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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.22.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

Lowest Price Finder: $70.05

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The Test

We'll be testing the 6200 TC against ATI's competing entry-level product, the X300 128MB. And to show what a difference the upgrade from an integrated controller can make, we threw in Intel's GMA 900 controller, from the 915G chipset.

And to show you what you can gain by stepping up to a $110 card can do for performance, we are including a GeForce 6600 (non GT) 128MB. You might be surprized at what an extra $40 can do for performance...


It has been brought to my attention that we made an error in deciding which ATI card to compare the 6200 TC to.

My intention was to find out which ATI product sold for around the same price as the 6200 TC ($70) and was shipping in numbers that made it easily available. Looking at Pricewatch, the "X300 128MB" fit the description.

I looked at the list of "X300 128MB" cards on, and noted the clock speed. At this point, I began testing.

What I didn't realize, is that made a mistake, and I was actually looking at a list of X300 SE's. This obviously makes a HUGE difference; the X300 comes in three different flavours:

X300 - clocked at 375/400, with 128 bit memory bus. This was the card that most reviewers got when it was introduced. However, it is almost impossible to find one in stores at the moment.
X300 LE - clocked at 325/400, with 128 bit memory. This is the speed we used, but as it turns out, there are very few LE's to be found in stores, and they are priced closer to the GF 6600, at around $90 each.
X300 SE - clocked at 325/400, but with 64 bit memory. This is the one we should have compared the 6200 TC to.

So as it turns out, the only version of the X300 that is widely available and easy to find is the 64 bit X300 SE, and it sells for around $70. The X300 LE can be found if you look hard enough, but not for much less than $90, which puts it out of contention with the 6200 TC.

I will leave the test results as they are, but will update them to reflect that the $90 X300 LE is being compared to the $70 6200 TC. The conclusion of this article will also obviously change.

The System

CPU: Intel P4 560 (3.6 GHz Prescott)
Motherboard: Gigabyte 8IG915MB (Intel 915G)
Memory: 1 GB Kingston PC4300 3-3-3-8
HDD: Maxtor Diamondmax 10 250GB SATA

X300 LE Represented by: Gigabyte X600 128MB clocked at X300 LE speed (325/400)
6600GT Represented by: Gigabyte GF 6600GT 128MB clocked at 6600 speed (300/550)

Drivers used for ATI cards: Catalyst 5.3 WHQL
Drivers used for NVIDIA cards: ForceWare 73.84 WHQL

3dMark 03 Final Score

Just for fun, we'll start off with our two synthetic benchmarks. Starting with 3dMark 03, tested at default settings:

To start off, the 6200TC is slightly behind the X300, but both offer huge performance benefit over Intel's GMA 900. And of course, the 6600 kicks much ass here.

Aquamark 3

We get the same scenario in AQ3, but the x300 and 6200TC are much more defined here over the GMA 900. However, they barely retain a playable framerate at 800x600, while the 6600 is able to maintain over 60 FPS up to 1024x768. I will remind you one more time that the X300 LE is a $90 part, while the GF 6600 goes for around $107 or so. So if you are in that price range, the choice will be clear...

Next Page: (3dMark 05 Feature Tests)