6600, X700, or X700 Pro graphics card?

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LH
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6600, X700, or X700 Pro graphics card?

Post by LH » Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:46 pm

I'm shopping for a new mainstream graphics card, and I'm considering the 6600, X700, and X700 Pro. I know the 6600 GT beats all of those three, but I don't want to spend $200 and don't want its extra heat. Since I'm not a gamer, I figure I can get by with a sub-6600GT card. I will be using a Hauppauge PVR-150 card for recording TV and will also watch DVDs on my computer. I recall the 6600 having something like Shader 3.0 and some kind of native video encoding, but I don't know if that's relevant for me. The bottom line is I think I'll be satisfied with a 6600, but if I can get more performance without much heat penalty by going with the X700 or X700 Pro, so much the better.

There are a handful of passively-cooled 6600 and X700 cards at Newegg and ZipZoomFly, but I'm looking at the PowerColor R41AB-ND3D X700 Bravo and XFX PVT43PUD, since they both have dual DVI (although I don't plan on using two LCDs at the moment). There seems to be complaints that the XFX card doesn't work properly. The PowerColor card comes with a fan, but I believe it runs fine without it. Is either one of these two cards better than the other?

Any comments or recommendations?

amplemind
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Post by amplemind » Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:33 pm

The 6600s do support Shader 3.0, but the X700 is the best for gaming.

However, the 6600GT can be had for around 160$, and around 130$ if you are using AGP, so I wouldn't rule it out yet. Also, the 6600GT, as you said, is far superior to all of these.

I would go with the MSI 6600GT @ newegg for 172$, comes with Prince of Persia, and XIII, both awesome games.

GL with the search.

:D
fisher999 of Southeastern, Michigan is quite the good samaritan! He sent me a beginner's kit of cables and provides a treasure trove of computer setup information.

:D

wumpus
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Post by wumpus » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:49 pm

Based on the benchmarks I've read, the 6600gt is clearly the best choice of the cards in its price range.

And just to show I'm not a fanboy, ATI's x800 series is generally faster than the 6800 series within that price range.

Be sure to check the refurbished section on newegg, you can find some kick-ass deals there. I've purchased 3-4 video cards that way and never had any problems.

LH
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Post by LH » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:55 pm

Thanks for the advice!

I was thinking if I wanted more graphics "power", I'd bypass the 6600GT and get either the 6800 or the X800. However, I don't think the 6800 comes passively-cooled (in a PCI-Express version) and the Gigabyte passively-cooled X800 is about $230. But I don't think I need that power (at the moment), and I'd rather spend the money upgrading my CPU (not bought yet) from a 3500+ Venice to a 3700+ San Diego.

After reading through another forum, it seems both PowerColor and XFX have bad reputations, so now I don't know what to do. Perhaps I should expand my choices beyond dual DVI and get a passive Gigabyte 6600 128MB. But some complain that Gigabyte passive cards run too hot (shouldn't be a problem for the 6600), have glued-on heatsinks, and sometimes the heatsinks are loose... :(

geekbanter
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Post by geekbanter » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:42 pm

I'm in the same boat as LH :( I am looking at getting a 6600gt, but can't decide whether to get the Gigabyte card with the silentpipe, or a cheaper card and tack on a vf700. There seems to be conflicting views and temperatures for the passive gigabyte. Some say that it gets uncomfortably hot and over 100C creating worries, and others comment that theirs doesn't get that hot, running only a little warmer than a regular 6600gt with no problems whatsoever. Hard to choose, on one hand you can get a cheaper card and vf700 that will run cool and quiet, on the other a silent heatsink that may or my not run too hot. Decisions decisions.....

Will SPCR start doing vga cooling reviews as that market has started blossoming lately? (zalman, vantec, thermalright, arctic cooling)

geekbanter
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Post by geekbanter » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:31 am

In the above post I was referring to the Gigabyte GV-NX66T128VP PCI-e card with the silentpipe.

You can see it here:
http://tw.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Pr ... T128VP.htm

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:15 am

If you're interested at all, I will soon have my 6600GT up for sale. It's a PNY with a Zalman ZM80D-HP heatpipe attached. I would be willing to do sub-$200 for it :) It's dual-dvi, HDTV, S-Video out. PCI-E, but I figured that's what you were looking for with your system components you mentioned. I have everything including retail box and a receipt if you should need it for any kind of replacement.

Sorry for the shameless plug, just figured it might help you. You can view the card installed in my rig here at my Gallery post.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=20057

With that aside, the 6600GT does great at gaming, only reason I'm replacing it is because I got a killer deal on a X850XT PE and just couldn't pass it up.

