MSI NX6600GT TD128E PCIe - Test Setup and Overclocking

Article Index
MSI 6600GT Up Close
Test Setup and Overclocking
Benchmarking the Budget
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Test Setup:

Thanks to the generosity of our many sponsors we've got a test rig that we can tear apart for testing hardware.  Below are the specs.

To test this card and maintain some sort of comparison, we used some popular synthetic benchmarks but mostly focus on gaming tests.  We ran the old standby of 3DMark 2003 and 2005, as well as some of todays more popular games - Doom 3, Half-Life 2 and Battlefield 2.  Benchmarks were ran multiple times to ensure accuracy and in the case of Battlefield 2, benchmarks were obtained through the use of the Battlefield 2 Benchmark program available over here.  At the conclusion of the Battlefield 2 benchmark the results are logged to a CSV file. 

Unfortunately, the load screens are also included in the CSV file.  The results therefore cannot be used in their raw state as the 400fps load screen averages a much higher benchmark score.  In order to fix this, we loaded the file into an OpenOffice Spreadsheet and averaged the frames after the loadscreen had finished.  Because of this extra measure of accuracy, the scores may seem lower than at other sites, but we believe that this is the most accurate and fair way to get results.  It's certainly more of a pain, but worth the extra effort in order to publish accurate results.


Because the Samsung DDR is rated at 500MHz - the same speed MSI clocks this card, I really didn't have high hopes for overclocking this card.  To get a ballpark idea of where to start, I installed coolbits and let the card autodetect it's safe, stable overclock.

The software detected a safe overclock at a decent 576MHz core and 1.15GHz on the memory.  I ran a few benchmarks and noticed that the card was causing some artifacting and tearing.  I assumed that the RAM was causing the issues and clocked it down to 1.1GHz. Same thing.  I clocked it down to 1.05GHz; again, same thing.  I was feeling fairly let down with the RAM so I dropped it to stock speed and still had the same artifacting.  Surprised, I clocked down the core and popped the RAM back up to 1.15GHz.  No more artifacts.  It seems that the core has issues over 560MHz.  The memory would clock higher than 1.15GHz but performance remained the same.  The bottleneck is not the 128-bit GDDR3 but the 8 pixel pipelines at this point.

All of our overclocked benchmarks were ran at 555MHz core and 1.15GHz memory.  At this speed the card has been stable for weeks.

Autodetected Overclock

Continue on to the next page as we post up some benchmarks.