Gigabyte GV-N68128DH review
With so much controversy over graphics card noise output, we collected three Gigabyte cards designed to eradicate the problem. The first is based on nVidia’s GeForce 6800 GPU, and is unique here in that it’s an AGP card – Gigabyte has no plans to produce a card with a bridge chip for PCI Express systems. This makes some sense: it’s the cheapest of Gigabyte’s high-end cards and is clearly aimed at those on tight budgets wanting performance components. To bring the price down even further, Gigabyte fits this card with 128MB of DDR2 RAM.
Even with the necessary changes to our test rig taken into account, the 6800 performed poorly. The higher latencies of the DDR2 RAM and the slow speeds of both GPU and RAM produced scores similar to the 6600 GT. With the resolution set to 1,280 x 1,024, Doom 3 scored 62fps, Far Cry 51fps, and Half-Life 2 managed 32fps. Increasing the resolution and filtering proved as much a problem for the 12 pixel and six vertex pipelines of the 6800 as the eight pixel and three vertex pipelines of the 6600 GT: Doom 3 managed 18fps at 1,600 x 1,200 with 4x AA and 8x AF, while Far Cry ran at 38fps at the same resolution with no filtering.
Costing £62 more than the 6600 GT, it’s impossible to see the GV-N68128DH as a good budget option, especially as Gigabyte has just announced a passively cooled AGP version of the 6600 GT (the GV-N66T128VP). This should be comparable in price and performance to the 6600 GT opposite, as it’s also Turbo Force branded and the AGP bus is still wide enough for today’s needs. At this price, the GV-N68128DH is best avoided even if you’ve recently won the lottery.