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Digital-Daily : Video : chaintech-ae6800-apogee

Chaintech AE6800 APOGEE Turbo Version (NV42)

Author: Anna Timofeeva
Date: 14.05.2005

We are all anxiously looking forward to the announcement of new products on the market of video accelerators. Wafting for it with some sort of passion and vehemence. This pleasant atmosphere of anticipation strongly hyped up by the complete official silence over the novelties by NVIDIA Corporation and ATI Technologies is relieved by manufacturers who continue pleasing us with new products built on the chips of this generation which sometimes turn out to be very interesting and original solutions. In this material, we are talking right about one of such products.

Chaintech has been long known on the market as one of the major partners of the Californian company. In its product lines, Chaintech offers almost all the representatives of the GeForce 6 series, both for and PCI-Express. For instance, we have already reviewed Chaintech's solutions on the base of NV40 (AA6800 Turbo Edition is a nonstandard GeForce 6800 with increased speeds of the core and memory, as well as varied cards on the base of GeForce 6600GT(AGP and PCI-E), 6600, and 6200TC.

All in all, the impression we've got from Chaintech's produce is definitely positive. Hopefully, today's review will be just another proof of that because we are reviewing another very interesting graphic board - AE6800 APOGEE Turbo Version built on GeForce 6800 (NV42).

Chaintech AE6800 APOGEE Turbo Version (NV42)

The innovations which make AE6800 stand out among other cards based on GeForce 6800 PCI-E are about installing much faster memory of 2.5 ns access time (most other boards are equipped with 2.8 ns access time video memory). Therefore, the nominal speeds have gone up either - instead of the standard 300/600MHz we already get the more attractive 358/660MHz (10%+). In fact, that does not prevent us from attempting to overclock AE6800 even more. We'll see what this nonstandard solution will be capable of. There is every reason to assume that 358/660MHz is far not the limit because Chaintech has also improved the card's cooling system through equipping it with the most known and effective coolers made by Arctic Cooling. Among the nice bonuses, there are separate radiators on the video memory. On the whole, there is something worth looking at, especially for overclockers.

Remember that the major distinction of PCI-E GeForce 6800 from the AGP analog is the number of pipelines - originally there are 12 pixel and 5 vertex pipelines in NV41 and NV42. Therefore, here we completely lose the major advantage of 6800 AGP built on NV40 - the possibility to unlock pipelines. Full-featured 16-pipeline chips for PCI-E solutions of the 6800 Series are already used in only GeForce 6800GT/Ultra (NV45).

The other main distinction from NV45 is in that NV41 offers native support for PCI-E, but not through the HSI bridge as it was implemented on NV45.

NV42 is in fact the same NV41 but migrated to the 0.11 process technology. All the other specifications including the inability to activate the pipelines remained the same.

A nice tradeoff for the restricted number of pipelines is the 256 MB of video memory ,which GeForce 6800 in its AGP make couldn't boast (except nonstandard solutions by ASUS and Gainward).

As regards the price, the recommended price for 6800 (NV41) was originally set to $299. For the moment, the retail price for batch-produced solutions does not differ much versus the announced $300 onwards depending on the manufacturer and the sales outlets.

The recommended price for the card in question is also $229, but it is quite probable that AE6800 APOGEE (NV42) will initially cost much higher. In view of its nonstandard character of the board and its advantages over similar products by other manufacturing companies, this is quite logical. Most important is to avoid the excess at that and keep the price within reasonable limits.

For comparison, we are taking first Radeon X800 in its turbo version - a nonstandard solution by Gigabyte. This card is in fact an analog to RX800 XL because the memory size, the bus speed and the frequencies are all the same. The only difference is in the number of pixel pipelines which are as many as 16 in RX800 XL, and 12 in Gigabyte RX800 Turbo Version. Therefore, the cost of the solution is higher than that for the standard RX800 which is currently available at $250 (+/-).

Secondly, the competitor solution is a full-featured RX800XL whose price is currently about $340 (+/-). Note separately that these cards should be compared with the assumption that the second one is more expensive. Nevertheless, it is also going to take part in the benchmarking.


  • Introduction
  • Chaintech AE6800 APOGEE Turbo Version
  • Benchmarking
  • Final Words

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