InnoVision's 9 video cards - a complete assortment of value-sector solutions for AGP and PCI-E
Today's material is not ordinary. First, because we are not reviewing a separate graphic card or a line of boards built on the same chip (the so-called Roundup) but a whole series of varied solutions built on both the AGP and PCI-E interfaces, all made by InnoVision Multimedia.
To start with, a few words on the company which is a manufacturers of video cards built on NVIDIA chips only. Not so long ago, many users safely referred to the produce of InnoVision released under the trademark Inno3D as a member of the unenviable community of «noname» solutions. We must admit, even today some people have this erroneous and unjust opinion. Unfortunately, many currently eminent and very large companies used to be referred to the "noname".
As regards the produce of InnoVision, today we are reviewing nine video cards in the Retail package bundle which are a complete assortment of solutions built on NVIDIA chips and related to the low-end and mainstream sectors.
Since some things have been replayed in the value sector and much has happened during the time (life is dynamic not only in the high-end sector), let's refresh our memory and analyze the products offered by both companies in these sectors for our attention.
So, here they are:
- The cheapest PCI-E sector.
These include various modifications of solutions with support for TurboCache (NVIDIA) and HyperMemory (ATI). The cheapest solutions (about $50) use 16Mb onwards onboard memory (128Mb together with the system memory). The board offers support for technologies of this type, equipped with the maximum onboard video memory capacity – RX300 (SE) HM 128Mb (256Mb together with the system memory) – sells as $57 +/-.
In this sector, NVIDIA offers a board of maximum onboard memory capacity – GeForce 6200TC 64Mb (256Mb together with the system memory) – priced at about $60 +/- depending on the sales outlet.
In the AGP sector, the lowest among modern solutions is 6200À (a board based on NV44A – with native support for AGP and a 64-bit data transmission bus). We are even not talking about outdated boards based on GeForce 5200 ($40 +/- depending on the specifications) and 5500 (around $50) not recommended to buy. Although, as statistics suggests, assembly operators these days are selling a lot of cheap computers with the graphics of that type.
As regards ATI, there are past-generation products in this price sector – R9550 ($55 +/-) and R9250 (priced at about $40).
- In the PCI-E sector, priced a bit higher are solutions on the base of RV370 (RX300(SE), RV380 (various modifications of RX600). NVIDIA has presented a lot of NV43-based boards. Starting with the recently announced GeForce 6600LE (which is essentially the same 6200 based on NV43-V, renamed and supporting SLI through drivers of version 77.72 and higher). For details of the solution, read over here. A bit more expensive are GeForce 6600 ($110 +/- depending on the specifications) which offer a full functionality of NV43 (8 activated pixel pipelines). The memory capacity varies in different models: there are 128Mb and 256Mb modifications.
It should be noted separately that apart from the marketing considerations (to revive the interest of consumers to NV43-based boards on the eve of announcement of lower-end solutions of the GeForce 7 line), the renaming of GeForce 6200 was compelled by logical considerations – easier navigation. Now, all the boards named GeForce 6200 are NV44, and all the modifications that have the index 6600 in their name are various versions of NV43. Indeed, this will let the user find ways around easier. This may mislead inexperienced user who might take 6600LE as a fundamentally new card, not well-renamed old. So, it's up to you to read reviews and turn more experienced.
As regards the AGP, then GeForce 6200 based on NV43-V, equipped with the HSI bridge, has almost gone off the retail shelves as economically disadvantageous solutions. The thing is on most all NV43 (except revision À4) all the eight pipelines can be unlocked. Therefore, the board turns into a full-featured analog to the higher positioned GeForce 6600. That used to be a great advantage to overclockers but not to manufacturers, because the price difference between 6600 and 6200 based on NV43 is so minor that most would better pay for the difference instead of running into snags with unlocking the pipelines or simply to get a more powerful solution at the minimum price difference. Therefore, cheaper 6200 were needed. So, NV44-based GeForce 6200A hit the retail, in which the memory exchange bus was rigidly cut down to 64Bit, and the chip offers merely four pixel pipelines originally. That resulted in essential price reduction for the board, which was just needed.
In the sector we are currently reviewing, GeForce 6600 (NV43 + HSI bridge) has remained a sovereign ruler.
In the AGP sector, ATI can oppose its R9600XT to that, as well as its R9800 PRO which has turned much cheaper – for the moment its price is about $130.
- Lastly, we are examining the next level of mainstream solutions which for their reasonable price are able providing acceptable performance.
These are GeForce 6600GT (both AGP and PCI-E) by NVIDIA, and RX700 (PRO) by ATI (also for both interfaces). As regards the price, it is currently about $160 for GeForce 6600GT PCI-E and approximately about the same for the AGP version equipped with the HSI bridge.
Today, RX700 PRO can be bought at $150 +/- (the 128Mb version which is much lower at performance than the 256Mb version, let alone GeForce 6600GT).
Also on sale is RX700 (without suffixes) which is sometimes marked by manufacturers as RX700 LE. Indeed, the chip is regular X700, with the frequencies being 400/700MHz. There are also versions of RX700 with the video memory frequency reduced to 500MHz DDR. The volume of installed video memory is 128Mb or 256Mb, and the price is approximately $120 (for the 400/700MHz modification).
Since InnoVision sells only video cards built on the chips made by the Californian company, we'll be examining ATI boards only as alternative solutions. I don't think this is a serious disadvantage because all the products which are taking part in today's tests have been reviewed repeatedly so far.
The list of the nine boards by InnoVision includes GeForce 6600GT, GeForce 6600 equipped with different memory capacity, GeForce 6200 based on both NV43 and NV44(A), and a few modifications of GeForce 6200TC.
So, we're starting with the latter.
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