nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra
The 6800 Ultra is nVidia's new Bad Boy, with 16 pixel pipelines it is equivalent to the X800 XT on paper in this department. On the other hand, the 6800 Ultra core is only clocked at 400MHz, which is over 100MHz slower then the X800XT. We will see if this impacts performance much considering it is even lower then the X800 Pro which is handicapped with less pipelines, as discussed.
When we come to looking at the memory, the 6800 Ultra reference sample we were sent from nVidia uses the same memory found on the X800 Pro - Samsung 2.0ns DDR3. The particular modules are rated for 500MHz (or 1000MHz DDR) which means ATI is running them under specification. What is interesting is that nVidia are running the modules at 550MHz (or 1100MHz DDR) which is well and truly over specification.
One feature that nVidia is trying to push on their latest cards is Pixel Shader 3.0 (or PS 3.0 for short). PS 3.0 will bring us closer to cinematic gaming and while there aren't any games we can benchmark PS 3.0 with, there is talk that Ubisoft will have a patch for Far Cry in the not too distant future to support it. Among Far Cry, nVidia also have a number of games that are coming out this year that will utilize this technology. At this stage none of ATI's X800 cards support PS 3.0.
Unlike the X800 Pro, this is a reference card directly from nVidia which came in an extremely cool looking briefcase.
Before we get onto our benchmarks, let's have a quick look at some of the pictures we have of the 6800 Ultra:
Let's have a look at how the #2 from ATI holds up against the #1 from nVidia.
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