Gigabyte Dual GeForce 6600GT (GV-3D1)

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Gigabyte Dual GeForce 6600GT (GV-3D1)

Pros

  • Great package, powerful, competitively priced

Cons

  • Cannot run two of these in SLI

Bottom Line

This innovative package really takes the pain out of finding and configuring an SLI setup. Great for serious gamers.

Would you buy this?

In a great display of innovation, Gigabyte has taken Nvidia's SLI graphics principle, which enables two individual graphics cards to be linked together in the same system, and applied it to one graphics card.

That is, it has installed two GeForce 6600GT graphics chips on one circuit board in SLI mode.

These two 6600GT graphics chips work together to provide SLI graphics in very much the same way as a two-card setup does, in that each graphics chip is designated to either render the top or bottom half of the screen, or to render every alternate frame on the screen, thereby evenly sharing the load between each chip. The card uses the full 16 lanes of available PCI Express (PCIe) bandwidth and each chip has its own 128MB DDR3 frame buffer (memory). Both chips on the GV-3D1 have a clock speed of 500MHz and their memory chips run at 1120MHz.

If you were looking to build an SLI system for faster graphics, the GV-3D1's design would mean one less expansion card in your SLI system. It would also mean you wouldn't have to hunt around for two identical SLI graphics cards, or a motherboard with two 16X PCIe slots.

We tested this card with a bundled Gigabyte motherboard using Doom 3 at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 with high detail and 4X anti-aliasing enabled. In single chip mode, the card managed 40 frames per second (fps) in our demo, while in SLI mode this figure soared to 70fps. This latter figure compares favourably against a single 6800GT-based card, which would garner around 65fps on the same system.

By this point you may be wondering if it is possible to connect two GV-3D1 cards together to achieve a total of four graphics chips in one system. Unfortunately, the answer is no, this isn't supported.

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