Page 2 of 6

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:03 pm
by davidstone28
You might want to add this to the section about the Gigabyte 6800

"UPDATE (11/8): I had an outstanding question with Gigabyte on this, and a contact there has confirmed that the BIOS included on early versions of the board enabled only eight of the chip's pixel pipelines. The latest BIOS updates the board to have 12 active pipelines like a 6800 should have, and the mystery of the performance boost is solved!"

For some reason, the A1 revision of the cards have the BIOS from the 6800 LE thus turning the 6800 into an LE (which is slower because it only has 8 pixel pipelines and 4 vertex shaders enabled) rather normal 6800 spec (which is faster - 12 pixel pipelines and 5 vertex shaders enabled).

Basically, the cards sold seem to come with the BIOS Ver. F1, whereas you need to flash it (don't use windows flash utility - use DOS) to the F3 BIOS to get the spec right. Bit of an oversight on Gigabyte part I'd say....

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:12 pm
by Kevin Ar18
Thank you for the information. I had read about that issue before, but since you brought it up I guess it might be a good idea to add that info to the list.

Also, do you suppose you could edit your previous post and include some step by step instructions on how to update the BIOS?

Here's what I had in mind:

How to Update the BIOS on your Gigabyte Geforce 6800 (model: GV-N68128DH)
1. Go to the following URL and download the newest version of the BIOS update: ... 8128DH.htm
2. Follow the install proceedures described here: ... eflash.htm

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:10 pm
by davidstone28
1. Download and install RivaTuner from The link is currently here:

2. User RivaTuner to check board revision: Main > Target Adapter Customize > Diagnostic Report

3. Scroll down and find the information about “Graphics Core”

4. If it says, “NV40 revision A1 (8x1,4vp)”, then you have the old BIOS installed which has wrong number of pipelines ( 8 ) and vertex shaders (4) enabled. They should be 12 (12x1) and 5 (5vp). The number of pipelines and vertex shaders can make a big difference to performance.

5. To enable the right number of pipelines and vertex shaders you need to install BIOS version F3 or alternatively, use RivaTuner to unlock the extra pipelines and vertex shaders.

6. BIOS flashing: Download BIOS version F3 from Gigabyte’s website. Ignore version F2 as this appears to have a bug that disables DVI support. Once the BIOS has been downloaded, follow Kevin’s instructions above, or those contained in the manual. The actual names of the file or flash command may vary slightly - I used: ''gvf13 -p r92128dh.f3'' It is not generally a good idea to use the Gigabyte Windows utility to flash the BIOS. Users have reported problems with the Windows BIOS flash utility:

7. Using RivaTuner to enable pipelines / vertex shaders: Main > Target Adapter Customize > Low Level System Settings > NVStrap Driver: Graphics Processor Configuration > Customize > then select tick the Pipeline and Vertex Shader row to unlock the Pipeline / Vertex Shader > OK > Apply > OK > Reboot

8. Voila! You now have a “proper” 6800 with 12 pipelines (12x1) and 5 vertex shaders (5x1). You can experiment with 16 pipelines and 6 vertex shaders, but this resulted in artefacting (strange shapes appearing on screen). The Gigabyte cards overlcock pretty well, so you can experiment with this as well.

Comments about the card generally:

The difference between this and other 6800 cards is the passive heatsink which is smaller than I thought it would be (for example, smaller than the Zalman passive GPU heatsinks). The card runs hot - 60C to 80c - and the heatsinks are hot enough to burn you after about a second. Haven't noticed any problems running at high temperatures. The card is also quite slim - it doesn't take up PCI slot 1, so unless the top side of the card points outwards it will *probably* fit into a SFF / Shuttle type case (I haven't tried it).

On my system (3200+, 1gig, 6800) I find that the 6800 isn't quite powerful enough to play HL2 at 1280x1024 with max detail and 8AF/4AA - on some levels framErates drop to 16-25fps. I have to turn it down to 6AF/2AA to get framerates back to 40-50fps. If people want to play HL2 at max everything, it would be worth consider getting an ATI X800 Pro/XT type card coupled with a Zalman HS/modded 80mm fan (about £100 more expensive than the Gigabyte 6800 though).

