It's not uncommon for graphics card manufacturers to bump up clock speeds a couple of MHz to give their products an extra edge over the competition, so the Albatron Trinity GeForce 6600 GT AGP's 505MHz core clock speed won't turn any heads. However, the card's 475MHz memory clock, which is 25Mhz slower than stock, will certainly raise a few eyebrows. Albatron says it's running the card's memory a little slower to enhance stability on its first "version 1" cards, although they've indicated that a second revision will bump the memory clock up to 500MHz. What's particularly odd is that the Albatron card is actually using the same memory chips as the BFG and XFX cards, both of which have faster memory clocks.
In a moment we'll see if the card's slower memory bus affects has much of an impact on its performance, but first, let's have a look at the card.
Like the other cards in this comparison, the Albatron GeForce 6600 GT AGP comes on a turquoise blue board that's aesthetically unremarkable. The color scheme matches Albatron's motherboards, though.
On the other hand, the Albatron card's gargantuan cooler easily sets it apart from the rest of the pack. The cooler's chunky aluminum heat sink isn't quite tall enough to create clearance problems with adjacent PCI slots, but the plastic blue fan guard does, at least on the Abit AV8 motherboard I used for testing.
Like the other GPU coolers in this comparison, the Albatron card's massive fan isn't temperature-controlled. That's really a shame, because the fan is quite loudDustbuster loud, even. More on that a little later in our noise level tests.
Removing the Albatron card's massive cooler reveals that it's actually made up of two heat sinks. The bulk of the cooler is dedicated to the GPU, but there's a second block of aluminum that sits atop the card's PCI Express-to-AGP bridge chip. Both heat sinks use TIM pads to better interface with their respective chips, which is fine for one-time use.
The Albatron card is the only one in this comparison to stick with a standard VGA and DVI output combo. It's hard to complain about the lack of dual DVI on a mid-range graphics card, so I can't really knock Albatron for the card's VGA output.
The card's video output capabilities are nicely bolstered by an NVIDIA output dongle that serves up composite, component, and S-Video outputs. Unfortunately, that's it for the cable bundle; the card doesn't even come with a DVI-to-VGA adapter for its single DVI port.
Albatron augments the card's bundle with a handful of software titles, including WinDVD Creator, Arx Fatalis, and an utterly worthless game demo CD. WinDVD is a nice inclusion, Arx Fatalis is at least a full version of the game, but the demo CD is laughably obsolete. With dated demos of ancient titles like the original Max Payne, you're better off using the game demo CD as a coaster. Better demos of recent games can easily be downloaded free of charge.
Albatron sews up the Trinity GeForce 6600 GT AGP package with a split warranty that covers parts for one year and labor for three. It's a decent warranty, although by no means exceptional. In three years, the number of new games that will run with acceptable performance on the GeForce 6600 GT may be few and far between, anyway.
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