IntroductionXFX GeForce 6800 Ultra 512MB PCI-Express Video Card
NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU has been usurped by the 7800 GTX as the fastest graphics card in town. Various benchmarks show the latter to be up to twice as fast in both single and SLI'd usage. However, the GeForce 6800 Ultra recently shipped with 512MB of onboard memory. Recent history has taught us that larger framebuffers tend to adopted every 2-3 years, just when games' assets begin to stretch incumbent framebuffers to the limit.
There's no doubt that 512MB framebuffers will become pervasive in the near future. The question that we need to answer is whether there's an immediate benefit right here, right now. On that note, XFX sent us its GeForce 6800 Ultra 512MB card (PV-T45F-YD) for evaluation. Is it a case of tangible performance gains as resolution and image quality is increased, or is 512MB just not worth the price premium. Let's find out.