XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review :: The Card

11-29-2005 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun
XFX 6800GS SLI
 
Brand XFX
Model 6800GS
Graphics Chip NV42
Graphics Memory Type DDR3
Memory (MB) 256
Graphics Core Clock (MHz) 485
Memory Clock (MHz) 1100
Memory Speed (ns) 2.0
RAMDAC Frequency (MHz) Dual 400
Active Cooling on Graphics Chip Yes
Heatsink on Memory Yes
Video Capture Yes
Ports
Dual Monitor Support Yes
VGA Out DVI-I, DVI-I
Video In and Out TV Out, S-Video Out
Package and Support
Printed Manual Yes
Driver CD Yes
Performance Tool Software Coolbits
Major Games Far Cry
Major Software No
VR Glasses No
DVD Player Software None
Video Recording Software None

XFX decided to base their 6800GS PCB on the same design as their 6800GT series card. As the 6800GS is a 6800 overclocked that is a good thing. The cooling fan on the card is a 29-fin radial fan covering the front part of the video card. The heatsink covers the graphics chip. This solution works well with the 6800 series, as I've used the 6800GT and Ultra, without heat problems for over a year.


XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review Front of the card

Front of the card

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review Cooling fan

Cooling fan

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review PCI Express x16 connector

PCI Express x16 connector

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review XFX Mascot

XFX Mascot


The 6800GS is a PCI Express native video chip based upon NVIDIA's NV42 chip. PCI Express was introduced in the middle of last year. Early NVIDIA cards required a bridge chip (HSI or High Speed Interconnect) to operate on a PCI Express chipset. Today all video cards with NVIDIA based chips don't require the HSI chip. One thing about the HSI chip is the ability to reverse-bridge, allowing PCI Express native cards to be later bridged back to AGP.


XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review PCI Power connector

PCI Power connector

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review Rear of card

Rear of card

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review Side view of card

Side view of card

XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review Rear PCI Express key

Rear PCI Express key


XFX outfitted the card with 8 32MB 2ns DDR memory chips. These are rated for 500MHz, which XFX decided to clock the memory at. 1.1GHZ, a 100MHz overclock over the standard NVIDIA reference clock. One thing about the 6800GS is the 256-bit memory bus. This gives the card a memory bandwidth of 35.2GB/second, not bad for a $199 video card.


XFX 6800GS SLI Video Card Review I/O ports

I/O ports


Input and Output ports on the side bracket of the 6800GS are standard for 6800 class cards today. The 6800GS has two DVI-I ports which support two LCD monitors with digital inputs, one LCD monitor and a CRT monitor, or two CRT monitors with the included DVI-I to VGA adapters. NVIDIA has an application called nView to control the multiple monitors.