ASUS N6600 GT/TD
ASUS is already well known for building feature-packed, reliable motherboards, but they’re also in the business of producing equally compelling graphics cards, notebook computers, PDAs, and other PC components. ASUS’ RADEON X800 XT-based EAX800XT/2TD/256 just took home our Editor’s Choice Award and won our X800 XT roundup a few weeks ago due to its unique combination of features. It was the only card in the roundup to feature dual DVI connections and even boasted copper-based heat pipe cooling for added performance. ASUS’ RADEON 9800 XT and 9600 XT cards were also Editor’s Choice winners thanks to the addition of VIVO support, and their high-end GeForce FX 5900 Ultra/5950 Ultra and 6800 Ultra cards are among the only single-slot solutions on the market. And we still haven’t mentioned their excellent Smart Doctor software for hardware monitoring and dynamic or manual overclocking. It’s because of innovations like these that ASUS graphics cards have quickly gained a loyal following among gamers and enthusiasts.
With such a rich pedigree of building compelling graphics cards, we had high hopes for ASUS’ N6600 GT/TD. Upon opening the box, we instantly noticed the card’s eye-catching aqua blue PCB and non-reference cooling solution. We’re not quite sure if it’s copper-based or an aluminum heatsink, we’ve seen conflicting information on ASUS’ website and the board doesn’t have the heft of some of the other copper-based boards from BFG and MSI, so we’re inclined to think it’s an aluminum-based heatsink, but one aspect we definitely noticed is its near silent operation. The card’s fan was one of the quietest in this roundup.
ASUS’ Global and UK websites both mention that the N6600GT/TD is “equipped with the fastest 1.6ns DDR3 memories”, but unfortunately, our board shipped with 2.0ns memory. We’re not quite sure if the UK and other markets get 1.6ns boards, while the North/South American region gets boards with 2.0ns memory, or if it’s simply a misprint on the ASUS website. It’s also possible that ASUS ran a batch of AGP-based cards with 2.0ns memory by mistake. Whatever the case, we hope the situation is resolved quickly, as there’s a big difference between 1.6ns and 2.0ns GDDR3 memory. 2.0ns modules are only rated for speeds up to 500MHz, while 1.6ns modules like those used on other GeForce 6600 GT PCI Express cards we’ve received from MSI and eVGA are good for up to 600MHz.
ASUS clocks their N6600GT/TD at 500/450, the standard GeForce 6600 GT AGP clock speeds NVIDIA has specified for all 6600 GT boards, and the board ships with the traditional DVI/VGA connector combination we’ve seen on many graphics cards.
In addition to the card and driver CD, the N6600 GT/TD/128 ships with a copy of Novalogic’s Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising, and Media Show 2 SE. Hardware accessories included with the card are a DVI adapter and S-Video cable.