Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit Review
By Gabriel Torres on December 3, 2005


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

GeForce 6200 is the entry-level graphics chip family from NVIDIA for the PCI Express bus, competing directly with Radeon X300 and the new Radeon X1300 families from ATI. In this review we will compare the performance of a standard GeForce 6200 from Leadtek (model WinFast PX6200TD) with 128 MB and 128-bit memory interface with GeForce 6200 TurboCache models, competing chips from ATI and also with some mid-range chips (GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT).

Leadtek GeForce 6200
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Figure 1: GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface from Leadtek (WinFast PX6200TD).

In our opinion, the main problem with GeForce 6200 family is the quantity of different memory configurations that you can find on the market. First, we have the “regular” model (which is the one we are reviewing) and the “TurboCache” model, which “steals” memory from the main system RAM to be used as video memory (read our review of the XFX GeForce 6200 TurboCache for a detailed view of this model). Secondly, the memory interface can be of 128 bits or 64 bits or even 32 bits in some extreme cases. Also, the board manufacturer can set the memory clock as they wish, as NVIDIA doesn’t set a standard clock rate for GeForce 6200.

So, there are several different kinds of GeForce 6200 on the market and it is really hard for the regular user to know the differences between them. A GeForce 6200 from manufacturer A can be a completely different product compared to GeForce 6200 from manufacturer B. This is really a hassle, since you may choose a GeForce 6200 because you were satisfied by the performance of the PC of a friend or relative and also order a GeForce 6200, to discover later that you got a totally different board, with totally different performance.

Leadtek, for example, carries seven different GeForce 6200 models:

The naming used is really confusing because you cannot find out what is the memory configuration from the model name. So you have to be very careful when buying a GeForce 6200 to buy the correct model you want.

We ran PowerStrip software to check the clocks used by the reviewed card, and the model we reviewed was running at 300 MHz with its memory being accessed at 550 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 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface from Leadtek (WinFast PX6200TD).

The GeForce 6200 WinFast PX6200TD from Leadtek

On Figures 2 and 3 you can check GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface from Leadtek. As you can see, this video card uses an active heatsink (i.e., with a fan).

Leadtek GeForce 6200
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Figure 2: Leadtek WinFast PX6200TD.

Leadtek GeForce 6200
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Figure 3: Leadtek WinFast PX6200TD, back view.

This video card uses eight DDR 128-Mbit 3.6 ns chips from Hynix (HY5DU281622ET-36)to give it 128 MB of video memory (128 Mbits x 8 = 128 MB). These chips can run up to 550 MHz. Since this video card accesses the memory at 550 MHz there is no room for memory overclocking inside the memory’s specifications. But of course you can try overclock it over its specs.

Leadtek GeForce 6200
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Figure 4: 3.6 ns DDR memory chip used by Leadtek WinFast PX6200TD video card.

This card provides component video outputs and comes with a component video adapter and a DVI/VGA adapter. It also comes with two games, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Spliter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

Leadtek GeForce 6200
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Figure 5: Component video and DVI/VGA adapters.

Main Specifications

* Researched on Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark2001 SE

3DMark2001 SE measures video card performance simulating DirectX 8.1 games. It is very effective software for evaluating the performance from previous-generation games, programmed using DirectX 8. In this software we ran two tests, both at 1024x768x32. Since we were evaluating low-end video cards, we decided to not run our tests in higher resolutions, since rarely a user that buys a video card from this level will push resolutions above 1024x768 in 3D games.

We ran this software first without antialising and with no frame buffer, and then we put the antialising at 4 samples and the frame buffer at triple-buffering. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our benchmark, allowing direct comparison between them. Also, some very low-end video chips (Volari 8300 and Intel i915G) don’t have antialising feature, so we were not able to benchmark them using this configuration.

You may be asking yourself why we added an old program in a review of a latest generation video card. To us, it is as important to know the performance of a video card with the latest games as it is to know its performance in an older game. That’s why we kept this software in our methodology.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

At the default 3DMark2001 SE configuration, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 35.40% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 68.35% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 68.46% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 75.62% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek), 106.75% faster than i915G (Intel D915GEV) and 122.92% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 24.07% faster, GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 7.26% faster and GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 4.15% faster.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Enabling video quality enhancements, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 35.71% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 36.31% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 111.27% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX) and 685.84% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 115.12% faster, GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 50.58% faster and GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 37.64% faster.

3DMark03

3DMark03 measures performance by simulating games written to DirectX 9, which are contemporary games. In this software we ran two tests, both at 1024x768x32. Since we were evaluating low-end video cards, we decided to not run our tests in higher resolutions, since rarely a user that buys a video card from this level will push resolutions above 1024x768 in 3D games.

We ran this software first without antialising and with no anisotropic filtering, and then we put the antialising at 4 samples and anisotropic filtering at 4 samples. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our benchmark, allowing direct comparison between them. Also, some very low-end video chips (Volari 8300 and Intel i915G) don’t have antialising feature, so we were not able to benchmark them using this configuration.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

At the default 3DMark03 configuration, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 56.04% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 76.97% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI), 92.52% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek), 112.27% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 112.27% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor) and 172.72% faster than i915G (Intel D915GEV).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 110.81% faster, Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 47.13% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 29.92% faster.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Enabling video quality enhancements, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 107.63% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 111.29% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 111.79% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor) and 271.84% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 159.58% faster, Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 82.02% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 43.93% faster.

