PNY GeForce 6600 GT Inverness

The reference 6600 GT is a damn fine graphics card capable of delivering a smooth frame rate in all DirectX 9 games at 1,280 x 1,024 with 2x AA and 2x AF, the perfect resolution for a 17in TFT. However, the 6600 GT is a mid-range GPU, so like all of the cards in this Labs test, it isn't capable of playing games at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x AA and 8x AF smoothly.

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PNY GeForce 6600 GT

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When it comes to graphics cards, there seem to be two possible routes to gaming nirvana. The first is for the manufacturer to simply follow the reference design and attach a sticker to the HSF. The second approach is to pre-overclock the GPU and RAM, and design a custom HSF.

The PNY card belongs to the former category, which means the only real input PNY has made to the design of the card is to produce a sticker for the HSF and employ someone (or a machine) to stick it to the heatsink.

However, let's get one thing straight first: the reference 6600 GT is a damn fine graphics card capable of delivering a smooth frame rate in all DirectX 9 games at 1,280 x 1,024 with 2x AA and 2x AF, the perfect resolution for a 17in TFT. However, the 6600 GT is a mid-range GPU, so like all of the cards in this Labs test, it isn't capable of playing games at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x AA and 8x AF smoothly.

Now that the 6600 GT GPU is four months old, more companies are designing their own cards, and in the case of Asus, Gainward and XFX, pre-overclocking them too. This means a 6600 GT card running at the Nvidia recommended frequencies of 500MHz for the GPU and 450MHz (900MHz effective) for the memory is no longer quite so impressive.

Still, there's always scope to squeeze out some extra speed by overclocking the GPU and memory, but the PNY wasn't really up to the challenge. We could raise the GPU frequency to only 550MHz and the RAM to 500MHz (1GHz effective). This increased the frame rate in Far Cry by a mere 1.7fps at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x AA and 8x AF .

However, in a cunning attempt to draw you away from the other cards in this category, PNY has bundled a full copy of Far Cry in the box. This was one of the surprise hits of last year and will make full use of the GeForce 6600 GT GPU. If you don't already have it, then bagging it for free with this card makes perfect sense.

If you're a big girl's blouse and don't want to overclock then the £143.96 PNY is a tempting, if ordinary, card. But for the adventurous folk out there, more exciting cards are on offer.

PNY GeForce 6600 GT