Gigabyte Geforce 6600 GT Silent-Pipe II GV-NX66T256DE - Page 2

Written by John Chen    Thursday, 08 December 2005 11:00
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Gigabyte Geforce 6600 GT Silent-Pipe II

The Geforce 6600 GT is still currently a very popular choice for a mid-ranged video card.  The price of a 6600 GT video card is well within the budget of any gamer and the performance behind the GPU is nothing to complain about.  Since there is a large majority of gamers who own a Geforce 6600 GT, I find it disappointing to see that there were no games included in the Gigabyte bundle.  Gigabyte typically includes a game or two with their video cards, but this Silent-Pipe II 6600 GT seems to have missed out on that.  The Silent-Pipe II 6600 GT comes with HDTV support and is evidenced by small video-out box.  The box allows use of standard S-Video and component video cables.  The Silent-Pipe II 6600 GT comes with a single DVI and a single analog output for your display.  There is a single DVI-to-analog adapter included for those who wish to run a dual display setup.

The whole point of Gigabyte's new 6600 GT is the utilized heatsink.  The entire heatpipe heatsink design is comprised of three pieces--the base that makes contact with the GPU, the multiple fins at the at the back side of the video card, and the multiple fins at the front of the video card.  There are only two heatpipes used for this heatpipe design, with each heatpipe stretching to its own stretch of multiple fins.  The thermal interface used between the copper base and the GPU is a layer of yellow thermal pad.  I still do not understand why Gigabyte continues to use these yellow thermal pads when a thin layer of thermal grease provides much better results.  The Silent-Pipe II is aimed to provide great thermal performance at a silent level, so why hinder the cooling performance with a cheap layer of thermal pad?

As you can see from the image below, the sticky yellow thermal pad left residue on the 6600 GT core.  I attempted to use some Goo Gone and rubbing alcohol to rid the residue, but neither helped.  Most 6600 GT video cards are equipped with 128MB graphic video, but the Silent-Pipe II comes with a whopping 256MB of DDR2.  The video memory is powered by Infineon's 2.5ns memory ICs and is left bare with no heatsinks and no cooling aid.  Theoretically, these 2.5ns chips operate at 400MHz, which in turn means that it will run at DDR2 800MHz.  The memory speed of the Silent-Pipe II 6600 GT is defaulted to DDR2 800MHz, which means that the memory is already running at the maximum theoretical speed.  Let's cross our fingers and hope that there is some headroom left.