For just $99 bucks the 6600 DDR2 obviously won't let you go tearing through F.E.A.R. at 1600x1200 with loads of anti-aliasing, but for a budget card it's impressive to see how well the 6600 DDR2 performs. It's pretty close to the 6600 GT and gives the X700 Pro a good run for it's money, and actually beating it in many cases, even where ATI traditionally has the advantage. Compared to its market competitor, the X1300 Pro, it's not even close. The 6600 DDR2 soundly defeats it in every single performance test.
Looking around some of the popular online sites it seems that the XFX 600 DDR2 is going for a little over the current MSRP of the card ($117 at Newegg), while the X1300 Pro is hovering around $100 (Sapphire's X1300 Pro is currently going for $99 at Newegg). While the X1300 Pro currently seems to be cheaper on the street, the performance advantage you get with the 6600 DDR2 more than makes up for $18 extra.
I noticed on the XFX website that the review unit I've been sent and the one they list differ significantly. The same ordering code on the review unit leads to a card on xfxforce.com which has dual-DVI and a different (better looking) cooler. I asked XFX about this and they informed me that the shipping cards will indeed feature dual-DVI outputs, which neatly explains why there were two DVI-to-VGA adapters in the bundle.
Overclocking the card yielded extremely impressive results. My unit overclocked to 520MHz, up 120MHz from the already overclocked speed of 400MHz. This exceeds the 6600 GT stock core speed of 500MHz, allowing the 6600 DDR2 to keep pace with it in the games I tested. Memory overclocking was good, up 50MHz over the stock setting, though a little underwhelming when compared with the core overclock.
Overall the 6600 DDR2 package is very impressive, even more so for a budget part. It is fast enough to handle most gaming tasks even on a relatively low spec machine, it has a nice bundle for a budget priced card, and it overclocks like crazy. This is easily one of the best graphics card values around.
Officially meant to fill the performance gap between the 6600 and the 6600 GT, and unofficially meant as a response to ATI's Radeon X1300 Pro, the 6600 DDR2 succeeds on both counts.
- Awesome value
- Class dominating performance
- Factory overclocked
- Excellent overclocking
- Good bundle
- Dual-DVI on shipping units
- Small and quiet
- It's only $99 bucks, there are no negatives
content not found