The Graphics Cards
It rolls great off the tongue - the plural - for graphic cards. Anyone who is in the process of moving to SLI technology knows just how good it feels to say that their graphics cards have been ordered or their graphics cards are due in or their graphics cards just arrived.
The particular two cards we are using today are nVidia's GeForce 6800 Ultra products but we didn't have to tell you that because surely you wouldn't think we were going to use anything less, right?
With nVidia coming into the article we have seen another major move since our last performance PC article where ATI's Radeon 9800XT was the be all and end all of graphics cards back in the day. While ATI's brand new Radeon X850XT PE is a great card and does beat the 6800 Ultra in majority of our tests, it doesn't have any hope of beating out two GeForce 6800 Ultra's running in SLI mode. With that said though, ATI are working on their "SLI" like solution called AMR which we should see in the coming months but we have no doubt that nVidia have something up their sleeves as well to counteract the move by ATI.
SLI and the 6800 Ultra graphics cards impressed us immensely the other week and for good reason - it's the best graphics card solution available at the moment. Not the best value for money solutions but the best solution for gaming, none the less.
You may notice that our cards don't look like your standard 6800 Ultra cards. We couldn't overclock them enough with standard cooling but we will let you know what exactly the coolers are in just a moment.
We won't go into too much detail on the graphics cards here today as we would highly recommend you make your way over to our "nVidia SLI Technology - Introduction and 6800 Ultra Performance" here which gives you an idea on what exactly SLI is and why it left a giant smile on our faces in the labs.
The introduction of SLI was the reason why we are doing this article as up until then all we really had was core and memory increases and nothing that really made us go, "WOW!" SLI is made possible with PCI Express and this is one technology that is going to begin to remove a lot of the bottlenecks we have seen with the original PCI bus.
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