GeForce 6200 TurboCache is the latest entry-level graphics chip family from NVIDIA for the PCI Express bus, competing directly with Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory and the new Radeon X1300 families from ATI. The big problem with GeForce 6200 series is that manufacturers can use different configurations for clock, memory bus and memory size. Thus you can find on the market GeForce 6200 models with very different technical specs, but all being sold as “GeForce 6200”. This model we reviewed from Leadtek – PX6200TC TDH supporting 128 MB –, for example, uses only 16 MB of video memory and 32-bit memory bus, being by far the simplest (and cheapest) GeForce 6200 model available on the market today. Since it is labeled as GeForce 6200, many people may think that its performance is the same of a “real” GeForce 6200, which is not the case.
In this review we will compare the performance of this crippled GeForce 6200 model from Leadtek with other GeForce 6200 models, competing chips from ATI and also with some mid-range chips (GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT).
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 Leadtek is labeled as “128 MB TurboCache” it actually has only 16 MB of video memory. The rest – 112 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.
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.
- WinFast A6200 TDH: 128 MB, 64-bit, chip running at 350 MHz, memory running at 500 MHz, AGP
- WinFast A6200 TD: 128 MB, 128-bit, chip running at 300 MHz, memory running at 550 MHz, AGP
- WinFast PX6200 TD: 128 MB, 128-bit, chip running at 300 MHz, memory running at 550 MHz, PCI Express
- WinFast PX6200 TC TDH 64 MB on-board: TurboCache, 64 MB, 32-bit, chip running at 300 MHz, memory running at 550 MHz, PCI Express
- WinFast PX6200 TC TDH 128 MB on-board: TurboCache, 128 MB, 64-bit, chip running at 300 MHz, memory running at 550 MHz, PCI Express
- WinFast PX6200 TC TDH supporting 128 MB: TurboCache, 16 MB, 32-bit, chip running at 350 MHz, memory running at 700 MHz, PCI Express
- WinFast PX6200 TC TDH supporting 256 MB: TurboCache, 32 MB, 64-bit, chip running at 350 MHz, memory running at 550 MHz, PCI Express
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 350 MHz with its memory being accessed at 700 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 16 MB and 32-bit interface (PX6200TC TDH supporting 128 MB) from Leadtek.