Drop me a PM if you want to work something out. I've got plenty of selling references I can provide you with as well. Even done some small business with a few people here who can vouch for me :)
[size=75][color=red]Antec P182, Seasonic M-12 600, Abit IP35 Pro, E6420, 2x1GB Ballistix Lanfest Edition, EVGA 8800GTS, SB Audigy 2, 7200.10 320GB, Zalman ZM-MFC 1, 4xYate Loon D12SM-12 LED
[/size][/color]

Chang
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Post by Chang » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:30 am

I'm in a similar situation but since the mobo I want hasn't been released yet, I can wait. In any case, I've been leaning towards the PC X700 Bravo because of the HDTV out. Also, some of the older NVidia cards had problems outputing 1920x1200 via DVI, so I've been trying to stay away from them. Fortunately I can wait -- maybe the Gigabyte Silentpipe will drop into the affordable price range once my mobo gets released. . .

Andreos
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Post by Andreos » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:19 pm

LH wrote: After reading through another forum, it seems both PowerColor and XFX have bad reputations, so now I don't know what to do.
:(
Hey LH - could you elaborate a little further regarding the kinds of problems reported, or perhaps what the other forum is you found the info in? Tnx.
Andreos

liquid_celica
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Post by liquid_celica » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:50 pm

amplemind wrote:The 6600s do support Shader 3.0, but the X700 is the best for gaming.

However, the 6600GT can be had for around 160$, and around 130$ if you are using AGP, so I wouldn't rule it out yet. Also, the 6600GT, as you said, is far superior to all of these.
I disagree on both accounts. Go to Tom's Hardware and other rep. sites and they clearly show that the x700 gets blown away, with a few exception of some games like HL2-if i remember correctly-. CNET rates the 6600GT higher in performance and pricing. Driver and firmware issue is more of a problem with ATI cards then Nvidia, as of recent. Best BANG FOR THE BUCK goes to 6600GT.

On the second note, the AGP costs way more than the PCI-E. WHy? Just because of availability and controlled marketing. AGP is being phased out so the quantity of the boards are being capped while the emphasis is being placed on the PCI-E. I had to get AGP for mine so I know since I personally did the shopping. You generally can find the PCI-E for cheaper (approx. $10-30) and with more variety.

Good Luck shopping. Hope you find the card you're looking for.

LH
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Post by LH » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:47 pm

Andreos wrote:
LH wrote: After reading through another forum, it seems both PowerColor and XFX have bad reputations, so now I don't know what to do.
:(
Hey LH - could you elaborate a little further regarding the kinds of problems reported, or perhaps what the other forum is you found the info in? Tnx.
Sure.

The forum I was referred to was the Anandtech forum. During my research, I didn't dig too deeply; I just quickly browsed through a couple of weeks worth of threads looking for stuff about graphics cards. I got the impression that neither PowerColor or XFX were highly-regarded. Most of the time, they were either referred to as being inferior or were not mentioned at all. There were a few comments that reported no problems with either brand. So it's kind of a mixed bag.

Check out this forum at the XFX website (http://www.xfxforce.com/forums/forum.js ... =6&start=0) to read about some problems with their passive 6600 256MB. Despite the problems, I'm leaning towards buying this card. :wink:

Andreos
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Post by Andreos » Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:06 pm

Thanks, LH. I checked out those forums and I'm not sure what to make of it all. Some people have voiced their complaints multiple times and I wonder what percentage of owners are really unhappy.
Andreos

Mar.
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Post by Mar. » Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:31 pm

liquid_celica wrote:Go to Tom's Hardware and other rep. sites
LMAO
~mar.

jdunning
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Re: 6600, X700, or X700 Pro graphics card?

Post by jdunning » Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:01 am

LH wrote:There are a handful of passively-cooled 6600 and X700 cards at Newegg and ZipZoomFly, but I'm looking at the PowerColor R41AB-ND3D X700 Bravo and XFX PVT43PUD, since they both have dual DVI (although I don't plan on using two LCDs at the moment). There seems to be complaints that the XFX card doesn't work properly.
It's just a single data point, but I recently built an HTPC with the XFX PVT43PUD and it's been working well so far. It's driving a 1280 X 720 LCD TV via DVI.

The reason I went with that particular card is that it seemed to be the only one in the passively-cooled 6600 class that doesn't have a heat pipe sticking above the card. (There's now a new Aopen low-profile passively cooled 6600 that would've worked as well.) The case it was going in just didn't have enough clearance above the card to accommodate a heat pipe.

One quirk of the card is that even though it's PCI-E, it requires a molex connector, like most AGP cards do. The connector is on the top edge of the card, rather than the rear, which is a little awkward but workable. I haven't checked the temps yet, but it's sitting right under the Seasonic S-12 PSU, and the fan isn't ramping up, so it doesn't seem to be putting out a whole lot of heat.

LH
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Post by LH » Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:01 am

I decided to go for a Gigabyte GV-NX66128DP, as I was turned off by the extra Molex power connector of the passive XFX 6600 256MB and I figured I don't really need dual DVI or 256MB of graphics-card RAM anyway.

I was seriously tempted by the Gigabyte GV-RX80256D, since it is now only $169 after a $30 mail-in rebate. I believe this would outperform the 6600 GT and perhaps also consume less power. If was an instant rebate and not a mail-in rebate, I would have forked over the extra $60 for this card...

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