We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Graphics cards Reviews
15,526 Reviews

nVidia GeForce 6200 32MB with TurboCache

£50 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Nvidia

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

We recently reduced the top price of our Superbudget PCs category to just £500. In many respects these PCs compete quite favourably with machines that cost up to £200 more. However, what really exposes the shoestring budget is the graphics and, in particular, the games performance.

We recently reduced the top price of our Superbudget PCs category to just £500. In many respects these PCs compete quite favourably with machines that cost up to £200 more. However, what really exposes the shoestring budget is the graphics and, in particular, the games performance.

Often using the cheapest graphics chips available, these machines struggle to get beyond the magic 30fps (frames per second) figure needed to play games in any degree of comfort. Add to this their frequent inability to cope with the latest graphics features supported by DirectX 9.0, and an upgrade will be required for anyone intending to play games titles.

Retailing at around the £50 mark, a 32MB TurboCache card such as the nVidia GeForce 6200 could be the answer - a 16MB version should also be available for approximately £40.

The key to this product is the way that it uses memory. Modern games use huge amounts of textures and these are handled in a block of memory called the framebuffer. As a general rule, a game running at a resolution of 1,024x768 requires a framebuffer of 128MB to render all the necessary textures, cope with stencil buffers and so on. Usually the framebuffer will come from the graphics card's own memory but, in the case of this TurboCache card, only 32MB is provided.

Compensation culture

In the past, some graphics cards have compensated for a lack of onboard memory by using some of the PC's own RAM. But this has never been particularly successful because too much time is lost while sending data between the system memory and the graphics chip.

However, the bi-directional PCI Express bus is far more versatile and, with the help of the TurboCache Manager, this card can really make both system and onboard memory work together. And because the 6200 chip has full support for DirectX 9.0 features such as version 3.0 of the Shaders and CineFX, your games should always be able to support the latest visual effects.

In real-world performance, the TurboCache does make a clear difference to games speed. We took this month's Gladiator Legion 3000 Superbudget PC and upgraded its basic onboard Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip.

At a resolution of 800x600, the TurboCache card made most games playable - for example, Doom 3 shot from 11fps to over 34fps, Halo went from 16fps to 35fps, and Unreal Tournament jumped from 72 to 148fps. Move to a resolution of 1,024x768, however, and only Unreal Tournament is viable - Doom3 and Halo dropped to 23fps and 28fps respectively. That's much faster than the Xpress 200's times, but if you want to play above 800x600 the TurboCache card won't cut the mustard. And while it does exceed 30fps on most titles at 800x600, even here you'd really want 45-50fps for a comfortable experience.

nVidia GeForce 6200 32MB with TurboCache Expert Verdict »
nVidia GeForce 6200
32MB DDR RAM
core/memory clock 350MHz/350MHz (700MHz DDR)
0.11-micron
Ramdac 400MHz
4 pixel pipelines
64bit
max res@75Hz 2,048x1,536
PCI Express
DirectX 9.0
DVI
Video-out
  • Build Quality: We give this item 5 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 5 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 5 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

The TurboCache is a good idea, but it isn't quite enough to guarantee smooth gaming. If you really want decent frame rates, ask the system's manufacturer how much it'll cost to upgrade the graphics card - pay for a GeForce 6600, or the upcoming Radeon X800 XL, and you'll see a dramatic improvement.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT TurboForce Ultra Edition

    Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT TurboForce Ultra Edition

    With the Gigabyte GeForce 8500 GT TurboForce Ultra Edition, Gigabyte has opted to add its own fancy heat sink and cranked up the clock speeds significantly to give this card a fair boost to its performance.

  • HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX review

    HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX

    The HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX is HIS' take on the ATI Radeon HD 4850 Toxic Edition, with improved specifications.

  • Mac mini vs iMac comparison review

    Mac mini vs iMac comparison

    We compare the Mac mini and iMac - Apple's two most popular desktop PCs. Which is best for you - Mac mini or iMac? Read our Mac mini vs iMac comparison review to find out.

  • Asus ENGTX460 TOP review

    Asus ENGTX460 TOP

    The Asus ENGTX460 TOP is a powerful graphics card based around the nVidia GTX 460 chip.

  • HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo review

    HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo

    The HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo is an excellent, although somewhat expensive, graphics card.


IDG UK Sites

The 10 most ridiculously opulent, mega expensive and utterly stupid gadgets you can't afford

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

5 things Android Wear *can't* do: Smartwatch OS is great but not flawless

IDG UK Sites

Free QuarkXPress update offers redlining, notes and image enhancement