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Old 05-20-05, 10:46 PM   #1
Clay
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Default Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

Here's a look at what my next review will be covering. MSI states that this is a new offering and that they are the only ones making the 6800 128MB PCI-E version. I noticed a picture of one of these in a E3 thread here earlier this week.

MSRP is $239. They claim that two cards will run faster than a single 6800 Ultra. A cheaper price point with better performance (assuming that you already have an SLI motherboard of course).

So, we'll see how this all shakes out. Here are some photos I took of the cards. These cards also support HDTV out via an included breakout box.













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Old 05-20-05, 10:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

Nice to see MSI is onboard with nV News now.
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Old 05-21-05, 02:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

i was really waiting for the dual nilla 6800 sli to come out, it seems to be a great buy for that money, faster then an ultra, but not nearly as expensive as 2 gt's
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Old 05-21-05, 02:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

Great, glad to see some interest. I have no doubt that there is but it's always nice to see in the form of a post like this.
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Old 05-21-05, 09:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

its pretty slick that they are a little cheaper than the ultra. i would be interested to actually see if its faster than the ultra. companies like the "claim" things. and if any of those extra pipelines or shaders are unlockable. thats a huge selling point for alot people
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Old 05-21-05, 10:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomy942
its pretty slick that they are a little cheaper than the ultra. i would be interested to actually see if its faster than the ultra. companies like the "claim" things. and if any of those extra pipelines or shaders are unlockable. thats a huge selling point for alot people
Right, that's going to be the focus of my review...going to compare them against my current 6800 Ultra (AGP). I'll be using the same processor, memory, hard drive with the difference being the motherboard of course. I'm hoping to help answer some questions for those users that have AGP systems now and are wondering about what they could expect when moving to a PCI-E system and SLI.
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Old 05-21-05, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

What i'd really like to know is how they comapre to my 6800gt at 2048x1536 with and without AA and AF. I highly doubt your monitor can run that though, so no worrys.
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Old 05-21-05, 06:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

Yeah, sorry, my monitor maxes out at 1600x1200. I bet I'd like to have your display.
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Old 05-22-05, 02:05 AM   #9
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Arrow Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

A request:
In your MSI 6800 review, I'd like a mention of
(1) clarity of VGA vs [VGA from DVI-VGA adapter]
(2) clarity of MSI VGA analog vs other brands VGA analog.

I've become sensitive to VGA clarity when I have to sit in front of an analog CRT. I have two identical 21" CRTs, and most video cards have one VGA port that looks good on both displays, and one port that sucks on both displays.

This is very frustrating, since it means I have to use 1 AGP and 1 PCI card for an acceptable dual-display CRT setup. If the MSI cards you're reviewing have same-quality VGA on both ports, then I would not have to buy both SLI cards right away to have an acceptable dual-display desktop.

Thanks for consideration.
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Old 05-22-05, 02:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

What chipset is this? NV41 or NV42?
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Old 05-22-05, 02:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

@ricercar: Sure, I'd be glad to do that. Both RAMDACs on the card are 400MHz. Have the VGA ports you've compared on a single card both been feed with equivalent RAMDACs? I know that Matrox, in particular, used a lower quality RAMDAC for its secondary VGA port.

I'd welcome any kind of comparison methods you may have come up with, test pattern images, etc. The results will be subjetive of course but I'll try to give good explanation of what I see.

@DSC: NV41 (130nm) NV42s are reserved for the Ultras IIRC.
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Old 05-22-05, 03:44 PM   #12
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Arrow Re: Upcoming MSI 6800 SLI Review

I've never been able to say with certainty, but I think the RAMDACs on my cards are all the internal ones within the NVIDIA gpu. With the notable exception of a blurry VGA port on my Quadro 980 XGL, most of my analog clarity issues are all with cards deploying low end gpus(GF4 MX, FX 5200, et al). Low end card manufacturers are not bloody likely to add to BOM cost with an external RAMDAC.

As for specific testing, unfortunately I'm pretty certain I have no NTSC screen patterns or similar for x86. All my advanced tools are on the Macintosh.

Instead, check out a simple word processor or web page doc, something with multiple columns of a serif font (times, palatino, bookman, etc). For example, just paste "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" into word or notepad over and over until it fills the screen with the same typeface face and font size. This way you can see the same words and letters at any given part of the display area.

See how small you can make the text before you get uncomfortably strained to read it at arms length.

See if the text is more blurry at one part of the screen than another (although portions of the scrfeen being blurry are is likely a CRT problme, not a gpu-RAMDAC problem).

See if the text is more blurry or has moire problems at 1024x768 vs 1280x1024 vs 1600 x 1200.

See if the text at a given res is more blurry on one of the MSI cards vs the other, at various resolutions. It would be interesting if the two cards you have deliver different VGA clarity results at the same settings: might indicate quality control problems at MSI.
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