Galaxy Glacier 6800 128 MB review -
The graphics core itself is build upon a 0.13 Micron Process technology that is fabricated at IBM. As rumors suggested the 6800 indeed has a lot of transistors. I personally didn't count them but NVIDIA states that there are 222 Million transistors, now imagine all that on a 40mm x 40mm FlipChip GPU running 350 MHz. And in case you are wondering yes... the transistor count is actually higher than a Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. Since we are on the topic of the core, there are 6 vertex units inside it. One of the biggest advantages of the Series 6 is of course the increased number of pixel pipelines. The more the faster, is the general consensus.
Let me explain briefly what happens in the pipeline for you to understand its importance, each pixel that is rendered on your screen goes through a pipe where it'll receive its complex color/effect etc. Each time that pixel is altered it'll pass through the pixel pipeline, one pass is one clock cycle. You can imagine going from 8 towards 12 or 16 pipes can bring you a dramatic performance increase. I have to note here that these are not theoretical pipelines as rumored by some websites prior to the product announcements. They are scalable though, each pipe is available at any time in sets of 4. Where NV35 was stereotyped as 4x2/8x0 architecture, the NV40 is 16x1/32x0 or in the case of the standard 6800 1x12.
The silicon itself is of course PCI-Express ready yet the one we are talking about today is running steady on AGP 8x. PCI-Express has double the bandwidth of AGP8x and another plus; it allows data to be sent in both directions. We have a GeForce 6800 GT AGP8x versus PCI-Express article right here.
Back in March at CeBIT, I was told by an NVIDIA representative that the GPU can actually handle AGP 16x internally at core level... now think about PCI-Express again. The 6800 Ultra is equipped with the latest available in affordable, yet really fast, DDR memory. On the 6800 Ultra it is running at 1.2 GHz (2x600 MHz), the GT is running at 1 GHz (2x500 MHz) and the standard 6800 has a core of 325 MHz and 700 MHz (2x350 MHz) memory frequency.
Due to the nice cooling solution the Galaxy Zeus 6800 is clocked 25 MHz higher on the core as standard already, thus 350 MHz. It's actually the same cooler being used as HiS on their Radeon x800 Pro/XT series. It's by far the most effective and silent solution on the market available to the consumer. And hey, I like this cooling so much as it exhausts heat from the graphics card outside your PC.
Taking a closer look at the board, we can tell that Galaxy used the standard reference design P212 PCB, so don't expect miracles in tweaking thanks to board design. But, the graphics core is cooled with that fantastic cooling solution. And everything has been taken care off.
Let's talk a little about that cooling solution, which Galaxy calls the icy-blue cooling fan, their COOL and QUIET solution. The cooling solution itself of course comes from Artic cooling, that's not exactly a secret.
The cooling system uses the air inside your PC case and exhausts warm air outside the case, this is a huge plus as the 6800 and X800 series gets quite hot. If you get a reference design 6800 with stock cooling then you better be sure that your PC is cooled sufficiently as all that heat will warm up the ambient temperature of your PC's inside and the other components will warm up as a result. The Artic cooling technology will help prevent this as it will bring you an 11-15 °C lower cooling temperature compared to standard reference cooling solution. When measuring the temperature at the back of the card on the GPU spot we indeed remained at 50 Degrees C at 100% GPU utilization, which is very good for a card of this caliber.
Next to that I truly have to compliment the noise level. Why? Well you just won't hear the bloody thing, not even a soft pur. The HD's in your system make a lot more noise then the cooling does. This is partly due to an additional function which simple adjusts rotational fan speed higher or lower depending on the GPU temperature. In guru wording, it's just a smart fan monitored by a thermal sensor :)
Also the memory has been equipped with a large ramsinks, everything is thought through quite well.
Since we are on the topic of memory, it's Hynix 256-bit DDR1 memory rated at 2.2ns, meaning it can go WAY higher then the default clock. Overclocked we should be able to sustain roughly 850 MHz.
To tidy things up a bit I've made a little overview
- 12 pipeline GPU architecture (16 on 6800 GT & Ultra).
- Up-to 8x more shading performance compared to the previous generation
- CineFX 3.0 engine - Yes indeed... DirectX Shaders model 3.0 for really nice visual effects
- On Chip Video processor.
- DDR1 memory on a 256-bit Memory interface @ 700 MHz
- UltraShadow II technology - Very well then...3x to 4x faster than NV35
- High Precision Dynamic Range (HPDR) technology - we'll discuss this later in the article
- 128-studio precision through the entire pipeline - 32-bit Color precision; this time with nice performance.
- IntelliSample 3.0 Technology - 16x Anisotropic Filtering & Rotating Grid Anti Aliasing
- Full MPEG encoding and decoding at GPU level !
- Advanced Adaptive De-Interlacing
- Video Scaling and Filtering - HQ filtering techniques including HDTV resolutions
- Integrated TV Encoder - TV-output up-to 1028x768 resolutions
- OpenGL 1.5 Optimizations and support
- DVC 3.0 (Digital Vibrance Control)
- Dual 400 MHz RAMDACs which support QXGA displays up-to 2048x1536 @ 85 Hz
- Dual DVI
|Specs||GeForce 6600||GeForce 6600 GT||GeForce 6800||GeForce 6800 GT||GeForce 6800 Ultra|
|Transistors||222 million||222 million||222 million|
|Process, GPU maker||110nm||110nm||130nm, IBM|
|Core clock||300 MHz||500 MHz||Up to 400 MHz||350MHz||400-450 MHz|
|Memory||128MB DDR1||128MB GDDR3||128MB DDR1||256MB GDDR3||256MB GDDR3|
|Memory clock||Up to manufacturer||2x500 MHz||2 x 550MHz||2 x 500MHz||2 x 600MHz|
|FP operations||FP16, FP32|
|Pixel shaders||PS 3.0|
|Vertex shaders||VS 3.0|
|Availability||Sep/Oct 2004||Sep/Oct 2004||May/June 2004|
In this review we'll have a peek at the warmongers from KFA2 (Galaxy), they unleash this cute little beastly looking GTX 550 Ti LTD OC White edition graphics card. And to make it even more special, they slapped all components on a sexy white PCB again. Armed with that atypical looking cooler you'll learn that this product makes no compromises, you will not hear it, it will not run hot and it even comes factory clocked at a full GHz, quite amazing as GPUs seem to slowly pass that weird 1 GHz threshold.
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GT 1024MB review | test
We test a product from the guys at Galaxy, and that means customization and extra features, all for a fair price. Custom PCB, custom cooling, custom bracket, HDMI output, black DVI+backplate heck it even packs 1024MB of memory to play around with for roughly the same money as a 512MB model. All fairly impressive really.
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB review
Galaxy GeForce 9800GTX PLUS test - Galaxy recently released this product, custom PCB, custom cooling, custom bracket, HDMI output, black DVI and backplate. I sometimes wonder why a small company consistently can push out striking products like that and the bigger AIBs mainly focus on the reference design.
Galaxy Geforce 8800 GT HDMI w/ Xtreme Tuner
Our initial review of this product was taken offline as we received an early version of the product. This early version had a "beta" cooler on it that made a truck-load of noise. Galaxy claimed to have a new cooler ready and asked if if we could revise the review based on the new and final cooler. And therefore we have updated this initial article to revision 2; based on new facts with the final cooling solution implemented. And it sure is a lot better.