TIP: If you want to a cool the card, a very simple yet effective solution is to install a Zalman fan bracket but orientate it the wrong way up and then attach 1 or 2 80mms fans to the middle of the bracket. Reduces temperatures by 30C-50C.

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:12 pm
by Edward Ng
Btw, I just came across the fact that Directron actually maintains a list of passively cooled video cards (that they sell, of course). You can see it right here.


Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:26 pm
by reformist
Nice work guys.

This makes me angry... I have three linux gaming machines that I would like to have at least some decent 3D support on. I would like to buy ATI stuff, because they have so many models that run without fans (Saphre 9600 - best bang for the buck!), but their drivers for Linux are absolute garbage. Currently they have no drivers for xorg X11, nor do they have 64bit drivers! Nvidia has both! I would like to get Nvidia, but usually they are more expensive and they have no good fanless models! Argh!

I had a geforce4 ti4200 once, great card, but (needlessly...) noisy as crap, and eventually the fan died, and the card overheated, so I was out $120. I swore never to go with a fan-bearing card ever again.

I wish there was a happy medium. Nvidia, keep up the good work on the drivers but make some dang fanless models!!

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:18 pm
by sdc
An interesting link:

If you go the German online shop, and search for "passiver Kühler" (search is the "Suchen:" field at the top left), you get a nice list of 90 passively cooled graphic cards.


Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:47 pm
by grenadier
I looked at gigabyte's site and they have a whole page devoted to their 'silent pipe' video cards. Only problem is that I can't find a single one of them for sale on-line.

I want to replace my gigabyte 6600 which is by far the loudest component in my system with a passively cooled version of the same card, but even though there's press releases galore and photos and specs for the card it just isn't there if you want to buy the damn thing. Anyone got any ideas?

Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:11 am
by ChrisH
Xtreme Gear is selling the fanless Gigabyte 6600 PCI-Express card. The picture definitely shows the heatpipe. I found the link through Pricewatch.


Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:33 am
by Shaft0rz
Here's my experience with the 6800:
Bought it last week. It came with the F3 BIOS on it already. I have since unlocked it to 16 shaders and 6 vertex. Also overclocked it to 350 core, so I basically have a GT. It runs fine -- no artifacts, and temperatures (even after extensive doom3 and 3dmark05) stay around 55C... It idles right around 50C. I really couldn't be happier with it right now.

Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:13 am
by Wraith
ChrisH wrote:Xtreme Gear is selling the fanless Gigabyte 6600 PCI-Express card. The picture definitely shows the heatpipe. I found the link through Pricewatch.

Though if you look up that model number on Gigabyte's website, it's the fanned version.

Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:34 pm
by grenadier
Wraith wrote:
ChrisH wrote:Xtreme Gear is selling the fanless Gigabyte 6600 PCI-Express card. The picture definitely shows the heatpipe. I found the link through Pricewatch.

Though if you look up that model number on Gigabyte's website, it's the fanned version.
I guessed as much after finding the same card on pricewatch and doing some research on it. There's no way the passive version could be cheaper than the version with a fan. Thanks for looking though.

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:11 pm
by Wraith
GeCube model page review

Though of course nobody sells it yet.

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:49 am
by Goodguy
What about temps?
Shaft0rz run Gigabyte 6800 at max 55C and min 50C.

Which temps could be expected from for example Radeon 9600 ?

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:03 am
by madman2003
The price difference between the gigabyte 6600gt fan version and the turbo with heatpipe is (at least at one store i know) that the normal one comes with doom 3. The price of the normal one is higher there too.

EDIT: you were talking about the regular 6600, none of the cards at that store have heatpipes as far as i can tell. (only the turbo versions are heatpipes)

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:52 pm
by sthayashi
We need to update this slightly. Gigabyte's 'silent pipe' page (viewable in IE only?) suggesting that they have 5 cards that are passively cooled. They are: In addition, to the above list, there appear to be two more passively coold products that they produce:
GV-RX80L256V (Radeon X800XL, PCI-E, 256MB)
GV-RX80256D (Radeon X800, PCI-E, 256MB)

Just FYI, as usual.

