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PCI Express System Architecture
PCI Express System Architecture, by Tom Shanley (Addison-Wesley Professional), starting at $30.31
Home » Video
XFX GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: December 1, 2005
Page: 1 of 10
Introduction

GeForce 6200 TurboCache is the latest entry-level graphics chip from NVIDIA for the PCI Express bus, competing directly with Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory from ATI. In this review we will compare the performance of GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB (”256 MB“) and 64-bit interface from XFX with other GeForce 6200 models with different memory configurations and competing chips from ATI, and also with some mid-range chips (GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT).

XFX GeForce 6200 TurboCache
click to enlarge
Figure 1: GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface from XFX (PV-T44P-QAH).

TurboCache (”TC“) is a technology that simulates a 128 MB or 256 MB video card by using part of the system’s RAM memory as video memory. So, even though this card from XFX is labeled as ”256 MB TurboCache“ it actually has only 64 MB of video memory. The rest – 192 MB – is stolen from the main RAM memory. HyperMemory technology from ATI uses the same idea. Read our tutorial on TurboCache for more information on this subject.

The whole problem is not only that you can be deceived by the exaggerated ”128 MB“ or ”256 MB“. Each card can use different number of bits on the memory interface. You can find GeForce 6200 TC parts using either 32-bit or 64-bit interfaces. Of course 32-bit parts will achieve half the performance of 64-bit parts when accessing the video memory. Our main concern is that usually manufacturers don’t clearly estate how many bits are being used on the memory bus.

XFX, for example, has seven GeForce 6200 TurboCache models:

  • PV-T44P-QAM: 64 MB, 64-bit, low profile
  • PV-T44P-RAM: 128 MB, 64-bit, low profile
  • PV-T44P-KAH: 32 MB, 64-bit
  • PV-T44P-HAH: 16 MB, 32-bit
  • PV-T44P-KAM: 32 MB, 64-bit, low profile
  • PV-T44P-QAH: 64 MB, 64-bit
  • PV-T44P-JAM: 64 MB, 32-bit, low profile

The number of models with different memory quantity and memory bus width configurations is simply amazing. This causes a great deal of confusion on the market.

The model we reviewed was PV-T44P-QAH, which has 64 MB on-board (and labeled as ”256 MB“) and 64-bit memory interface.

To make things even worse, NVIDIA don’t specify a default memory clock for GeForce 6200 TurboCache, i.e., each manufacturer can set the memory clock they want. So you can find on the market models with different memory clock configurations.

So you have to be very careful when buying a GeForce 6200 TurboCache to buy the correct model you want.

We run PowerStrip software to check the clocks used by the reviewed card, and the model we reviewed was running at 350 MHz with its memory being accessed at 500 MHz.

You can see in our tutorial ”NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table“ the difference between GeForce 6200 TurboCache chip and the other chips from NVIDIA, while on our tutorial ”ATI Chips Comparison Table“ you can compare it to its competitors from ATI.

Let’s now take a closer look at the GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface from XFX (PV-T44P-QAH).

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