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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  • Matrices - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    I have great respect for this review and this website, but I have to emphasize I think the SLI section was extremely inadequate. You can't just bench one game barely anyone plays and then declare the issue closed. This is important becaues this card you can buy for just $200 now on the internet. So if anandtech did a thorough test of SLI and it turned out SLI beat out or tied a single GTX in Q4, D3, BF2, etc., that would be highly revealing.

    After all this card is on part with 6800 GT and 6800 GT SLI does best a single 7800GT. The difference between the GT and the GS is that you can get a GS for 200, not 270+ like a GT, so this could turn out to be a real steal of a deal. Unfortunately beyond Tech Report's more comprehensive SLI analysis I have nothing to go on...
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    On another note, a comparison of a overclocked GTO @ XT PE and a overclocked GS would be very interesting. :)

    I ditto that. I have an X800GTO2 and it unlocks and OCs to X850XTPE easy. That thing eats 6800GT for breakfast and is cheaper and widely available. The only problem is that it's limited edition.
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    Did anyone notice this on the power "consumpion" comparions ;).

    Should be consumption :).
  • Calin - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    On the end of the last page there is:
    "You can buy the 6800GS today in its eVGA forum at several vendors."
    I suppose you wanted to tell "its eVGA form"
  • Matrices - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    The SLI results you got here are the exact opposite of the ones reported by Tech Report:">

    Those folks saw a 100% increase in every benchmark with SLI using this card...

    I wonder what the heck is going on here?
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    I did mention that sli can give almost 2x performance ... but the problem is that it doesn't happen in every game. You get consistently fast perforamnce for your money from the 7800 gtx. That was my point. Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Wednesday, November 9, 2005 - link

    Can you try and come up with a better line? Your anti-SLI rants are looking fairly comical when looking at the 6800GS. It is less expensive then the 7800GTX by a decent amount even including the SLI mobo premium and it is almost always faster at resolutions high end users look for. I can understand you avoided running the SLI benchmarks as it makes your comments for some time invalid, but shouldn't you be able to clarify that by saying that the price/performance balance has changed in this singular instance? Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, November 9, 2005 - link

    I feel SLI is overrated, too.

    Higher mobo costs, higher psu costs, higher heat management costs (more heatsinks, fans, etc). And if you want to upgrade from that, you'll have to sell both cards.

    What is wrong with selling your current card and getting a higher end version? Is really more economical to you? Or does it just line nvidia's pockets?

    Remember, nvidia makes from the nf4 and from the extra chip sales that would otherwise be lost.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

    The SLI tests here are only from one game (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory). Hopefully, we can get a few more titles benched in the near future. Reply
  • Zoomer - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    Page 2:

    "The 6800 GT falls somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of power draw."
    Doesn't make sense, it had the highest and 2nd highest power draw, did you mean 6800 GS?">

    And I guess this tells us that 500W power supplies are redundant. A properly rated, quality 430 watt unit would be more than sufficient.

    On another note, a comparison of a overclocked GTO @ XT PE and a overclocked GS would be very interesting. :)

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