Final Words

Similar to Anand's 9700 Pro introduction, the GeForce 6800 has set some pretty solid standards. We can now expect:

1) Very high performance in current and future games.
2) The ability to play at 2048x1536 in just about any game currently available or soon to be made available, and
3) The ability to play virtually any game at 1600x1200 with 4X AA and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled at smooth frame rates.
Of course, we aren't crowning any kings yet, as ATI will soon be making its mark on this generation of GPUs. We will have to wait to find out what they can bring to the table, but it is definitely turning out to be an exciting battle. Even with the added power requirements, the kinds of performance gains we have seen are pretty substantial, and ATI will have a good fight on their hands.

We were able to achieve very smooth frame rates under Halo at 2048x1536, and 34fps under FarCry at the same resolution. Unfortuantely, the driver is currently not stable enough to do all the testing we wanted at this resolution, so we'll have to hold off on bringing a full set of benchmarks to the table until later.

Even though we have taken a cursory glance at anisotropic filtering and antialiasing, and we didn't notice any glaring problems while testing games, we will need to revisit the issue of image quality. We are planning on bringing out another image quality after ATI releases their card. One thing is for sure, both sides need to make sure they are generating the highest quality images to avoid recurrences of last years many controversies.

We are looking forward to the next month of battle, and we hope you are as excited as we are to see how this plays out.
X2: The Threat Performance
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  • quikah - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Can you post some screen shots of Far Cry? The demo at the launch event was pretty striking so I am wondering if PS 3 were actually enabled since you didn't see any difference. Reply
  • Novaoblivion - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Wow nice looking card I just hope the new ATI doesnt kick its ass lol Reply
  • Rudee - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    When you factor in the upgrade price of a power supply and a top of the line CPU, this is going to be one heck of an expensive gaming experience. People will be wise to wait for ATI's newest flagship before they make any purchase decisions. Reply
  • Pete - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Nice review, Derek. Some impressive performance, but now I'm expecting more from ATi in both performance (due to higher clockspeed) and IQ (I'm curious if ATi improved their AF while nV dropped to around ATi's current level). I also have a sneaking suspicion nV may clock the 6800U higher at launch, but maybe they're just giving themselves room for 6850U and beyond (to scale with faster memory). But a $300 12-pipe 128MB 6800 should prove interesting competition to a ~$300 256MB 9800XT.

    The editor in me can't refrain from offering two corrections: I'm pretty sure you meant to say Jen Hsun (not "Jensen") and well nigh (not "neigh").
    Reply
  • Mithan - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Looks like a fantastic card, however I will wait for the ATI numbers first :)


    PS:
    Thanks for including the 9700 Pro. I own that and it was nice to see the difference.
    Reply
  • dawurz - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Derek, could you post the monitor you used (halo at 2048 rez), and any comments on the look of things at that monstrous a resolution?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • rainypickles - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    does the size and the power requirement basically rule out using this beast of a card in a SFF machine? Reply
  • Damarr - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    It was nice to see the 9700 Pro included in the benchmarks. Hopefully we'll see the same with the X800 Pro and XT so there can be a side-by-side comparison (should make picking a new card easier for 9700 Pro owners like myself :) ). Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    We are planning on testing the actual power draw, but until then, NVIDIA is the one that said we needed to go with a 480W PS ... even making that suggestion limits their target demographic.

    Though, it could simply be a limitation of the engineering sample we were all given... We'll just have to wait an see.
    Reply
  • Regs - Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - link

    Wow, very impressive. Yet very costly. I'm very displeased with the power requirments however. I'm also hoping newer drivers will boost performance even more in games like Far cry. I was hoping to see at least 60 FPS @ 1280x1024 w/ 4x/8x. Even though it's not really needed for such a game and might be over kill, however It would of knocked me off my feet enough where I could over look the PSU requirement. But ripping my system apart yet again for just a video card seems unreasonable for the asking price of 400-500 dollars. Reply

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