Fresh off the introduction of GeForce 6800 Ultra a few weeks ago, NVIDIA is back again with a pair of new GeForce 6 products, and we’re not talking about the GeForce 6800 either. On the ultra high-end of the market, NVIDIA and its board partners will be producing an overclocked GeForce 6800 Ultra part, a final name has not been officially announced, but the running title is GeForce 6800 Ultra (Extreme). This board ships with a 450MHz NV40 graphics core, 50MHz higher than the default GeForce 6800 Ultra and effectively boosting fill-rate by nearly 10%.
6800 Ultra Extreme (top), 6800 GT (bottom)
Curiously enough, the memory clock frequency remains the same at 550MHz (1.1GHz effective) for a peak memory bandwidth figure of 35.2GB/sec.
These figures are certainly impressive, but do fall shy of ATI’s X800 XT Platinum Edition card, which features a 520MHz core clock and 560MHz memory clock (1.12GHz effective). NVIDIA and its board partners have not come up with a final price point on the Extreme 6800 Ultra board yet, but it will hit retail in June.
Sitting between the GeForce 6800 Ultra and the GeForce 6800 is NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 GT. This is a 16-pipeline part, just like NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 Ultra series and ships with 256MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 500MHz (1.0GHz effective). Its 350MHz graphics core is boasts a peak texel fill rate of 5.6 Gigatexels/second.
This board is priced at the same $399 price point as ATI’s X800 PRO, which sports a 12-pixel pipeline architecture operating at 475MHz (for a peak fill rate of 5.7Gigatexels/second) and 256MB of GDDR3 memory operating at 450MHz (900MHz effective).
With these changes in mind, let’s take a look at NVIDIA’s entire GeForce 6800 lineup:
|NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 family
||Core Clock (MHz)
||Memory Memory Clock (MHz)
||Memory size and type
|GeForce 6800 Ultra (Extreme)
|GeForce 6800 Ultra
|GeForce 6800 GT
NVIDIA has also announced the final details on its GeForce 6800 part, 325MHz core/350MHz memory. We’ve heard from one of NVIDIA’s board partners that the GeForce 6800 should offer a nice performance improvement over GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, despite its less powerful memory subsystem. This is due to the improvements NVIDIA has made in its NV40 graphics core, as well as the addition of 12 dedicated pipelines. This could become quite a compelling product assuming board prices hover in the $250-$300 range as ATI hasn’t officially announced an answer to the GeForce 6800 (although it’s assumed they’ll reply with an 8-pipeline X800 SE card).
As far as the GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme is concerned, there are still lots of questions to be answered. For instance, which board partner(s) have signed on for the Extreme board? Gainward has produced its “Golden Sample” line of overclocked GeForce cards in the past, while eVGA ran its GeForce FX 5900 Ultra boards at 500MHz core/900MHz memory. NVIDIA has told us that one, possibly two board partners will be signed on for these cards, which will be marketed as a line of overclocked GeForce 6800 Ultra cards. These boards will not be marketed as GeForce 6850 Ultra cards or any other variation of the GeForce 6800 Ultra brand.
NVIDIA also plans to offer these Extreme boards through a select number of PC OEMs that tailor to the enthusiast crowd, think Falcon Northwest, VoodooPC, or Alienware.