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Thread: NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU

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    NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU

    "NVIDIA have surprised me with NV40. It's rediculously fast compared to R360 in some tests, if you avoid the 8X supersampling mode. But there lies the rub. Shouldn't we expect good high-end antialiasing performance with their latest generation GPU?

    DX9 performance, at least theoretically, is very strong. The shading performance of NV40 is mighty in some respects. It's got all the features NV3x should have had (and R360 already does in some respects), like multiple render targets and floating point support for everything.

    Overall, I'm appreciative of the features and the performance. It's nice to see NVIDIA get it more right than they have recently. Shader Model 3.0 performance will be nice to evaluate in the future.

    A fast wee beasty with excellent features, we now wait for ATI and R420."
    http://www.hexus.net/review.php?review=747

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    had a quick scan over it, in 3dmark 2001 it doesnt improve too much, but still a nice boost over the 9800xt

    in 2003 - you can tell it was optimsed for direct 9 software it jumps a LOAD

    not too sure about with aa and af tho, cos the 9800xt seems overtake to it when there cranked up high (and even the fx5950 beats a radeon 9800xt at high af/aa) so that isnt pleasing

    good for low end, bad for high end - id put it like that from just a quick read, will have a longer look over now
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    Intresting. Cant wait to see how it compares with ati's r420. Seems as though it uses a bit too much juice with nvidia reccomending a 480w psu!, two connectors, seperate rails. I wouldnt mind tesing it out with farcry

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    Some very impressive bench marks from this power house though. 12,000 3D Marks in 3D Mark 2003, on a system that gets roughly 6100 with a 9800XT.

    Also runs Halo (well dodgy port) 50% faster than a 9800XT and 57% faster than a 5950 Ultra.

    Must read more reviews...
    Last edited by Stewart; 14-04-2004 at 04:05 PM.

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    those are some pretty damn impressive numbers.

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    Have a few more then : A score of over 60.000 in AquaMark 3. Over 60fps in Halo at 1600x1200 (bearing in mind how dodgy and crap this game runs) and more than 50fps in FarCry with High FSAA and 4tap anisotropic filtering at 1024x768.

    Main selling point is the size of the leap in performance. 9700pro - 9800 - 9800pro - 9800XT, all better than the last, but in small leaps. Same with Nvidia's 5900, 5950Ultra's, etc.

    All of a sudden, the jump is closer to 50% instead of 15%, in some tests. Need to read up a lot more, but the benchmarks are impessive.
    Last edited by Stewart; 14-04-2004 at 04:10 PM.

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    wait for the r420....might not be so impressive then
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    its quite shocking, how in AF and AA, the 9800XT kicks its ass in most benchmarks, where as the 5950 did the same to the 9800XT

    think this shows the 9800XT is better at high power than the 6800, but the 6800 really does have the crap behind it in low res no aa/af
    Quote Originally Posted by Knoxville
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    Wait for the final, retail, final, completely final, final version though (and ATi's offering, as you say) before all that. They may (and really should) iron out a few of those problems.

    Quote's such as "Compared to the GeForce 6800 Ultra, the former high-end models Radeon 9800XT and FX 5950 Ultra often seem like nothing more than cheap mainstream cards... " from a respected hardware review site, tell me that this card has a bit of grunt under the bonnet.

    Now, what can ATi do, the little scamps?
    Last edited by Stewart; 14-04-2004 at 04:30 PM.

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    Resolution, AA setting choices very poor

    I must say that I found the resolution and AA settings in the Hexus review to be very poor choices to demonstrate this card's true power.

    First, the review itself notices how terribly inefficient the 8xFSAA setting is. As such, I find it unlikely many users will be willing to pay such a huge price for a relatively small improvement in image quality. Therefore, I think the 8xFSAA benches are of little practical value. I have no qualms about including 8xFSAA benches for comparison, but by all mean they shouldn't be the ONLY setting tested at any particular resolution.

    The bigger problem is, once you discard those 8xFSAA benches, you are left with only 1024 x 768 resolution tests. This is ridiculous! Why not test in 16 color mode while you are at it? It would be fine to test 1024 x 768 all the way up to 1600 x 1200 with the SAME AA and AF settings... but to have ONLY 1024 x 768 tests at a practical AA setting is RIDICULOUS. Running the 6800 at 1024 x 768 is like taking the Concorde from Los Angeles to San Diego! You are NEVER going to stress this card in any meaningful way at this resolution.... and worse, the R360 isn't stressed either which means we are given no clear idea of the performance difference between them. Nobody is EVER going to run this card at 1024 x 768 in the real world. I really doubt 1280 x 1024 will even get much use in the real world on this card.

    I know you've put a lot of hard work into this review, so I'm sorry to be so critical, but I just feel like all that had work was wasted by a couple poor choices on the test configuration. Test all resolutions at the same AA and AF settings. Or at the very least, if you are going to change the settings between resolutions, recognize settings that customers are going to find impracticle and don't make them primary data points in your graphs.

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    The review would make you think that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Swafeman
    its quite shocking, how in AF and AA, the 9800XT kicks its ass in most benchmarks, where as the 5950 did the same to the 9800XT

    think this shows the 9800XT is better at high power than the 6800, but the 6800 really does have the crap behind it in low res no aa/af
    I said it all above, but your comment highlights the poor choices in this review. The graphs in the review portray the 6800U performing badly with AA and/or high res. The fact of the matter is that the 6800U does extremely poorly with on one particular setting: 8xFSAA. That setting is an anomoly not the rule. With 8xFSAA, rather than using the typical (and efficient) multi-sample approach, the 8xFSAA does most of its work using the techincally superior but very costly super-sample techinque. In other words, at 1280 x 1024 the card is actually rendering the frame at 2560 x 2048 (!!!) then taking that frame and doing its normal 2xAA multisample AA on each pixel. Finally, it takes 4 of the pixels from the oversized scene and combines them into one pixel in the final 1280 x 1024 scene. As you might expect, though this technique produces excellent FSAA results, it is just not practical for gaming. My guess is that this techinque may have been included for 3D applications that do not depend so heavily on framerates.

