Asus Extreme N6600 GT review

Price when reviewed
The first of four GeForce 6600 GT cards on test, the Asus is immediately tempting. It costs a mere £1 more than the Sparkle, but boasts a slightly better package. It looks good too. The all-copper GPU heatsink is both smart and does a good job of dissipating heat. It’s flanked by two more copper sinks for the 128MB of GDDR3 RAM – they’re held on by thermal tape.

With a core clock of 500MHz and memory at an equally rapid speed, the 6600 GT has gained a reputation for being the gem of nVidia’s current range. This is certainly true, as you get great performance for your money.

In Half-Life 2, only cranking the N6600 GT up to 1,600 x 1,200 rendered it unplayable, and the same was true in Far Cry, with the Asus just about hitting 30fps on the nose at 1,280 x 1,024. Doom 3 once again showed how tough a game it is, with the N6600 GT only managing 26.8fps at 1,280 x 1,024.

Overall, there was nothing to separate the four 6600 GTs in any test – it’s the price and bundles that make or break them. Asus includes a two-channel version of PowerDVD XP and PowerDirector 3DE. An average first-person shooter is also in the box, along with an S-Video-to-composite convertor cable. Plus, there’s a DVI-to-D-SUB adaptor. Those wanting a component output should look elsewhere – the N6600 GT only has a four-pin S-Video connector.

If every pound counts, this is a good buy. But Club3D’s 6600 GT gets our vote: it has a better bundle, making it worth the extra fiver.

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