Introduction

NVIDIA's 6800 GS has been available for over two months now, and it seems to be doing a nice job of providing users with quality performance. Now that the holidays are over, many new 6800 GS owners have settled in and are happily putting their new card to good use with their favorite games. Both ATI and NVIDIA did a decent job of getting out some new parts in time for the Christmas rush, offering a good selection to those gamers in the market for a new card. ATI's recent X800 GTO was, and still is, a no-slouch mid-range graphics card with a decent price tag (about $150), and a nice addition to their product line.

That being said, the 6800 GS is NVIDIA's answer to the X800 GTO, and they managed to slip it onto the market just before ATI's X1600. The X1600 is still pretty new, and it looks promising, but the NVIDIA 6800 GS has already proven to be a top contender for best performance at the most reasonable price.

Today, we'll be looking at four different manufacturers' versions of the 6800 GS, and seeing what each has to offer. The cards that we have are from Leadtek, PNY Technologies, EverTop, and EVGA. We've already talked about how the 6800 GS compares to the current NVIDIA lineup, but we'll offer a recap and hopefully provide a good overview of how this and other available graphics cards rank in terms of performance in the next section. When comparing multiple cards of the same type to one another, it can be easy to lose sight of how these parts fit into the ranks of graphics cards that are available by both NVIDIA and ATI. One of our goals in this review is to shed some light on the "big picture" of graphics card performance in general, and in particular, how the 6800 GS fits into it.

Usually, after the holidays, there tends to be a lull in parts being released, but this doesn't look to be the case, as we have been hearing murmurs about something interesting coming from ATI very soon. There has been a kind of shift in ATI's schedule lately, so we may see parts trickling out from them over the next few months. NVIDIA might have some surprises for us as well, but for now, the 6800 GS has enough clout to be one of their key parts until then. This card looks like it will be a great value part for those looking to upgrade anytime soon.

General Overview
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  • swamprat - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    Im interested as to the specific version of the EVGA card tested as the EVGA site has the 256-P2-N389-BX and the 256-P2-N389-AX versions with the same specs ie 450MHz/1.05GHz Reply
  • Alaa - Monday, February 06, 2006 - link

    who would buy FX57 with such a midrange product? please test the cards as normal users Reply
  • spec74 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Well i'm in Korea right now and found out it's selling for 217,000 won. With the current exchange rate of 1 Dollar = 964 KRN it's close to $200 here also Reply
  • spec74 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    As I was checking the pic of the card also. It looks nothing like the one reviewed. I found it strange
    well here's the site if you guys want to see it

    http://pc.danawa.com/price_right.html?cate1=861&am...">http://pc.danawa.com/price_right.html?cate1=861&am...

    Reply
  • tjpark1111 - Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - link

    nice really! I'm korean and I've always thought stuff was more expensive there, it always seemed like it when I lived there... I guess not. You should go buy it hehe. Reply
  • wolf68k - Saturday, January 28, 2006 - link

    I've got a problem with how they worded this.
    All they said, or implied, was that they turned on SM3.0 with the nVidia cards. The GTO doesn't support SM3.0. But did they turn on every options under SM3.0 as well or not?
    From the results I would have to say so, I just wish they did.

    I've got an AMD XP 3200+, 1GB of PC2100/DDR266 RAM and a completely stock eVGA 6800GS AGP.
    When I benched SCCT at 1240x1024 with SM3.0 and Hardware Shadow Mapping turned on, as well as everything else but not including everything in SM3.0 and no AA/AF. I get around 45-50FPS.
    With everything on, including the options under SM3.0 but still no AA/AF, then I get around 20-25FPS.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, January 29, 2006 - link

    We enabled all available options for the GTO, but as we pointed out in the article, it doesn't support SM3.0

    It should be noted that NV doesn't support support some of the higher end features with AA enabled, so the AA numbers are a more apples to apples sort of comparison here.
    Reply
  • tjpark1111 - Sunday, January 29, 2006 - link

    eh, who cares about SM3(ok, even i might care). Anyways, I would rather get a x800gto2 and make it faster than a x850 xt pe, and get much better performance than a 6800GS, all for $10 less lol. Reply
  • unclebud - Saturday, January 28, 2006 - link

    "Remember, I would have to pay $100 more to get a PCIe mobo with the GS which would cost more than just getting the AGP version."

    also remember that the typical anandtecher does not have a girlfriend nor a spouse and no prospects of getting one, so they can rationalize that paying such copious amounts of money to match a graph of a demo machine is an incredible achievement... like saving the queen of england from bill collectors or something. that is why they cannot sympathize with us who would stick with agp for whatever reason (especially financial reasons).
    thanks for posting!
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Saturday, January 28, 2006 - link

    Looks like someone isn't getting any...

    Either way, I'm keeping my gf satisfied while having a pci-e config. Gasp, it's unbelievable, I must be some kind of genious. You can read all about in my new book in stores this spring!

    BTW, buying a pcie gs will survive the upgrade to a socket M2, while the agp will not. More money thrown away!
    Reply

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