My vanilla green PCB eVGA GeForce 6600GT AGP is a nice break from the previous two XFX 6600GT cards I had in my possession which both failed to function on numerous test systems. In stark contract to the XFX offering, the eVGA card worked immediately upon installation in my ECS K7S5A mainboard from several years ago. This board has been with me since 2003 and served me well, with the exception of a conflict with an Adaptec U2W SCSI card which didn’t get along with my K7S5A.
Obviously, this card and its close 6600GT AGP peers have been reviewed to death since they became available to hardware review sites. That said, as someone with no interest other than obtaining quality working hardware for a reasonable price, I’ll add my remarks to the fray. (Looks like I am right in line with my usual trend of buying video cards at least a year after they’re out; I hope the 6600GT holds up at least as well as the Ti series of NVidia cards did.)
The package I received from eVGA was large with many, neatly packed accessories. My retail kit included the card itself, a split molex connector, a s-video cable, a s-video to composite, s-video, and component adapter, a DVI to DB15 (VGA) adapter, a manual, and a driver CD. The card itself was packaged neatly in electrostatic bubblewrap.
A word on the documentation. Too often when I purchase a retail kit for something I find some ridiculously nonsensical instruction manual on cheap paper in poorly written English that’s often vague or technically innaccurate, making it worthless. eVGA’s manual is glossy, color, with proper English grammar throughout. It even includes an area in the back where you can jot down important information like your system information. A color graphic indicates where to locate your product model and serial number on the packaging. It’s the first real product documentation I’ve seen in ages. I am very pleased, even though I am not one to look at a retail kit’s printed documentation. Kudos to eVGA.
To my disappointment, I found the on board temperature sensor has been disabled. A BIOS hack exists and is discussed at ocia.net to unlock it, but it’s not for the meek. It will also void your warranty.
In the meantime, I installed the eVGA 6600GT AGP in a Biostar NF325-7A V1.1 mainboard without incident. The performance is good, but decidedly not highend, as I expected. I have played many hours of BF2 Demo and Silent Hunter III and the card has been completely stable.
eVGA’s 6600GT AGP is a winner. Given my excellent purchase experience for the price, I will be purchasing eVGA cards in the future when I look at NVidia solutions. (I am not sure I have a favorite ATI card vendor, but I was happy with my Sapphire 9600 SE which was fanless, although the performance of that card was the worst ATI made of that series.)