Quiet computing is all the
rage, so its not hard to pick up on the fact that people are willing
to spend big bucks
to quiet down the computers which share their living space. From noise dampening materials to quiet fans,
heatpipe based heatsinks and the explosion in watercooling, the choices are plentiful.
So like the ads say, if you're suffering from a loud PC, pay close attention as
we examine one literally silent videocard from Gigabyte.
Gigabyte has introduced a slew of very innovative products this year; from a quad SLI motherboard to dual GPU videocards, cases that are designed to work with watercooling, and RAM based drives for gamers, and the trend continues with this videocard.
The Gigabyte GV-NX66T256DE videocard is not just another run of
the mill GeForce 6600GT with 256MB of DDR2 memory, this card is unique. The
GV-NX66T256DE is cooled by fully passive means, and incorporates
a couple of unique attributes to lower ambient case temperatures too. The 'Silent-Pipe II' cooler, as it is called, bridges the GPU to two separate heat exchangers. The videocard also supports both S-Video and component output via a break-out box, and comes with a DVI-to-analog converter for good measure.
Gigabyte GV-NX66T256DE is not based on the GeForceGT reference design, and
rather than GDDR3 modules it uses Infineon DDR2 BGA DRAM which are all
located on the front of the videocard. The DDR2 BGA memory does not require
heatsink cooling, and actually runs pretty cool to the touch. Of course the
biggest eye catcher is the massive 'Silent-Pipe II' heatpipe cooler, but we will get to that in a bit.
The user's manual that accompanies the Gigabyte GV-NX66T256DE videocard is excellent, and it covers everything from hardware installation to SLI setup and software configuration.
The sections covering the software were particularly impressive and even notice users should not have much difficulty figuring things out!
The software package that comes with the Gigabyte GV-NX66T256DE is rather thin, the only application that is included aside from Gigabyte utilities and drivers is a copy of PowerDVD 6. Don't forget to watch out for our installation and cooling tips later in the review!