Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Asus Extreme N6600GT TOP Limited Edition Video Card

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews

With every new generation of video cards come many iterations of the new technology. With nVidia's introduction of the 6 series of GPUs, there have come multiple cards based on similar families of GPUs. Most notably the 6800 family brought to the table the 6800, 6800GT and 6800 Ultra. Likewise with the midrange 6 series card(s) I'll be looking at today, the Asus Extreme N6600GT/TOP/TD. With the Extreme N6600GT/TOP/TD we have what is one of the most expensive 6600GTs on the market, but include Asus' reputation for ultra high quality components, build quality, and with this model, equipped with 128 MB of Samsung 1.6ns DDR3. Follow along on my evaluation to see if this Limited Edition card provides the performance to go along with it's higher than average price tag.

I have to say that despite the price, I was quite interested in these particular cards. Having been an avid 3DMark bencher for many years, and finding the cost of the top end cards prohibitively high, (especially if you want to enjoy the current SLI configuration for gaming), I decided that for the cost of one high end card I could have 2 of these. Combined with the DFI UT LP NF4 SLI-D and a good clocking AMD 3500+ Winchester we might be able to set some marks or at least match some of the top 3D benchers in this card class. Having owned and set records previously with Asus video card products, in particular their outstanding Ti4800/Ti4200 class, I was hoping for something a tad more special than the rest of the crowd.

I had a major concern with cooling efficiency with this unit. It not only uses a thermal pad, but also white thermal paste. My initial overclocking exploits were definitely hindered by this method of thermal transfer, as it was acting more as an insulator than a transfer mechanism.

When I bought these cards for review, they were initially advertised at 550 MHz clock for the GPU. They are now advertised at 520 MHz GPU clock, and I understand why. Though mine defaulted at 520 MHz, any attempt to run the card at the then advertised 550 MHz GPU clock failed in benching with a solid freeze after a minute or so, from overheating.

<fast forward>

ASUS has again produced a well built, high quality and stable platform in the Extreme N6600GT/TOP. It's very pricey compared to cards from other manufacturers, even compared to their own Extreme N6600GT/TD version. Its package is not spectacular compared to others either, offering up one game and several other pieces of software. It's also a Limited Edition card with only 5,000 being manufactured.

But I have to be honest, this card when cooled better, whether via water cooling or as I did with phase changed chilled coolant, seems to clock higher than others in its class without modifications to increase voltages.

These are the finest 6600GTs you can buy in my honest opinion despite the price premium, even without having tested others. That doesn't mean you won't find some great price/performance bargains out there I'm sure.

If the $250 price tag is a bit much, check out the Extreme N6600GT/TD.They look identical but run at the reference clocks, and I'm told they clock pretty well too. Considering the cost and performance of the Asus Extreme N6600GT TOP Limited Edition, I give these cards a solid...

Full Review with pics and benchmarks.

More in Tux Machines

Cinnamon 2.4 to Feature New Theme Selection and Options for Linux Mint 17.1

Cinnamon is the default desktop environment in Linux Mint and it's built by the same developers who are making the Linux distro. It stands to reason that the best implementation for Cinnamon will be on Linux Mint. It's also the place that integrates the latest updates for Cinnamon as soon as they are made available. Usually, the latest iterations of Cinnamon are integrated quickly in Mint, but the developers are also working on an updated Linux Mint version, 17.1. The new Cinnamon 2.4 DE might arrive there by default and not in Linux Mint 17. Read more

Knoppix 7.4.1 Is Now Available For Download

Knoppix developers have released a major version of their operating system Knoppix 7.4.1 based on the usual picks from Debian stable (wheezy) and newer Desktop packages from Debian/testing and Debian/unstable (jessie). According to the official release note, this distro version uses kernel 3.16.2 and xorg 7.7 (core 1.16.0) for supporting current computer hardware. Read more

First Tizen phone now expected in India

Samsung’s postponed Tizen Linux-based smartphone is now heading for a launch in India by the end of the year, reports India’s Economic Times. Everybody, it seems, wants a piece of the Indian smartphone market. The latest company with plans to jump headlong into South Asia is Samsung, which aims to ship a Tizen Linux-based smartphone in India after the Diwali festival in November, according to the Economic Times (ET). Read more

GNOME: 3.14 almost there

Speaking of gedit, after the major changes of 3.12, 3.14 has been a cycle focused on stabilization and polishing. Overall the revised user interface got mostly positve feedback.. I for one, as a heavy gedit user, adapted to the new UI without problems. 3.14 will have a few incremental changes, that among other things try to address some of the issues pointed out by Jim Hall’s usability study presented at GUADEC: “Open” will be a single button removing the dichotomy between the open dialog and recent files and providing quick search among recent files. “Save” now uses a text label since it turns out a lot of people did not grok the icon (and no, I am not going back to the floppy image!) and the view menu has been reorganized and now uses a popover. With regard to the “Open” button, we know things are not perfect yet, search among recent is great, but when the “cache misses”, going through a double step is painful… we already have a few ideas on how to improve that next cycle, but for now I can vividly recommend to try the “quickopen” plugin, one of the hidden gems of gedit, which already provides some of the things we would like to integrate in the next iteration. Read more