The Inno3D GeForce 6800 lived up to my expectations as it is based entirely off
of the NVIDIA reference design (as are all of the competing vendor's cards in
this segment). However, Inno3D did opt to change the PCB color to black which
looks pretty slick. Until you start applying AA at 1600x1200 resolutions, the 6800 is
comparable to a 6800 GT or even a 6800 Ultra even on a high-end machine such as
an Athlon 64 3200+ with 1GB of system memory. With a faster processor (such as an Athlon 64 FX-53 Sledgehammer) you
would further reduce the CPU bottleneck and therefore see the 6800 GT and 6800 Ultra
pull further away from the 6800.
Of course, we're talking about ~$700+ CPUs and so it's
highly unlikely that you'd be looking to pair that up with a sub-$300 video card
in the first place. What is much more likely is that you have a system
that is equivalent to the one used in this review or a bit slower. As such, the
Inno3D GeForce 6800 makes for a very sensible and cost effective purchasing
decision. If you typically play your games at the 1024x768 resolution then this
card becomes even more attractive.
Compared to the 6800 Ultra, this card is quieter although the difference is not
drastic as the 6800 Ultra noise is basically drowned out by typical power supply
fans, case fans, etc.
TEMPERATURE The only temperature readings that I can compare to (that I witnessed first
of my 6800 Ultra. One cannot make a direct comparison due to the different
cooling systems employed on each card. At any rate, the Inno3D 6800 ran about
10°C warmer (~57°C) than my 6800 Ultra (~47°C) at idle. There was a similar
difference under load between the two although it varied depending on the game
of course. The important thing, however, is that the Inno3D 6800 never came
close to what I consider a "danger zone" of >100°C.
As stated earlier, the 6800 only requires a single molex connector and so it is
much more forgiving with lower rated power supplies than is the 6800 Ultra.
The Inno3D GeForce 6800 is a high quality product that lives up to anyone's
informed expectations of what an NVIDIA GeForce 6800 video card has to offer. As
you've likely read in many reviews, any card based on the NVIDIA reference
design is really no different than another of a different brand. What is
different are things like: price, availability, software bundle, miscellaneous
"throw in" extras, warranty, return policy, etc.
At the time of this writing, the Inno3D GeForce
supposedly going to be one of the more lower priced 6800 cards available. This
remains to be seen, however, as does availability.
The software bundle is nothing to get excited about
although Commandos 3 is a quality (albeit only $15USD) full version title.
There are no substantial extras other than the
black PCB which, again, is very cool. A molex splitter cable is not
Inno3D only offers a one year warranty which is the
bare minimum as many vendors offer multiple year (or even lifetime) warranties.
Although, if a card is going to go south on you it will usually do so
within the first few months.
Price, excellent bang for your buck.
Noise level, very quiet.
Size, single slot solution.
Power, single molex connection.
Black colored PCB
Quality and well secured packaging
Little to differentiate it from other 6800 NVIDIA reference designs
Availability and exact pricing remains to be seen at time of this
Only a one year warranty.
Not the best choice for die-hard 1600x1200 gamers.
Unable to reach the anticipated overclocking results claimed by some
other reviewers of this card.