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:59 pm
by davidstone28
Add the GeCube SilenCool X700 PRO 256MB and X600XT to the updated list as well.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:08 pm
by davidstone28
Gigabyte's SilentPipe passive graphics card list (by ATI/Nvidia model number)

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:59 pm
by laphroaig
The passively cooled Gigabyte 6600gt (GV-NX66T128VP) is now available in the US. Currently, ZipZoomFly and have it (and more probably on the way). Price is around $215-225.

What about this one?

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:31 am
by Tintagel

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:29 pm
by acaurora
nVidia -
eVGA 's Geforce FX5200 Line, all models. I got a 256 MB one in my parent's shuttle. Run's nice ;P

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:32 pm
by Edward Ng
acaurora wrote:nVidia -
eVGA 's Geforce FX5200 Line, all models. I got a 256 MB one in my parent's shuttle. Run's nice ;P
The higher end integrated graphics solutions are almost as fast, too. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:39 pm
by acaurora
Oh hush, you -.-

Not my fault I decided to not go with integrated graphics. It was my mom and her "cheap computah for less than $500-lah" plan.

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:55 pm
by toNka
Well, I noticed that the OC'd 6800 Ultra from BFG was listed.
Here is my opinion on that:

1) It is not passively cooled (water cooling is active cooling).
2) If we are just making a list of vga cards that can be operated "fanless" then you can put a water block on any card for the most part.
3) Even then the water moves the heat to a radiator that needs a fan to cool it (except the Zalman Reserator).

Just my 2¢ :wink:

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:32 pm
by rei
yep, the connect3d radeon 9550 is fanless. nice beefy heatsink.
packaging art is suspect though.

Addition to fanless list - Matrox G200

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:57 pm
by scdr
Suggest addition to fanless list -
Matrox G200

Dell's version of the ATI Radeon 7000 VE

I know it is an older card, but it has some 3D.
It is still handy to have fanless information about older cards, since one may
need to look for an older card (e.g. for compatability with older programs).
It is handy to know what card(s) to look for.

Hope something like the fanless list makes it into the recomended section.

Not all Matrox P650s are fanless!

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:17 pm
by PositiveSpin
I have been using Matrox P650 (AGP version) in two machines for some time now because it's passively cooled and offers two DVI sockets, all for a reasonable price.

They recently released the PCIe P650, so I ordered that for a new PCIe motherboard I was assembling. To add to the joy, I also ordered a PCI P650 - I wanted 4 x DVI in this machine (I'm making a system with 4 Hyundai L90D+ panels in pivoted mode - total desktop 4096 x 1280).

I was not happy to discover that the PCIe and PCI P650s are actively cooled - 40mm fan in a teeny heatsink (looks like an active northbridge cooler more than a VGA :-) ).

I will be looking into replacing these heatsinks with passive ones - I just hope the current HSF isn't secured with thermal epoxy (BTW: any suggestions for removing thermal epoxy???)

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:22 am
by sthayashi
As NeilBlanchard has helpfully pointed out:
The XFX 6600 is a passive PCI-E card. With Dual-DVI.

Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:09 pm
by Ephemeron
^I'm not so sure it is fanless.

In fact I don't even see dual dvi on this card anywhere. ... 6814150077

Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 6:00 pm
by rtsai
acaurora wrote:nVidia - eVGA 's Geforce FX5200 Line, all models. I got a 256 MB one in my parent's shuttle. Run's nice ;P
I don't think this is completely correct. Many models (of all brands) with 128-bit DDR (128MB or 256MB RAM) have fans. I found out the hard way when I ordered the eVGA FX5200 128-bit card, because all photos I could find of the 128-bit model did not show a fan (including photos on eVGA's own website).

I ended up getting a Chaintech SH5200-128-DVI for my HTPC (fanless) and it runs great. I do agree that many FX5200 cards are fanless; you just have to be careful when you're shopping around that you're not just looking at a "reference photo".

Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 8:56 pm
by sthayashi
Ephemeron wrote:^I'm not so sure it is fanless.

In fact I don't even see dual dvi on this card anywhere. ... 6814150077
I think Neil may have pointed to a 6600GT product, which DOES have dual-DVI. Unfortunately, as you've pointed out, XFX has stopped with the passive cooling :(