    The bottom line is, as the Hexus review will tell you, the 8xFSAA performance is an anomoly as far as performance. The review's own numbers show you that 4xFSAA runs 3.5 times faster (!!!!) than 8xFSAA. With that kind of performance delta, would you run your games with 8xFSAA?

    The truth is, with 4xAA, high AF and high resolutions, this card smokes... often 100% or more faster instead of just 50% as indicated in this review.
    Look at these benchmarks (and notice the biggest performance delta occurs at 1600x1200 which this review fails to consider, for some reason):

    (3DMark03: up to 120% faster)
    http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/1708.5/
    (Tomb Raider: up to 112% faster)
    http://www.beyond3d.com/previews/nvi...index.php?p=25
    (Halo: up to 110% faster)
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=2023&p=13
    (Far Cry: up to 105% faster)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/...e_6800-42.html
    (Splinter Cell: up to 90% faster)
    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/...tra/page16.asp
    (Serious Sam SE: up to 83% faster)
    http://www.techreport.com/reviews/20.../index.x?pg=10
    (Comanche 4: up to 62% faster)
    http://www.hothardware.com/hh_files/S&V/nv40_debut(9).shtml

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    The LCD I used for testing doesn't do 1600x1200, hence its ommission. I show the 1024x768x4AA results too, so readers get to see 4AA performance, along with 8AA. You saying I shouldn't tell our readers what the maximum AA mode on their brand new £400 acclerator is like?

    ATI manage to do high performance, high quality AA, NVIDIA still can't get it right, using supersampling for their 8AA mode which is unchanged from GeForce FX.

    "The fact of the matter is that the 6800U does extremely poorly with on one particular setting: 8xFSAA. That setting is an anomoly not the rule."

    Rubbish. On the fastest graphics accelerator in the world, it's definitely the rule. That their new chip can't do their highest AA mode at speed isn't really forgivable. Here's hoping they change it in future.

    I show that it's fast at 4X, I show that it's slow at 8X. That's what all reviews of the card should do.

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    I have a question about this review. Your's is one of many reviews i've read on the 6800 and what i'd like to know is this. Why is it that your's is the only review that I've seen that shows the R360 actually beat the 6800 in any benchmark? All the other reviews I've show the 6800 beating the R360 by either a very little to completely dominating the R360 as well as the 5950. What gives? I'm not a fanboy to either side in this, but I like the absolute cold hard trueth when it comes to reviews and benching. How is it that your benches end up so different than several from tech site I had thought were reputable?

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    The LCD I used for testing doesn't do 1600x1200, hence its ommission.

    You're hardware is not the reader's problem. Can't you borrow a monitor? I just find it shocking that a review of an ultra-high end card does not include 1600 x 1200 tests. It's like reviewing a Hummer based only on city driving.

    You saying I shouldn't tell our readers what the maximum AA mode on their brand new £400 acclerator is like?

    No, I clearly said you should include benchmarks showing 8xAA performance. I said that shouldn't be your ONLY setting for your higher resolution tests considering you know the performance on the setting is impractical. What would you have done if the 8xFSAA setting didn't work at all?

    ATI manage to do high performance, high quality AA, NVIDIA still can't get it right

    It is correct of you to inform the readers of what the 6800U does very poorly. But you should also inform the reader of what it does very well. You left that part out.

    Rubbish. On the fastest graphics accelerator in the world, it's definitely the rule. That their new chip can't do their highest AA mode at speed isn't really forgivable. Here's hoping they change it in future.

    That's fine if you have looked at all the facts and that is your opinion. But just because you think this card is unforgivable, doesn't mean you should withhold from the reader the tests on which the card does well. If want to impress on to the reader that this is a poor card by withholding facts, do an op-ed piece, not a review.

    Look, I'm not a fanatic, but I have generally been "rooting" for ATI the last couple years. I own a 9700NP. I'm not writing this out of my non-existant love of Nvidia. I writing this because think the the data you left out of this review is more "unforgivable" than the 6800U's 8xFSAA performance is.

    BTW, thanks for replying.

    Peace.

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    Funny how all the other sites actually omit the 8XAA and 16X AF tests *completely*..

    If I was buying a the supposed "top end" card I'd want to know how it performs with the settings properly maxxed out, most people with 9800pro's or XT's are used to slapping up the AA and AF settings to maximum and still getting half decent frame rates.
    Those are the people nVidia are targetting with the 6800, and those are the people that are going to want to know what the card is like when you turn the eye candy up to maximum.

    Rhys never pretended that this was a fully exhaustive review, that will come when the retail boards arrive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerw99
    Why is it that your's is the only review that I've seen that shows the R360 actually beat the 6800 in any benchmark? All the other reviews I've show the 6800 beating the R360 by either a very little to completely dominating the R360 as well as the 5950. What gives?
    It only beats it with 8xAA, that is what they were trying to show. The worlds new uber card cant use 8xAA verry well at all, not even as good as last generations cards... i think thats the point that they were making, and for £400 it should do that without second thought...

    but apart from that flaw it whoops the cheese out of the other cards...

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