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nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra Reference Videocard Review

nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra Reference Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: NV40, in comparison, sports no less than 222 million transistors on IBM's 130nm process. The graphics processor wields 16 pixel-pipelines and a 256-bit memory bus populated by GDDR-3 memory modules.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Nvidia May 05 2004   Chris Angelini  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra

Benchmarks: Far Cry, Conclusions

Far Cry Source: UBISoft

DirectX 9.0b-compatible Graphics make Far Cry a true test of DX9 compatible videocards. Based on the CryENGINE, Far Cry boasts real-time editing, bump mapping, static lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows, and a dynamic music system. In the absence of either DOOM III or Half-Life 2, Far Cry has quickly become a single-player hit. Not only does it feature immersive graphics, but its story is actually somewhat entertaining.

Far Cry - Benchmark Results
1024x768 FPS Ranking
ATi Radeon 9800 XT 70.3

ATi Radeon X800 XT

85.6
nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 57.2
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

86.1

1280x1024 FPS Ranking

ATi Radeon 9800 XT

47

ATi Radeon X800 XT

83.6

nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 39.3
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

68.3

1600x1200 FPS Ranking
ATi Radeon 9800 XT 33.3
ATi Radeon X800 XT

70.3

nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 27.4
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

55.5

Despite a recent patch that supposedly accelerated nVidia's shader routines, ATI's new X800 XT dominates the overall performance picture, though at 1024x768 the Geforce 6800 Ultra comes in on top. At 1024x768 and 1280x1024, processor performance looks like it's limiting the X800 XT, while the GeForce 6800 Ultra begins dropping off after 1280x1024. By 1600x1200, the flagship Radeon X800 XT flagship has a 21 percent lead on the Geforce 6800 Ultra.

Far Cry - 4x AA and 8x AF Results
4x AA, 8x AF - 1024x768 FPS Ranking
ATi Radeon 9800 XT 35.3

ATi Radeon X800 XT

79.6
nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 30.1
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

68.7

4x AA, 8x AF - 1280x1024 FPS Ranking

ATi Radeon 9800 XT

24

ATi Radeon X800 XT

56.7

nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 20.2
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

50.2

4x AA, 8x AF - 1600x1200 FPS Ranking

ATi Radeon 9800 XT

17.3

ATi Radeon X800 XT

39.6

nVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 15
nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra

38.3

Though Far Cry's graphical intensity shrinks the gap between the GeForce 6800 Ultra and Radeon X800 to just slightly over 1 FPS at 1600x1200, lower resolutions still favor ATI by up to 14 percent. The Radeon 9800 XT fares just as well, beating nVidia's GeForce FX 5950 Ultra at each resolution, though only slightly.

Conclusions

nVidia's new GeForce 6800 Ultra is, without question, a massive improvement over the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra that came before it. And, at least from first glance, it's pretty clear that this time nVidia has the performance numbers to back it up.

Nvidia's new architecture introduces a lot of potential beyond what we saw with NV3x. To begin, it features a massively parallel 3D pipeline for achieving up to 8x higher pixel shading (a historic weakness of NV40's predecessor) and up to 2x better vertex shading performance.

Moreover, the architecture supports Shader Model 3.0, part of Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 9.0c. Among the improvements there, displacement mapping, vertex texture fetching, and FP32 shader precision are perhaps the most notable enhancements. The DX9 subset also introduces longer vertex and pixel shader programs, dynamic flow control, and geometry instancing as well, though.

But even more relevant is the nVidia GeForce 6800's position versus ATI's recently announced Radeon X800 XT, formerly referred to as R420. The Radeon X800 XT does lack in a few areas - it doesn't support the Shader Model 3.0 specification, and in turn, it won't do FP32 precision. At the same time, however, it is a bit faster than the GeForce 6800 Ultra in what could be construed as the most demanding metrics, consumes a single AGP slot, and it doesn't come with a 480W power supply recommendation.

In response to this, nVidia is reportedly readying a limited-edition version of the GeForce 6800 Ultra bearing an Extreme suffix. Performance considerations aside, the Extreme version of the nVidia Geforce 6800 will be even more expensive than the 6800 Ultra, and purportedly sparsely available. The card's relevance in relation to its competition remains to be seen, but when it is released, we'll do our best to bring you a review of it, so you can judge for yourself.

So, although nVidia has clearly taken strides to improve upon its previous architecture, and while it holds Shader Model 3.0 and FP32 precision over ATI's head, the nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra fell just short of ATI's Radeon X800 XT video card in most of the benchmarks we've shown you - especially at higher resolutions with all the eye candy turned on. For luscious gaming, with killer image quality at the highest resolutions, it's clear that the Geforce FX 5950 Ultra has been significantly surpassed by the new Geforce 6800 Ultra. The differences between the nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra and the ATI Radeon X800 XT are closer, but it is apparent that nVidia's NV40 still has some catching up to do!

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»

 

Contents of Article: Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra
 Pg 1.  nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra Reference Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Pixel Power and 480W too...
 Pg 3.  Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: System Specs, 3DMark03
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena, IL2 Sturmovik
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Final Fantasy, UT2004
 Pg 8.  — Benchmarks: Far Cry, Conclusions

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