Nvidia GeForce 6200 Preview

Author: Terren Tong
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, October 11th, 2004
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/s/nv6200/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Introduction

Today we do a quick preview of Nvidia's 6200 series. Once again we refer back to Editor's Day back in April because they gave everyone a boatload of information there. Jen Hsun Huang's rallying speech for Nvidia claimed that they would have a top to bottom lineup of NV4x derived parts by the end of the year and the announcement of the GeForce 6200 validates that statement as Nvidia will have parts in each segment of the market from the value oriented 6200s, midrange 6600s , and enthusiast 6800 series.

Technology

Be sure to check out some of previous articles on the technology behind the NV40 including our 6800 Tech Preview and reviews of NV4x family products including eVga's 6800 Ultra, BFG's 6800 OC GT and a preview of Nvidia's 6600GT.

Specifications

The Nvidia NV4x series has pipelines that work in quads which is why we see parts with 16 pipes in the 6800 Ultra/GT, 12 pipes in the 6800, 8 pipes in the 6600 series and 4 pipes in the 6200s. The 6200 sports a 128-bit memory bus part like the 6600 series.

5700U

5950

6200

6600

6600GT

6800

6800 GT

Architecture

NV3x

NV3x

NV41

NV43

NV43

NV40

NV40

Manufacturing Process

0.13

0.13

0.11

0.11

0.11

0.13

0.13

Transistor Count

82M

130M

?

146M

146M

220M

220M

Pipelines

4x1

4x2

4x1

8x1

8x1

12x1

16x1

TMUs/Pipe

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

Clockspeed

475

475

300

300

500

325

350

Fillrate (Megapixels)

1900

1900

1200

2400

4000

3900

5600

Memory Interface

128-bit

256-bit

128-bit

128-bit

128-bit

256-bit

256-bit

Memory Size

128

256

128+

128+

128

128

256

SLI-Capable

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

The configuration of the 6200 puts it up squarely against the 5700 series and the 9600/X600 series from ATI as they are all 4x1 pipeline configurations. Memory bandwidth however will be constrained as the 6200 is specced with DDR1, not GDDR3 which will likely put the memory in the range of 400-700 Mhz which would give the 6200 less raw memory bandwidth than the 5700 Ultra which utilized 1 Ghz GDDR3. The memory architecture of the NV40 family however has been improved so that this may not be indicative of performance.

Nvidia emphasized that the target market for the 6200 is not necessarily the casual gamer but those who are using integrated graphics, especially in the case of something like the Intel 915G - even an entry level card will provide a massive increase in performance. With the 6200 series, Nvidia is looking to do a consumer education program with PCs in conjunction with their "The way it is meant to be played" slogan that they use to certify games that work right out of the box with Nvidia hardware. This should hopefully clear up some confusion as to why a 499$ box with a 80 gig HD is not the same as a 699$ box with a discrete graphics card and a 80 gig HD.

There are some differences between the 6200 and the other cards in the Nvidia 6000 series - 64-bit texture filtering and blending is lost and so is color compression. As with the regular 6600, there is no SLI support for the 6200 parts. Like the 6600 series, there are 3 vertex pipes on the 6200.

Performance

Nvidia has provided some relative numbers comparing the 6200 to ATI's X600. Like we mentioned, for current generation games, the 6200 should provide similar performance to the Nvidia GeForce 5700 series although there should be fairly significant improvements in DirectX 9 games over the NV3x family.

Pricing

Nvidia's MSRP for 128MB cards are between $129-149. Again, Nvidia stressed that pricing is the decision of the card vendor. From our perspective, the pricing seems a bit high and hopefully the prices of the 6200 fall into the sub 129$ range. The expected pricing of the Nvidia's 6600 and ATI's X700 are expected to fall into the 149$ range and both of these cards easily have twice the processing power of the 6200.


A 6200 Board shot

Conclusions

Nvidia is proceeding fairly cautiously with the marketing of the 6200 and this is a good thing - they are upfront that this is not really targeted towards the tech savvy crowd but towards the entry level, their examples being people still using integrated graphics. If their provided benchmarks are accurate, they should have performance that is on part with last generation's midrange parts. The performance will not be stellar compared to some of the newer offerings, but even so, DOOM 3 is a pleasant experience with the cards from the 5700 generation and should be the same on the 6200. The added silicon for Shader Model 3 support, PCIe and Nvidia's video acceleration technology will be other key selling points as it will be a general upgrade in computer performance instead of a strict focus on games.

Nvidia had a pretty rough time with their 5000 series but they have released a string of compelling products starting from the high end all the way down to today's release of the 6200 that will hopefully help them continue to turn their fortunes around. In particular, the 6600GT and the 6800GT are parts that have been particularly well received both by the public and the press. I do not know if the 6200 will gather the same amount of accolades but it should still be a viable option for those who are not ready to take a larger financial plunge to get into the gaming world.

»Neoseeker.com

Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc., 1999-2014.
All Rights Reserved.

Please do not redistribute or use this article in whole, or in part, for commercial purposes.