3DMark05

3DMark05 measures performance by simulating DirectX 9.0c games, i.e., using the new Shader 3.0 model. This programming model is used by Far Cry game and other games to be launched in the future. This new programming model is used by GeForce 6 and 7 series from NVIDIA and Radeon X1000 series from ATI.

In this software we ran two tests, both at 1024x768x32. Since we were evaluating low-end video cards, we decided to not run our tests in higher resolutions, since rarely a user that buys a video card from this level will push resolutions above 1024x768 in 3D games.

We ran this software first without antialising and with no anisotropic filtering, and then we put the antialising at 4 samples and anisotropic filtering at 4 samples. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our benchmark, allowing direct comparison between them. Also, some very low-end video chips (Volari 8300 and Intel i915G) don’t have antialising feature, so we were not able to benchmark them using this configuration.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

At the default 3DMark05 configuration, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 15.85% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 38.42% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 38.92% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 52.67% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI), 58.32% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek) and 345.66% faster than i915G (Intel D915GEV).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 132.43% faster, Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 81.97% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 36.51% faster.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Enabling video quality enhancements, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 46.72% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 60.06% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 60.94% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI) and 114.00% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 122.98% faster, Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 106.20% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 35.89% faster.

Doom 3

Doom 3 is one of the heaviest games available today. As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions: 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and high. We ran demo1 four times and wrote the obtained number of frames per second. The first result we discarded at once, since it is far inferior than the other results. This happens because at the first time we run the demo the game must load all textures to video memory, fact that doesn’t happen from the second time we run the demo on. From the three results left, we consider as our official result the middle result, i.e., we discard the highest and the lowest values. Curiously almost all times the values obtained at the second round on were the same.

A very important detail that we must mention is that Doom 3 has an internal FPS lock: it is only capable of generating 60 frames per second, even if your board is able to produce more frames per second than that. This is done in order to make the game to have the same "playability" sensation independently from the video card installed on the PC. This lock, however, is disabled in the game benchmarking mode.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Doom 3, read our tutorial on this subject.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Running this game in its low video quality mode, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 117.09% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 191.89% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek), 208.57% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 208.57% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI) and 380.00% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 69.91% faster, GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 29.40% faster and Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 4.63% faster.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Enabling video quality enhancements, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 118.38% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 186.52% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek), 201.49% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 201.49% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI) and 431.58% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 77.97% faster, GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 29.70% faster and Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 4.21% faster.

Far Cry

Far Cry is a game based on the new Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) model, which is used by GeForce 6 and 7 series from NVIDIA and Radeon X1000 series from ATI.
 
As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game only at 1024x768. Since we were evaluating low-end video cards, we decided to not run our tests in higher resolutions, since rarely a user that buys a video card from this level will push resolutions above 1024x768 in 3D games.

This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels: low and very high. To measure the performance we used the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH), available at http://www.3dcenter.org/downloads/farcry-pcgh-vga.php. We ran this demo four times and made an arithmetical average with the obtained results. This average is the result presented in our graphs.

This game has a very important detail in its image quality configuration. Antialising, instead of being configured by numbers (1x. 2x. 4x or 6x), is configured as low, medium or high. The problem is that on NVIDIA chips both medium and high mean 4x, while on ATI chips medium means 2x and high means 6x, making the comparison between ATI and NVIDIA chips completely unfair. Because of that we configured antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering at 8x manually at the video driver control panel. Some very low-end video chips (Volari 8300 and Intel i915G) don’t have antialising feature, so we were not able to benchmark them using this configuration.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Far Cry, read our tutorial on this subject.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Running this game in its low video quality mode, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 56.14% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX), 66.69% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 67.88% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 103.00% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek) and 146.70% faster than Volari 8300 128 MB (XGI).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 36.36% faster, GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 30.04% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 26.29% faster.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Enabling video quality enhancements, Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was 92.05% faster than Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory 128 MB 64-bit (PowerColor), 92.63% faster than Radeon X300 128 MB 128-bit (ATI), 106.16% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit (XFX) and 482.01% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache 16 MB 32-bit (Leadtek).

Leadtek GeForce 6200 128 MB 128-bit was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB (NVIDIA), which was 154.64% faster, Radeon X1300 Pro 256 MB 128-bit (ATI), which was 79.47% faster and GeForce 6600 128 MB (Albatron), which was 37.87% faster.

Conclusions

We were really impressed by the performance of the “real” GeForce 6200, running with 128-bit memory interface. It simply smokes Radeon X300 and all other GeForce 6200 models.

Originally quoted at USD 129, you can now find this model at USD 73. It is a terrific buy if you are looking for a cheap video card for playing games with a relatively good performance – you will be even able to run Doom 3 at a decent frame rate with this card (not enabling image quality settings, of course).

Think of this. You can have a far better performance than GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64-bit interface and 64 MB and Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory with 128 MB spending just twenty bucks more. Why don’t you go for it?

Because of its terrific cost/benefit ratio, we are giving PX6200TD from Leadtek our “Hardware Secrets Silver Award” for the entry-level video card category. Just to remember, we gave our Golden Award to Radeon X1300 Pro, which is located on a different price range (USD 110~120).

We didn’t review the new Radeon X1300 yet, so we still don’t know how is the regular GeForce 6200 compared to this new chip from ATI.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Leadtek-GeForce-6200-128-MB-128-bit-Review/257


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