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Digital-Daily : Video : 6800vsx850xt

PCI-E Champions League: Leadtek PX6800Ultra VS GeCube RX850 XT

Author: Anna Timofeeva
Date: 07.06.2005


Although the number of real owners of these cards to date is as few as fingers on your hands, the issue of performance is of concern to all - both consumers and industry theorists. And reviewers, of course. The situation turns especially acute when it comes to comparing two flagship models by both companies - industry leaders in the sphere of graphic processors manufacture.

Some time ago, we published a similar material - Gigabyte GeForce 6800Ultra VS ASUS AX800 XT: total Deathmatch, and it's now turn for PCI-E solutions of the "Ultrahigh-end" class - GeForce 6800Ultra and Radeon X850XT. Both the cards are equipped with 256 MB of video memory with a 256-bit data transmission bus, with the chips made following the 0.13-mk process technology (in 850 - 0.13 low-k), and offer the equal number of pixel pipelines/vertex units - 16/6, respectively.

The difference are primarily about support for the PCI-E, because in 6800Ultra (NV45) support is implemented via the High-Speed Interconnect (HSI) bridge, and 850 offers native support for the PCI-E interface. The second significant distinction is in the standard operating frequencies - 425/1100MHz in GeForce 6800Ultra, and 520/1080MHz - in Radeon X850XT.

Note that among the line of products based on the Canadian company's Radeon 850 chips is not the most powerful solution of the PCI-E line. There is also the Platinum Edition (PE) version which differs from the card being reviewed by frequencies - the core frequency has been raised by 20MHz and amounts to 540MHz, and the memory frequency compared to 850 has been raised by 100MHz (and amounts to 1180MHz DDR, respectively). Plus a more powerful dual-slot cooling system. We believe almost any X850XT can be turned to a PE - for that, the card should be overclocked, which we'll verify today.

GeForce 6800Ultra PCI-E was announced earlier, but for a long time it seemed an absolutely phantom product because very very few had the chance of holding even the reference card in the hands, let alone the partners' produce based on this chip. All an all, we were "hunting" the Ultra version of the PCI-E for very long and without success.

But from time to time price-lists of some western shops displayed 6800Ultra PCI-E cards, all reference to the very marrow of the bones judging by the photo enclosed.

Finally, we are holding a board based on GeForce 6800Ultra (NV45) by one of NVIDIA's main partners - Leadtek which pleases us with its high-quality and powerful products, especially those on the base of GeForce 6 Series.

As regards 850 (R480), today we are reviewing a board based on this chip from GeCube's product line. Recently, we did an in-depth review of mainstream PCI-E representatives by this company, and now it's turn of the most top-end solutions.

These solutions are also interesting in that in both cases the manufacturers preferred to install own cooling systems on the boards. For the case of Leadtek, it is their "proprietary" luxurious cooling system which we already reviewed on Leadtek's AGP solutions, and GeCube pleased us with a single-slot copper-made cooling system using heat pipes differing in the very low noise level and superb efficiency due to its design, which we are reviewing in detail a bit later.

By the way, upon a close inspection of the box for GeCube RX850 XT we found a very interesting thing - the "Editor's choice" medal granted by 3DNews, in the list of rewards. I won't hide it - that was really encouraging.


  • Introduction
  • Leadtek PX6800 Ultra
  • GeCube RX850 XT
  • Benchmarking
  • Final Words

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