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The mainstream market segment is where ATI and Nvidia (and their partners) make most of their sales, due to this we have a wealth of products in this price range. Two of the newest, and therefore most desirable, are the Radeon X700 and Geforce 6600. Both are aimed at the user who wants the latest features and to use them at reasonable resolutions like 1280x960 but doesn’t have the finances to spend more on their graphics card than the family’s monthly food budget. Today we have one of each product in for review, lets see how each card performs and find out which gets the best performance/price ratio.

MSI NX6600

The MSI branded 6600 comes in a brightly packaged box which lists the main features of the card/bundle. One of the interesting things is the Doom 3 logo. The point of this sticker is to advertise that the card is ideal for running Doom 3 however I cant help but feel that it could make some people think Doom 3 is one of the bundled games (which it isnt). Naughty.

As well as including the usual drivers, DVD software and cables with the NX6600 MSI bundle a whopping 14 full games with the card. Normally the game bundles with these cards are less than appealing howvever the MSI bundle includes such excellent titles as XIII and Prince of Persia Sands of Time. Not the newest games we agree but a lot of fun none the less.

Here’s everything you’ll receive with the NX6600:

The card itself follows a pretty standard design as far as 6600’s go. Firstly there is one DVI and one VGA with an HDTV/S-video capable video out port. Memory is TSOP chips rather than BGA however the clocks are not affected and the MX6600 is clocked at 300/500mhz for core and memory. The amount of memory provided on the NX6600 is 256mb.

Cooling is provided by the small copper fan and is for the GPU only rather than featuring heatsinks on the memory. Noise levels are very low from the cooler that MSI have chosen and the fan noise is no louder than a stock Intel or AMD CPU fan.

On the rear of the card we have no memory chips or major components of note, and you can see from the picture that this is the PCI-Express version of the 6600.

You can pick up an NX6600-256 for Approx £95 or $140 online.

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