Introduction

It's about that time again. It's been a few months since NVIDIA introduced something exciting and ATI has been launching (and paper launching) parts left and right. From the GT and GTO (which have been on shelves for a while) to the many X1000 series parts (many of which haven't shown up yet) ATI has not been quiet. And today NVIDIA brings the fight back to their door with another product launch that's available on the day it's announced.

At the same time, this is no X1800 XT killer: NVIDIA is launching its GeForce 6800 GS today.

This upper midrange, sub $250 part is NVIDIA's answer to the X800 GTO and the as of yet unavailable X1600 line up. To be up front before we even get to the benchmarks, we included the X800 GTO and X800 XL in our benchmarks, but omitted the X1600 XT as it is not yet available for purchase. We understand that some people might like to know how the X1600 line will eventually compare, but we are very unhappy with ATI's ability to deliver product at launch. To answer that question, take a look back at our X1000 series performance article and note how the 6800 GT compares to the X1600 XT.

What we did focus on here is how the new 6800 GS compares to the current NVIDIA lineup. Coming in at a low cost with very good performance, this new 12 pipe part packs quite a punch when it comes to value. Unfortunately, while the part is available right now, it doesn't seem to be supported by that many manufacturers. We also aren't certain how long the 6800 GS will last either. This has all the makings of a holiday gift from NVIDIA that won't last very long.

Is NVIDIA actually offering this new part out of the goodness of its heart? Or does the 6800 GS only get to exist long enough to hedge sales of ATI parts during the holiday season? In the end it really doesn't matter that much: the 6800 GS is a good part no matter how long it sticks around.

The Card, The Test and Power
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  • DerekWilson - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    i meant 6800 GS Reply
  • Chadder007 - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    And what, ....they forget the majority of motherboard owners still use AGP once again?? Reply
  • Assimilator1 - Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - link

    I agree ,its bloody ridiculous :/

    >>>>>The X800 GTO also has no hope of competing in terms performance or bang for the buck with the 6800 GS<<<<<

    I don't know about the USA ,but in the UK that is rubbish ,6800GS is £160 & the X800 GTOs is £115 ,way cheaper!!
    Is the price differential so different in the USA?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    AGP is going away sooner rather than later. I wouldn't suggest that anyone go out and purchase an AGP card these days unless they have a card that died. In that case, I'd recommend doing a careful analysis of price/performance before buying a new AGP card.

    http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=6800gt%20ag...">6800 GT AGP = $259-$455
    http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=6800gt%20pc...">6800 GT PCIe = $269-$379
    http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=6800gs&...">6800 GS PCIe = $214-$237

    6800GT AGP cards are drying up quickly. Actually, most AGP cards are drying up. I'd say the best bet right now for AGP is from this list:

    http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=x800%20256m...">X800 256MB AGP

    You'd want the GTO ($200) or Pro ($203) if at all possible (or the XL/XT if they drop in price).
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    As facts about the card continued to unfold today, we have updated our conclusion to reflect the current state of afairs WRT the 6800 GS.

    Quickly: more manufacturers than EVGA will build one, the cost difference between the 6800 GS and GT is ~$75, The rest of the 6800 line is going away with the exception of the GS, and we added a bit about unlocking X800 GTOs.

    We stand behind our decision to leave out the X1600 lineup, and I hope you guys will give us the leeway to do things like this in the future. It is always our first priority to bring the community information about present and future hardware. We have already shown the performance characteristics of the supposed X1600, but there is still no retail part so it has no place in the rest of our reviews. In our opinion anyway.

    Thanks for the comments, input, and patience.
    Reply
  • ashegam - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    Hopefuly someone will soon come up with a way to unlock these cards and turn them into GT's, that would be sweet. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    can't :-( Reply
  • rqle - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    Sorry for the dual post BUT GET COD2 with purchase, button press twice
    http://www.evga.com/community/promos/cod2/6800gs.a...">http://www.evga.com/community/promos/cod2/6800gs.a...

    For $209 and a $45-50 game when release is not bad at all. Limited.
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    Offer is limited to the first 200 who qualify and sign up.

    Not very cool.
    Reply
  • hoppa - Monday, November 07, 2005 - link

    Haven't even read past the first page yet, but I have to say that it's not too good to your readers to let your bias about the lack of X1600 parts affect the integrity and relevance of the review. If you don't like what ATi is doing, then say so, give them bad ratings, whatever, but don't just leave out information. You risk losings readers *very* fast if you continue doing that. Reply

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