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Review : XFX GeForce 6800GS XXX Edition

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Review: XFX GeForce 6800GS XXX Edition
XFX GeForce 6800GS XXX Edition
Published by deathvirus_me
12-08-2006
Smile Review: XFX GeForce 6800GS XXX Edition

XFX GeForce 6800GS XXX Edition


Nvidia recently decided to stop manufacturing the 6800GT and 6800 Ultra line-up of GPUís as the 7800GTX / 7900GTX already took over as their flagship card . These were to be replaced by a new flavor in their long line up a.k.a. the 6800GS based on nv41 core. These were merely a toned down version of the 6800GT/U, but a higher clocked version i.e.

6800GS :
Core : nv41 / nv42 (revised nv41)
Core Clock : 425 MHz
Mem. Clock : 1000 MHz
Mem. Interface : 256 bit
Pipelines : 12 pp / 5 vp

6800GT/Ultra :
Core : nv40 / nv45 / nv48
Core Clock : 350 MHz for the GT , 450 MHz for the Ultra variant
Mem. Clock : 1000 MHz for the GT , 1100 MHz for the Ultra variant
Mem. Interface : 256 bit
Pipelines : 16 pp / 6 vp

XFX 6800GS 256MB DDR3 XXX Edition - Full specifications

As you can see, the 6800GS is just a downgraded replacement, and coupled with the low price was more intended for those looking for a budget performing card. But the card in discussion is something more that what nVidia expected; What XFX did with this card is that theyíre replaced the stock cooling with a better cooling, and bumped up the clocks, which now stands out at 485/1100 !! Thatís quite an improvement considering the fact that this card belong to the genre where the core clock was maxed at around 460 MHz. The performance yet to be disclosed.

So is this card a worthy successor to the oneís that were once the flagship cards ?? Lets check out some benchmarks :

Test Rig :
AMD Athlon64 3500+ @ 2.2 GHz (400 MHz FSB , 2GHz HT)
Asus A8N-E nForce4 Ultra (revision A3)
XFX 6800GS XXX Edition @ 485/1100 (nv42)
2*1 GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM @ 400 MHz (3,3,3,8,2T , Dual Channel)
Seagate Barracuda 200 GB SATA 7200 rpm 8M HDD


Now, I decided to put in only some standard benches, primarily 3DMark , which is now quite a standard , here are the result :

3DMark05 : 5846 (default setting)
Aquamark 3 : 66732 (default settings)
CS Stress Test : 126.94 fps (1280*960 , 4x aa , 16x af , maxed settings , vsync off)
Doom 3 Timedemo : 69.4 fps (1280*1024 , 4x aa , Ultra High Quality)
FEAR : 43 fps (Max Ė 96 , Min Ė 24) (1280*960 , 2x aa , Maxed Settings)

*NOTE : The results can vary across PCís with similar and different configuration

Now as u can see the performance is really awesome. Itís quite better than a standard 6800GT, and in fact in some cases even better than the 6800 Ultra if not the same. This really makes me think what is more important, the total pixel pipelines or the faster core, in this case, the 6800GS lives up as a perfect replacement for the 6800GT/Ultra both in terms of performance and price.

Also another noticeable difference is the manufacturing process and power consumption. Being a revised core, the card is quite low on power requirement compared to its daddy, the 6800 Ultra. The test rig was powered by a petty Antec SmartPower 2.0 350W PSU, and the whole system ran absolutely stable.

Anyways lets move back to the card itself. From the time I got my hands on it I wanted to OC this baby, a little inspection and I found that the card was equipped with 1.4 ns RAM modules (lucky me ??); Which means the card should run stable upto 1400 MHz (though thatís only theoretical).
Now lets get down to business, different people use different utilities to OC. I personally prefer either Rivatuner or ATi Tool, though I prefer the later more.

So how far did I reach, well , ATi Tool has an auto detect feature, which works fine on ATi cards, but I was not going to use that, eh ?? Manually I got to 550/1380 !!! Yes u read it correct; thatís quite an OC , compared to the stock 6800GSís at 425/1000! Thatís a solid ~30% on the core and ~38% on the memory. This too with the stock cooling . I must be nuts to run it that high , specially on the stock cooling and the weak PSU, so I clocked down, and the most stable I found was 500/1200; quite a good OCí eh ??

Now ATi Tool has another feature called ďArtifact TestingĒ and this works good for nVidia cards too. I did the test for 2 hrs. straight and found no artifacts; System was stable, and smooth, so I guess the OC was quite accepted and well within limit, so I bumped up some benchies and the score are as follows :

3DMark05 : 6206 (default setting)
Aquamark 3 : 71629 (default settings)
CS Stress Test : 139.72 fps (1280*960 , 4x AA , 16x AF , maxed settings , vsync off)

Thatís quite an increase, because let me remind you, the 3500+ is quite a bottleneck here , in case the application is quite CPU intensive (ex. CS Stress Test); a dual core X2 3800+ say would be good enough for a GPU of this class. I had to see how much the CPU mattered so I bumped up the CPU to 2.4 GHz and benched with the ocíed card , and here are the new results :

3DMark05 : 6417 (default setting)
Aquamark 3 : 72295 (default settings)
CS Stress Test : 142.19 fps (1280*960 , 4x AA , 16x AF , maxed settings , vsync off)

Quite a nice improvement, so better CPU will definitely be aiding in better performance, specially in case the CPU is taxed a bit more. Iíd recommend at least a single core 3500+ for this card as a bare minimum if u want at least some decent output from this card .

So is this card a good buy - well yes!! This is a perfect midrange card, specially since the price is so low, the standard version can be found for 10k INR, while this XXX version retails for just over 13k INR. Also with the advent of the 7600GT, this card do face some competition. But Iíd still suggest this as the 256 bit memory Interface is a real boon, specially at higher resolution with more AA, AF.

Enough talk, so whats the final verdict; lets put it like this : Say u have around 10kís, and want a good graphics card, look no further than the 6800GS , a great buy, and should last quite long, at least a year or so to say.

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Latest 5 reviews

  #1  
By Dark Star on 13-08-2006, 01:13 AM
is yours na. Ihave seen ur rig Awesome work bro repped
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  #2  
By X-Caliber on 13-08-2006, 08:03 AM
Quote:
Quite a nice improvement, so better CPU will definitely be aiding in better performance, specially in case the CPU is taxed a bit more.
...
All nothing but correct....
Just take my example....
i have X1900GT n my 3dmarks05 score is..6523 with 2.6gz...768mb @266 ram
n know when i just increase my ram to 1024 @ 333....then score is 69** (dont remember exactly.....)
n actual reviews of my card at other forums say..tht it somewhere around 9- 10 k
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  #3  
By Strider on 14-08-2006, 12:10 PM
Good work Bro. But why is the xfxforce link?
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  #4  
By bakuryu on 14-08-2006, 01:33 PM
Quote:
But why is the xfxforce link?
I think that's for the full 6800GS XXX specifications. Edited it, and placed it in the correct format.
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