XFX 6800GS 256MB AGP (Extreme Edition) - first impressions

By mithy73 ยท 7 replies
Jan 5, 2006
  1. Hi,

    I recently bought one of these to use in my system, and I thought I'd share my brief initial impressions here, as there haven't been any reviews of it yet.

    Unlike the PCI-Express version, this card uses the AGP-native NV40 chipset, and is clocked at 350MHz (graphics core) and 1000MHz (memory core). This is important, as people expecting the same performance from the AGP version as has been demonstrated in the many reviews of the PCI-Express version may be setting themselves up for disappointment.

    I installed the BETA 82.12 driver, rather than the one supplied in the box (81.89A, which is just the 81.89 driver with a hack to recognise the 6800GS from what I understand). It's worth mentioning that this might have had a bearing on the results, as I don't know how well the BETA driver is optimised for this card. The card is identified as a 6800GT according to the display properties.

    I ran it through 3DMark05 (free version), and got a score of 4,201. I don't know how this would compare to other, cheaper AGP cards based on ATI's X800/850 series, or the now-discontinued 6800GT: the benchmarks I've found all have better test systems than me, and given that this card is markedly better than my old Radeon 9800 PRO, it may be that the rest of the system is causing a bit of a bottleneck, which wasn't an issue before AFAICT (my 3DMark05 score on the 9800 PRO was typically around ~2,650).

    I then decided to experiment with overclocking. I installed the CoolBits hack to expose the advanced functionality in the NVidia display menus. Rather than do the overclocking myself, I applied the "Optimal settings" for GPU and memory core frequencies. Interestingly, it appears that my "optimal settings" are significantly above what I get out of the box - the card is now overclocked to 404/1100, as opposed to the original 350/1000. As far as I can tell, it seems stable at this level, though the only "game" I have at the moment that really pushes the card is 3DMark05, so it has yet to endure rigorous and prolonged testing. I ran this again, and achieved a score of 4,725. Result! :grinthumb

    Temperature-wise, the supplied cooling seems adequate: at the default clock settings, the GPU core reached 58-59C under load, and this went up to 61C when overclocked. When idle, the temperature levels out at around 41-42C. The ambient temperature in all circumstances didn't go above 40C. (It's worth noting at this point that I have the fans turned down as much as I dare in order to preserve my ears, so the temperatures may be a bit higher than some people are used to.)

    It's possible that the card could be overclocked further even with the stock cooling, but I'm not entirely sure what a safe temperature is for these chips, and I'm slightly skeptical as to how much any further increase in performance would be noticeable to me anyway, so I decided not to push the card beyond the 404/1100 point.

    Overall my impression is positive, and it's certainly a step up from my old 9800 PRO. However, were it not for my specific issues with my old ATI card on this motherboard (and had I been prepared to take the risk that a newer ATI card would not have exhibited the same problems), I suspect that some of the X800/850 cards from ATI would be better value.
  2. Vaerilis

    Vaerilis TS Rookie Posts: 54

    Thanks for the quick review!
    The 3DM05 results look promising.

    I wonder when these cards are going to reach every part of Continental Europe...
    As a fellow AGP-user, my options are kind of limited, the 6800GTs are disappearing from the market and the only HDR-capable AGP cards are the GF 6 series ones.
  3. wrenko

    wrenko TS Rookie

    6800 AGP Extreme

    Sure you have this discovered this already but this is not the Extreme card (assuming supplier was XFX). They incorrectly advertised card as the EXTREME but it is in fact the standard GS. XFX say there was a mistake with the packaging. Seems we were all charged the right price but resllers made mistake of advertising as the higher rate card. The EXTREME is not out yet though they hint maybe end of Jan or Feb. Also rumours of 7 series AGP. Check out XFX forums for full, sad, story. Most have either RMA'd card back to resellers or decided to keep as o/clocks well and pipes can be unlocked.
  4. mithy73

    mithy73 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Fortunately I looked at the specs on ebuyer's site and elsewhere (which were correct at the time, I think, though the product appears to have been 'pulled' since) before I placed the order, so I knew full well what I was buying before I received it. Names like "Extreme Edition" don't mean much to me, anyway - I prefer raw numbers.

    (I've just read that thread. It looks like I am pretty fortunate to get 404/1100 out of this card. I think this one's a keeper. Though I may have to upgrade the BIOS.)
  5. wrenko

    wrenko TS Rookie

    Co-incidence have o/clocked to almost same level. SCAN will take back but just checking spec of 7300AGP.
  6. daan_pol

    daan_pol TS Rookie

    6800gs Ee

    The Extreme AGP edition does not exist. It is incorrectly recognized as a GT, you should flash the card with the bios supplied by XFX.

    Mine unlocked perfectly 16/6 instead of 12/5. I also suggest using the latest Xtreme G drivers, since they give a rather significant boost in performance.

  7. wrenko

    wrenko TS Rookie

    Yes done all this and running 82.12 Beta. Did give 300 odd point improvement in 3D05 (4650) though interested to note that post flash will only work with this driver ie not earlier ones. Probably keep it as PC is 4 years old and CPU will limit speed. Still went from Ti500 to this card and a whole new world has opened up. As with most others still feel that the XFX Customer support was just lousy.
  8. daan_pol

    daan_pol TS Rookie

    6800GS, overclocking, no success


    I flashed the card, installed the latest Xtreme-G drivers (they are really fast, and can be found at tweaksrus.com), then tried overclocking.

    Set speeds to 400/1.02....

    Aquamark runs just fine, nice increase of 7 fps average. However, 3dmark03 (05 is being downloaded as we speak), and the X3:reunion rolling demo (very intensive), will not take it.

    Then sit it to optimal frequencies as detected by the driver, 380/1.01, and same thing.

    It unlocks all right, running at 16/6, but does not overclock at all. Oh, and temps are never over 55.

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