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Gigabyte GV-3D1 (Dual GeForce 6600GT)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 17th January, 2005
(Most Innovative Product Award)

The Single Card SLI Sandwich

While the big three SLI motherboard vendors of ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI have been shipping nForce4 SLI motherboards, Gigabyte has been quietly innovating quite a few interesting products as of late that are along the line of NVIDIA's Scalable Link Interface technology. Developed quietly under wraps behind their R&D department, Gigabyte recently surprised the enthusiast community with the world's first dual GeForce 6600 GT graphics card on a single card, the GV-3D1. Instead of two discrete GeForce 6600 GT graphics cards for SLI performance on an nForce4 SLI motherboard, this evolutionary step taken by Gigabyte does away with the second card altogether. Unlike other multi-GPU products in graphics card history that required complex circuitry, bridge/control chips and proprietary interconnects, the Gigabyte GV-3D1 is a rather elegant solution in comparison by taking advantage of the PCI Express bus and its flexibility (albeit still requiring a complex PCB design and power delivery).

The unique Gigabyte GV-3D1 (dual GeForce 6600 GT) graphics card.

On the Gigabyte GV-3D1's custom design PCB, two GeForce 6600 GT GPUs have been bridged internally on the card and this substitutes the high-speed digital interface (SLI bridge) required in a typical SLI setup with two cards. Furthermore, the PCB is designed such that each GPU receives a bandwidth of PCIe x8 instead of a normal PCI Express graphics card with a full PCIe x16 interface. Both of these engineering advancements (or alterations, whichever way you would perceive) are the primary enablers for the existence of the Gigabyte GV-3D1 and we will soon be sharing with you more insight of this interesting card over the next few pages. As usual, we recommend that you take time to familiarize yourself with the technical specifications of the card that will give you a head start on what to expect out of it and to better understand the review.

Gigabyte GV-3D1 Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • Dual NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT GPUs
    • Stock 2D GPU clock = 300MHz
    • Stock 3D GPU clock = 500MHz
    • 8 pixel rendering pipelines (per GPU)
    • 3 vertex pipelines (per GPU)
    • 128-bit DDR3 memory controller (per GPU)
  • CineFX 3.0 Shading Engine
    • Vertex Shaders
      • Support for DX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
      • Displacement Mapping
      • Vertex Frequency Stream Divider (Geometry Instancing)
      • Infinite length vertex programs (supported in hardware)
    • Pixel Shaders
      • Support for DX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
      • Full pixel branching support
      • Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
      • Infinite length pixel programs (supported in hardware)
    • Texturing Engine Features
      • Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
      • Support for 16-bit and 32-bit floating point formats
      • Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
      • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
    • Full 128-bit FP Precision Graphics Pipeline
      • Native support for 32 / 64 / 128 bits per pixel rendering modes
  • UltraShadow II Technology (accelerates shadow computations)
  • Intellisample 3.0 Technology
    • 16x Anisotropic Filtering
    • Adaptive Texture Filtering
    • Rotated Grid Antialiasing
    • Fast antialiasing and compression performance
    • Loss-less Color, Texture and Z-Data Compression algorithms (in real time)
    • Fast Z-clear
    • High-resolution Compression Technology (HCT) increases performance at high resolutions.
  • Advanced Video and Display Functionality
    • Dedicated on-chip video processor
      • MPEG video encode and decode
      • WMV9 decode acceleration
      • Advanced adaptive de-interlacing
      • High quality video scaling and filtering
    • Integrated NTSC/PAL TV encoder support resolutions up to 1024x768 with built-in Macrovision copy protection
    • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
    • Dual 400MHz RAMDACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz (per GPU)
    • Dual DVO ports for interfacing external TMDS transmitters and external TV/HDTV encoder
    • Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
    • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0
  • NVIDIA High-Precision Dynamic-Range (HPDR) Technology
  • Advanced Interface Support
    • Designed for PCI Express x 16
  • Advanced thermal monitoring and thermal management
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB Graphic DDR3 SDRAM (Samsung GC-16, 1.67ns chip)
    • 128MB frame buffer per GPU fixed
  • Default memory clock = 560MHz clock rate (effective speed of 1120MHz DDR)
  • 128-bit memory interface per GPU
  • 17.9GB/sec Memory Bandwidth per GPU
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz (per GPU)
  • 1x DB15 analog VGA connector (for CRT monitors and Flat Panel displays)
  • 1x DVI-I connector (for Digital Flat Panel displays, compatible with analog displays with converter)
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for video output (supports TV-output resolution up to 1024x768)
Driver Support
  • Driver support for Windows NT4 SP6/ 95/ 98 / Me / 2000 / XP / XP MCE / XP 64-bit / Server 2003 SP1 64-bit
  • Driver support for Linux IA32 / AMD64 / IA64 and FreeBSD
  • Fully compliant professional OpenGL 1.5 API with NVIDIA extensions
  • Complete DirectX support including 9.0c and lower
Software Bundle
  • Gigabyte V-Tuner 2
  • Gigabyte Utilities
  • Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising (full game, 1CD)
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows (full game, 1 DVD)
Other Information
  • Gigabyte GV-3D1 is compatible only with the Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard
  • PCIe x16 slot required
  • One six-pin Molex power connector required

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