eVGA e-GeForce 6800GT

Review

posted 10/18/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
It’s been a while since we had an eVGA card in our test labs but today we’ve got their GeForce 6800GT offering to look at. Newegg.com was kind enough to send us a sample and if you would like to order the card, you can go here.

eVGA primarly produces NVIDIA cards and is one of the few companies that have stayed solely manufacturing NVIDIA solutions. The e-GeForce 6800GT is a one slot GeForce 6800GT card featuring the NV40 chip and 256MB of GDDR3 ram. The card features 16 pipelines and runs at 350MHz core speed and 500MHz memory speed. There’s really no need to get more into the design as the card’s been talked about for a while in many places but if you would like more info you can go here.



There’s nothing different over the reference design here. I would’ve liked to have seen something to distinguish this card from others such as a custom cooling unit but you’ll get plain vanilla card if decide to pick this one up. And because of the reference design, the bracket holds one VGA connector, one DVI connector, and one SVGA output. Power requirements are one molex connector.

eVGA’s bundle’s pretty sparse but features one very good game in Far Cry. Far Cry’s one of my favorite games of the year and it’s one that’ll show off your new NVIDIA card. Also in the bundle is a great DVD player in NVDVD. Featuring great decoding and good CPU usage, NVDVD’s one of my favorites and I do prefer it over programs such as WinDVD and PowerDVD.


Our other GeForce 6800GT review consisted of Leadtek’s offering and while I did like the card, I’d rather have a one slot solution. The eVGA’s design, or reference design, will allow small form factor users to use this card in their machine. The cooling solution doesn’t interfere with the adjacent slot and users of SFF machines will find this card to fit their boxes.

So the eVGA card’s pretty vanilla card here. I’m expecting performance to be pretty similar to the Leadtek card I reviewed a few months ago. We’ll pit this card against the ATI X800 Pro, a card in the same price range. My test setup included:

AMD64 3200+
ABIT KT8-Max3
2 Crucial PC3200 256-MB sticks
Maxtor 200GIG 7200RPM HD
Windows XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2
NVIDIA Forceware 61.77 drivers


Our first test is going to be iD’s latest. Doom 3.





Doom 3 is iD Software’s re-invention of the classic game that started the deathmatch craze. The engine really taxes a system and the graphics are phenomenal for a computer game. For the tests, we ran the game with Max settings here.




It’s no secret that even with the 4.9 Catalyst drivers, the GeForce 6800GT dominates the ATI card in Doom 3. Right now there’s no games using the Doom 3 engine and by the time they do come out, ATI might’ve optimized their drivers to perform close to NVIDIA levels. But for now, there’s really no comparison as the GeForce 6800GT card runs away with it in this test.



Far Cry is an impressive first person shooter from Ubi Soft with great outdoor levels and some awesome effects. The vehicles and the ability to explore the entire island makes this one of the best games of the past year. Settings were maxed out and we used the default demo.



Up until 1602x1200, the two cards are pretty close in performance. As you go higher in resolution, the eVGA card just pulls away.



Halo is the Microsoft/Bungie/Gearbox first person shooter originally appearing on the Xbox. Featuring great graphics, vehicles, and good gameplay Halo is ran with max settings as well with Pixel Shader 2.0.



The performance is close in this game but the GeForce 6800GT leads in all resolutions again.




Epic’s great shooter, Unreal Tournament 2004 is our next test. While the engine didn’t change too much from the previous version, it’s still a very nice looking game. Three bot matches were ran with the scores averaged for each resolution. Details were maxed out.



The two cards start out close but the GeForce 68000GT pulls farther ahead as the resolution gets increased. It becomes double digits in frames per second after 800x600.



Our final test is Splinter Cell from Ubi Soft. The third person stealth game uses a modified Unreal engine. Default demo was used for this test and the details were maxed out.



As with most tests, the GeForce 6800GT card stays ahead of the X800 Pro. There’s a difference of 5-10 frames per second between the X800 Pro and the GeForce 6800GT depending on the resolution.


Now we’re moving on to performance with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering turned on. Here I ran three games and you’ll see how much of a performance loss you get at both 4xAA with 4xAF and 8xAA with 16xAF.















The eVGA e-GeForce 6800GT shows to be an impressive performer at the price level that it’s set at. It’s really hard to recommend the X800 Pro over the NVIDIA solution here as game performances are won by the eVGA card on all levels. eVGA’s offering gives you one good game in the bundle and a very good DVD player. I’ve read that eVGA’s customer support is pretty good and I’ve always had great experiences with eVGA cards. There’s nothing physical that separates this card from other cards though. Still, the card’s a great performer and a good buy for mid to high range machines.

Thanks again to Newegg.com for providing us a sample.




A-
Nothing that really separates this card from other reference designers but performance is great and Far Cry is included.