution is far enough apart to accommodate (which most will be). Once installed, its time to boot up and install the drivers.

The driver CD contains the current (when boxed) NVIDIA Detonator driver, which was several versions behind the latest found on the web, so I proceeded to download the latest and have at it.

Testing

This is where the fun begins. The 6600GT has many benchmarks already performed for your numbers gratification. Being that Asus has clocked this at standard GT rates, I will be able to show you nothing different, unless...

I will show you some testing on this board that I have yet to see in all of my searching on the web. Viperlair is going to show you the performance of the 6600GT comparing a 4:3 resolutions to 16:9 resolutions. Coupled with the heatpipe for silence this should hopefually be a great all round entertainment card.

We will be performing all tests at 1280x1024 and 1024x768 for 4:3. Our 16:9 resolution is 1280x800.

Benchmark System: AMD64 3200+ (2.0 GHz Venice Core), ECS KN1 SLI Extreme, 1GB Patriot PC-3700, WD WD800JD / 80GB SATA 7200RPM, Asus Extreme N 6600GT Silencer/HDT 256MB PCIe, Hitachi CML175-B LCD Monitor (1280x1024 -1024x768), Dell 2005FPW (1280x960 1152x864), Windows XP SP2, NVIDIA Detonator 78.01

One of the difficult parts of this endeavor is that not all video games, in fact very few, support widescreen gaming. Of the 3 selected, only UT 2004 natively did this from the author’s configuration within the game. In Doom3 and Quake4 I had to write special configurations in order to play at TRUE widescreen settings. Note that not only do you have to set the proper resolution for 4:3 or 16:9, you must also set the appropriate FOV so that what is displayed is not distorted. This is, unfortunately, more of a personal thing then a hard set fact. With exception to Q4 (which limits me to 110 FOV) I used 120 FOV, as that felt more appropriate and not as distorted as other FOV's.

Doom 3 - Making good use of the BFG, rocket launcher and plasma gun (the most graphically intense weapons), we'll be kicking ass on the Enpro level and trying not to let the robot score all the points

Unreal Tournament 2004 - Visually intense and very popular, we'll be playing some bot deathmatch on as-convoy

Quake 4 - Yes she is here now. The single player offers some nice old school play and very impressive eye candy to wsh it all down with. Map: SP – MCC Landing just prior to blowing the Cannon.

NEXT

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