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

Lowest Price Finder: $70.05

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Scrapland Demo

Although the game isn't that great, the graphics are superb, and it makes a great platform for benchmarking. All the details were turned to 'low' and many effects were disabled for this low-end video card review.

All of the external video cards do well here, up to 1024x768. With some tweaking, you could enjoy some very nice visuals of this game at 800x600. I'd be willing to bet that this game will make it to video card bundles before long...

Although it was outperformed in most of our tests by the X300, it is obvious that TurboCache is here to stay. Consider that we have a card with just 64MB onboard, running games like Doom 3, Far Cry, and Unreal 2K4 at very playable speeds.

Update: Now we know that it would be a big mistake to compare the 6200 TC to an X300 LE; there is a $20-30 difference in price range! At that point, the 6200 TC looks even better.

What we should have done was test it against the X300 SE, which features a 64 bit memory bus. This is ATI's $70 entry level card. From the results we do have, we can ascertain that the X300 SE would have absolutely NO chance at touching the performance of the 6200 TC, due to the 64 bit memory bus.

By now, you should realize that there is absolutely no way you can play any modern game at reasonable settings with onboard video like the GMA 900. And as we found out, ATI's IGP 9100 Pro isn't much better. Of course, other solutions are getting better, such as ATI XPress 200, but even then it will lag behind TurboCache solutions.

Keep in mind though, that if you were to increase your budget to $110 or so, going with a GF 6600, you would enjoy performance MUCH improved over a $70 solution like TurboCache. If you plan on playing games much more intensive than Sims 2 or Monopoly 3D, you'll definitely want to step up a bit.

The segment that makes the most sense for the desktop 6200 TurboCache is Home Theatre PC's. Any gaming done on an HTPC will be at low resolutions anyway, and the 6200 TC can handle those just fine. The Gigabyte version is handled well by a passive cooler, and features good video output support. Furthermore, the 6200 features some of NVIDIA's MPEG-2 and WMV enhancements. I'm sure the 6200 TC will be a big hit with the HTPC crowd.

In the $70 price range, there are absolutely no PCI-E video cards that can touch the 6200 TC. ATI have announced cards that also come with a small amount of onboard memory, and the ability to use system memory. When these cards will show up on the market is anyone's guess however.

At this point, I'm tempted to go off ranting about ATI's naming methods, problems bringing cards to the market, and introducing products to reviewers at higher speeds than the end users get. If I made a mistake by thinking I was using what I thought to be a similarly priced video card in my testing, how many end users make similar mistakes?

I'll save that for another date though ;)

  • Performs very well for a $70 card
  • Passive cooler
  • Component and S-Video outputs
  • Full version DVD software

  • No good games in the bundle
  • wtf is up with the composite video cable?

Final Score: 88%