Date: November 16th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Nvidia
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION, PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
On the top of the card it is hard to miss this rather odd connection that I soon found out to be the return of the SLI dual card connection support coming up with the newer Nforce4 SLI equipped motherboards. With a bridge you essentially have two card running together which will GREATLY increase video rendering performance. Although cost will be high at the start, the two cards running in unison will be amazing.
On the upper right hand corner of the card is this rather unique auxiliary power connection which can only be used if your power supply supports it natively or you have the appropriate adapter.
In my case the adapter was provided and supplies the needed extra voltage that is required that the PCI Express slot is unable to supply. If this cord is not attached, the card will still work, but in a very limited fashion and the videocard drivers will detect that it is missing and flash warning screens at you telling you off for being a dummy and forgetting it. Sigh, yes, I am a dummy too. I forget it almost every time I reinstall the card. God help me......
NVIDIA 6800 GT OVERCLOCKING
As an avid tweaker, nothing feels better than getting a little extra pop out of your purchase. It is like buying a car and finding out that you can push a button under the hood that gives you 50 extra horsepower. I am all about the free performance and the more, the better. Some people might say "Overclocking is dangerous and can hurt your card!". These people also probably have their mommy make their bed, their lunch and wash the skid marks out of their underwear too. Go all the way....or just go home..........to mommy.
With the Nvidia Coolbits RegHack enabled, we set off to see just how far we can push this card.
As you can see, the core is clocked to a modest 350Mhz and the memory is set at 1Ghz which is even fast for stock speeds.
Now, first of all before I show you the overclocking results, I want to tell you just how I overclock a videocard. I always overclock the memory to the highest possible speed before I ever touch the core. Memory bandwidth is the key to higher framerates and better performance. A VPU can not reach its' full potential if the memory is the bottleneck.
So to make things simple for you, overclock the memory to the highest level without artifacts, then move onto core and push it to its' limit. Don't be one of those guys pushing them both up at the same time seeing that if something locks up you won't know which caused it.
With that said, this was what I was able to accomplish.
Without a single motherboard voltage manipulation I was able to push a staggering extra 170Mhz out of the memory and an equally impressive 95Mhz out of the core. These overclocked clock rates are well above the 400Mhz core and 1.1Ghz stock values set for the 6800 Ultra which wades into the wallet ripping out a mere US$500-$550.
So get a 6800GT, save yourself $100 and overclock it be faster than a Ultra. SHA-WING! My pants just got tighter....
But do these higher clocks really help in the performance department? You bet your ass they do.