Introduced back in the spring of 2004, NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 and GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics cards were the fastest devices of the moment. But while the 6800 Ultra was rather rare and expensive, the GeForce 6800 had a higher appeal due to its high and affordable performance.
Later on NVIDIA also introduced its multi-GPU SLI technology, setting a problem of choice before some users: what is better – one top-end graphics card or two simpler devices in a SLI configuration?
We already tested SLI platforms based around GeForce 6800 Ultra and GT as well as GeForce 6600 GT cards and came to the conclusion that for top-end graphics cards NVIDIA’s SLI technology is a real method of lifting the performance up in many applications, if the price of the solution is of no concern. The SLI configuration of two GeForce 6600 GT cards seemed a rather unappealing alternative to a single high-end card which would cost the same money as two 6600 GT. So now it’s time to see how the weakest of the GeForce 6800 family performs in the SLI mode.
To check this out we took two NX6800-TD128E graphics cards from MSI. These cards are based on the NV42 chip, recently and quietly released by NVIDIA. So, we’re pursuing three goals in this review: checking if it makes sense to use the GeForce 6800 in SLI and examining the new graphics card from MSI as well as the new version of the GeForce 6800.