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Asus Extreme N6600GT

The blue T card follows the reference design much more closely than the AOpen card. The GPU heatsink is larger and constructed of a fancier looking copper effect reference cooler. The memory chips have also been fitted with copper coloured aluminium heatsinks.

In terms of outputs Asus has gone for D-SUB, DVI and S-Video. However, the Extreme N6600GT doesn’t support Component output. Asus supplied an S-Video to Composite video cable as well as a DVI to D-SUB converter in the box. Also supplied is a hard CD storage case with a copy of Joint Operations Typhoon Rising, AsusDVD, PowerDirector 3DE and Medi@Show SE 2.0. A further two CDs are also in the box, one containing drivers and some other Asus applications. The second CD contains the manual.

I don’t know if I’m the only person left in the world that likes paper manuals, but I doubt that that's the case. There is a quick setup guide, but it doesn’t replace a decent manual. The other problem that arises is if you don’t have another PC at hand, then you can’t actually access the manual before you attempt to install the card.

The Asus card however, have one distinguishing feature from the rest of the cards on test - it beats all the other cards in most of the 3D tests. The margins are small in most cases keeping the card about three to five frames ahead of the competition. Oddly enough, according to every clock analysis tool we used, the Extreme N6600GT isn’t clocked any higher than the other cards on test, nor did I install any of the overclocking utilities to try and boost the cards performance. The fact is though that the graphs speak for themselves and something clearly is going on.It does have 1.6ns memory, but so does the Gainward card, which doesn’t perform as well. We could speculate that Asus has overclocked the card but set the BIOS to display the clocks as standard.

At £122.73, the Asus card doesn’t cost a fortune either, which in combination with the performance makes this a great card if you’re not concerned with ViVo functionality or dual DVI.

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