Over the past few months we’ve had a fair amount of 6800GT’s and Ultras come into Driverheaven however no 6800 non ultras, fortunately this has changed and we now have the chance to look at the Asus branded version of the 6800. This card is quite unique in its specification and comes with a massive amount of add-ins to the bundle. Its certainly no normal 6800 non ultra, more about that later. Around the same time the 6800 arrived we also received Sapphire’s take on the X800Pro, a competitively priced product to the Asus 6800 so it makes sense to look at them both in the same article.

Let’s start with a look at the Asus card. The first thing that strikes you about the box, other than the brightness, is that it’s huge. The Gainward CoolFX this is the largest video card box that we’ve seen, this comes a close second. The reason for the size is the amount of stuff contained in it. The contents are:

Some excellent free games in there to test out your card with, and if you don’t have one, a decent spec webcam.

The card itself is quite different from most 6800 non ultra’s, for starters there is 256mb of DDR3 compared to 128mb ddr on other non ultra’s. The card also has a second Molex connector like the GT and ultra’s. Finally it uses the 2 slot cooler where as most non ultra’s use a 1 slot cooler.

Checking of the clockspeed shows that the card is again different from other non-ultra’s out there. Rather than the 325mhz core and 700mhz memory that we would normally expect the Asus V9999 Gamer Edition uses 350mhz core and 1000mhz memory. Quite a substantial difference.

In reality the spec’s and design make the card a lot closer to the 6800 GT series than the 6800 series…other than having 12pipelines it is a GT. The other point of note in the design is the fan/heatsink. When powered on the card has a blue LED fan which lights up the unit. In a windowed case it looks excellent, especially with the blue PCB.

 

Next lets have a look at the Sapphire card:

Sapphires packaging follows the alien design they’ve been using for a while. The shiny finish makes it stand out (and damn hard to photograph!!!). On the bundle front Sapphire also have an impressive game bundle – Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and Price of Persia: Sands of Time. The rest of the bundle includes:

S-video and Composite video cables/connectors
DVI converter
Overclocking utility
Drivers
Power DVD
Molex Splitter Cable

The card itself follows the reference design almost to the letter. Clockspeeds are set at 475mhz core 900mhz memory and 256mb of DDR3 is used. As with all X800pro’s this card has 12pipes.

Where the card does differ from the reference design is the Heatsink sticker and PCB. I actually prefer the blue Sapphire design to the ATI design. There is also a useful plastic attachment/grip on the top of the card which helps when removing the card from the AGP slot.

Summary of Features:
- 475MHz GPU Clock Speed
- 256MB 900MHz GDDR3 memory accelerates the latest cutting edge 3D applications
- 256-bit quad-channel GDDR3 memory interface
- Twelve 'Xtreme parallel pixel pipelines
- Supports the AGP 8X and AGP 4x standards
- Six programmable vertex shader pipelines
- Full support for DirectX® 9.0 and the latest OpenGL® functionality
- New SMARTSHADER™ HD technology
- SMOOTHVISION™ HD technology
- 3Dc™ High quality 4:1 Normal Map Comp delivers beautiful scenes without the performance hit.
- Unique VIDEOSHADER™ HD engine
- HYPER Z™ HD
- Video-In / Video-Out

 

Next: Testing Setup