XFX GeForce 6600 GT Extreme Gamer Edition Inverness

XFX is well known for producing fast graphics cards that overclock well, but with this Gamer Edition the company has gone a stage further by guaranteeing an overclocked memory speed of 600MHz (1.2GHz effective).

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XFX GeForce 6600 GT Extreme Gamer Edition

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XFX is well known for producing fast graphics cards that overclock well, but with this Gamer Edition the company has gone a stage further by guaranteeing an overclocked memory speed of 600MHz (1.2GHz effective).

The core clock speed of 500MHz is the same as all the other GeForce 6600 GT cards based on Nvidia's reference design, but the extra memory speed still makes a big difference. If you look at the results table, you'll see that the XFX is considerably faster than a stock 6600 GT. In fact, it performs almost as well as the Gainward card, which has slightly slower memory but a faster GPU.

But we still thought the XFX could go faster, and with a little tweaking we had our card's GPU running at 565MHz and the memory at 615MHz (1.23GHz effective), making it an extremely quick mid-range card. However, as fast as the XFX is you can forget about gaming at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x AA and 8x AF. Doom 3 at 12.6fps is more like a slideshow than a demon-hunting slaughterfest.

XFX's choice of ramping up the memory speed seems sensible, as the 6600 GT's 128-bit memory interface means bandwidth is at a premium. Gainward, on the other hand, has to spend a long time hand-checking its cards to make sure they run at the speed that the company guarantees. Since XFX can bypass this procedure it can offer its card at a much cheaper price, almost £30 less than the similarly performing Gainward.

Unfortunately, along with the reference GPU speed, the XFX also has the reference Nvidia HSF. This is a bad idea, as it's noisy. The money saved on buying this card might have to be spent on purchasing a quieter HSF. Unlike the Gainward, there's no ViVo support, which is a little disappointing, as this tends to go hand in hand with dual DVI outputs. The games bundle is pretty good, with Nascar Thunder 2004, X2 - The Threat and Commandos 3. A good-quality S-Video cable is also included.

This is an excellent card at an excellent price. If you can put up with the noise, or are prepared to fit an Arctic Cooling HSF to it, then it's a great choice.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT Extreme Gamer Edition