The last time we looked at a PNY product was back in the times of the Geforce 5600. The PNY version was a decent card with an excellent bundle and warranty. Build quality was also good. With this as a benchmark we were looking forward to the PNY version of the 6800Ultra and hoped it would live up to PNY’s high standards. Today we will look at the card in detail through varying resolutions, aa/af settings, with and without driver optimisations and when overclocked to really put the card through its paces. We’ll also be running it through some of the latest game engines such as MOH: Pacific Assault and Shellshock: Nam67 to see what those users who always buy the latest games will experience.

The PNY 6800 Ultra comes in a reasonably sized box, nice to see a manufacturer not giving you a huge half empty box. The Box artwork is simple and follows the PNY theme from previous cards. Inside the box you find the gfx card, manual, dvi convertors, s-video cable, video-out, driver disc and Farcry (DVD). Everything you could need and thumbs up for PNY on that front. The item specifically of note in the bundle is Farcry, games bundled with graphics cards have certainly improved in recent months and Farcry is about as good as it gets…its also a good engine to show off the capabilities of your new card.

The card itself follows the Nvidia reference design to the letter, this is no bad thing, however there are more attractive cards available on the market. As the PNY doesnt come clocked as high as these other cards, instead sticking to 400mhz/1.1ghz with the usual two slot cooler and dual Molex connectors the PNY has all the expected design features. Most PNY cards come with a PNY sticker however ours has the standard Nvidia one. Notice the sticker on the rear saying “Samsung Rescreened 600mhz” this means that the memory on the card was intended to be used at speeds lower at 600mhz initially however they have been retested and found to work at 600Mhz.

The card also has PNY’s excellent lifetime warranty.

Test System

PNY Geforce 6800 Ultra
Connect3D ATI Radeon X800XTPE

Athlon64 FX-53
Msi K8T-Neo2-FIR
2GB PC3200 DDR (Corsair LL)
80gb Samsung 7200rpm sata HD with 8mb Cache.
Ultra X-Connect 500w PSU

Windows XP SP2
DirectX 9.0c
Forceware 66.31 WHQL
Catalyst 4.9 WHQL
Via Hyperion 4.53 WHQL
Fraps 2.3.1

Colin McRae Rally 2005 (Demo)
Thief 3
Ground Control 2
Medal Of Honour: Pacific Assault (Demo)
Neocron2 : Dome of New York
Source Benchmark
Shellshock Nam’67
Tribes Vengeance (Demo)

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows XP was installed. Following the completion of the install the Hyperion drivers were installed. The only updates applied were SP2 and .net framework 1.1(latest service pack). Following a reboot the Video Card drivers were installed. Next the benchmarking tools were installed and finally the hard drive was de-fragmented. For all tests the Nvidia/ATI drivers were set to default quality/optimisations (unless otherwise stated)

Good Benchmarking Practice:
Where possible each benchmark was performed 3 times and the middle result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables which follow. After changing any Anti-Aliasing (AA) or Anisotropic Filtering (AF) setting and before a benchmark was run the system was rebooted. All games/applications had their latest patches applied.

Next: Thief 3