Not everyone can afford the latest and greatest video cards these days. To help drop the costs of cards, companies are utilizing free system memory and include less onboard memory. NVIDIA’s implementation is called TurboCache and we have a card from Leadtek today that uses it and comes in at a very attractive price.
The Leadtek PX6200 TC TDH
uses the NV44 GPU and comes equipped with 64MB. While you have the full DirectX 9 compatibility along with Shader 3.0 support and PureVideo, there are also some omissions to the NV44 GPU such as color and z-compression as well as OpenEXR 16-bit blending. There are only four pixel pipelines in this card that also helps curb costs. For HTPC folks, the card does support NVIDIA’s PureVideo for great HD video playback. More about PureVideo can be found at NVIDIA’s website.
So what is TurboCache? It’s the process of having the card utilize the onboard memory of the computer. Since these are budget cards, they wouldn’t be in the budget price range if there were 128 or 256MB of memory on board. Since computers are now coming into configurations of 512MB and more, TurboCache can take advantage of the system memory in place of onboard memory. It is confusing on the advertising to say supports 256MB of memory rather than put on the packaging the actual amount of memory that it has though.
As a big HTPC enthusiast, the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this card was it would be a great video card for a quiet HTPC. Besides the price, which I will get into in a little bit, the card features passive cooling as there’s only a heatsink on the card needed to cool it down. Considering cards seem to be migrating to larger and larger cooling solutions, it’s nice to see a card that doesn’t need to sound like a jet engine.
We didn’t have a comparable HyperMemory card from ATI to compare the card with so we’ll keep the benches solo for now. Once we do get a HyperMemory card, we’ll do a follow up comparison. Our test system consisted of:
1 GIG of PC3200 Ram
Windows XP w/ Service Pack 2
120 GIG Maxtor 7200 RPM HD
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