Final Words

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!

For most of its life the 6800 GT was NVIDIA's best high end value. The 6800 Ultra was both too hard to find and too expensive to be worth the investment, while the 6800 GT performed very well and wasn't a bad overclocker either. But ever since the 7800 series came along, the 6800 GT just hasn't been as viable an option. Today we can find cheap 7800 GT parts for about as much as an average 6800 GT (~$320).

Today sees the introduction of a part that performs just as well as the 6800 GT but costs about $70 to $80 less. The 6800 GS looks like it hits the sweet spot between price and performance this holiday season. Aside from cutting the cost of the 6800 GT, the 6800 GS doesn't cost that much more than a vanilla 6800 with 256MB of RAM. As the vanilla 6800 performs just slightly better than the 6600 GT, we can say with confidence that the 6800 GS has taken over the 6800 line and is the only real option left of the bunch.

We had heard that only EVGA would be building the new king of value, and then only until the first quarter of next year. It has come to our attention that most of the usual suspects will eventually come out with 6800 GS parts. With all the advantages the 6800 GS holds over its 6800 series brethren, we are glad to see that it will stick around.

Putting 6800 GS cards together in SLI is not worth it when you can get a 7800 GTX for less than 2x the price. Since the 6800 GS will be a short lived product (from what we understand) SLI as a future upgrade is not a viable option - stick with the single card here or go with something faster if you need to spend more money. We don't like SLI upgrades anyway, but it's even less smart an idea if you can't be sure the card will be around much longer.

This card does for NVIDIA what the X800 GTO did for ATI a short time ago. The X800 GTO falls short in terms of value compared to the 6800 GS, which is both impressive and exactly why NVIDIA wanted to bring it out now. With initial prices on upcoming ATI parts looking to be a little high for their performance, this seals a recommendation for NVIDIA for the holiday season: if you've got about $220 to spend on a graphics card, the 6800 GS is the part to have.

Of course, if you are the adventurous kind and enjoy modding your hardware, the X800 GTO does have something to offer. Most of these cards are easily overclockable and/or flashable to 16 pixel pipelines. The 6800 GS won't allow anyone to unlock extra pipelines as the silicon is built around 12 pixel pipes to save die area. Getting good results with the X800 GTO is not guaranteed, but for those willing to take the risk, the option is there.

All the new parts add a lot of confusion to the mix. With both ATI and NVIDIA bringing out essentially redundant parts, it's hard to know what to recommend or buy. Luckily, NVIDIA has cleared that up for us - the entire rest of the 6800 line is going away and only the 6800 GS will remain. As for ATI, it is very hard to address the amount of spring cleaning their line up needs (especially with the X1000 series parts coming out soon).

You can buy the 6800GS today in its eVGA forum at several vendors.
SLI and Antialiasing
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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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

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

    Should be consumption :).
    Reply
  • 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"
    Reply
  • Matrices - Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - link

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

    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/8993">http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/8993

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

    I wonder what the heck is going on here?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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?

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2593...">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2593...

    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. :)
    Reply

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