As its box packaging proclaims, the Silent-Pipe technology used in the Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D-SP is into its second version. Interestingly, while we see the usual heatpipe distributing the heat generated by the GPU to heatsinks that radiate the heat, Gigabyte has chosen to place one of its two radiators at the rear of the card, such that heat from the GPU can easily be vented out of the casing. This is actually a decent idea that should be familiar to those who have seen the two-slot coolers that ATI uses so often for its high-end graphics cards. Of course, the difference is that for the Gigabyte, it is relying on whatever ambient airflow within the casing to assist in the process. Without an assisting cooler fan, this idea should still work since even a bit helps when it comes to such passive cooling solutions and these radiating vents should do their part thanks to the heat differential between the outside of the casing and its interior.
The drawback of this approach obviously lies in the fact that the adjacent PCI slot to the Gigabyte card would be occupied by the radiator. This makes it difficult to choose the Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D-SP for certain systems, like a small form factor (SFF) for example, where space is a premium and every interface slot treasured. This would be quite a waste as media PC oriented SFFs would probably benefit from the silent characteristics of the Gigabyte. The radiator heatsink at the back of the card also barely cleared our motherboard's chipset heatsink and in fact ended up in close contact. Considering that we used an Intel reference board, some boards may encounter problems installing the Gigabyte card so that's something for prospective buyers to consider first.
Finally, the performance of the Gigabyte GV-NX66T128D-SP should follow the majority of the GeForce 6600 GT cards, given that on paper, it comes clocked at the standard 500MHz for the core and 1000MHz DDR for its 2.5ns memory chips. The main selling point of this card however is probably its silent operation, so we doubt that buyers would have any complaints as long as it performs up to the mark.
The bundle was also not really exciting but considering the price that you pay for a GeForce 6600 GT nowadays, we can't really expect too much. At least Gigabyte included the latest version of PowerDVD, a staple DVD playback application. There is also its proprietary overclocking utility, V-Tuner 2, which should simplify things for novices that need the handholding. Finally, the single game is the all too familiar Xpand Rally, something that we have seen all too often. The complete list of items is as follows: