CompUSA has the PNY GF6800 for $200 this week after a $30 rebate. Hard to beat that as it is quicker than the 6600GT and a little cheaper too. If you truely want a high-end card, a 6800GT 256MB will far outperform the 6800, although $350 is a good price for one like that BFG. You can go to bestbuy as was said and use <A HREF="http://images.bestbuy.com/BestBuy_US/en_US/images/globa..." target="_new">This 10% coupon</A> to get that BFG 6800GT for $360 + tax. It is good on any in store video card purchase, so you could see what else they have if the 6800GT is too much money. It expires 12-19-04.
Just a thought if you are not in a rush. ATI has just anounced cheaper prices on the X800 and X800XL. These are PCI-e, but AGP now seems expected also. The AGP X800pro is expected to see a drop too. We are probably talking Mid to late January if you can wait, but the thing is that at these prices ATI is a way better buy than NV, so the 6800 and 6800GT are bound to come down in price. Makes me think, if you need a card now, buy it. But if you can wait, both ATI and NV prices should be much better in a month. Suddenly a $360 6800GT doesn't look so good if X800XL can match or beat it for $300 list price. But maybe in a month or so, $300 6800GT's will be available. Who knows, but it's exciting to think about if you can wait.
The 6800GT is faster for sure. More pipes, faster core and memory. Also, OC is BFG's slightly factory overclocked cards...right out of the box it is clocked a little higher than a normal 6800 or 6800GT. Better than that though is BFG's lifetime warranty.
Difference between GT and Ultra: Ultra has faster clockspeeds
Difference between 128 and 256mb of RAM: not that much. perhaps the ability to use detailed textures in a handful of advanced games, slightly better AA & AF efficiency. But nothing so amazing you'd say "Gee, I'm so glad I got the 256mb version".
Ultra is clocked a little faster. Enough to make the performance worth the price? - not in my opinion. If you have no $ limit and you want every last fps, then get the Ultra. If $ count and you want best bang for the buck, get the GT.
And how big is the difference between 128 and 256mb ???
It doesn't really produce a performance difference, the primary difference is in the quality of textures you can run at without a performance slowdown. For example Doom3 wants to load medium quality textures with a 128mb card, and will load hq textures iwth a 256 card, it requires a non-existant 512mb card to automatically load Ultra quality textures. Many people say they can run the next level up of textures with their cards. If the texture is too big to run in video memory, then it has to go to system RAM, and that causes a slowdown when it swaps those textures around.
With a card as fast as the 6800 series, 256 becomes a good idea. As newer games come out, they will more often need more video memory to display the higher quality textures. They'll still run fine at 128mb, but you'll likely need to use less than the highest quality textures. So, the choice is eye candy or $.
As was said, 6800U is clocked faster, takes up 2 slots witha bigger heatsink/fan, and cost $100+ more. Both are 16 pipe cards and if clocked the same by lucky OC'in the 6800GT should match the 6800U in performance. Not worth it IMO to shell out $450+ on the Ultra. Anyway, if those are the cards you want, most likely they will both have 256MB of memory which only really helps in "ultra" detail settings as in say Doom 3, and also maybe AA/AF. Are you looking at 128MB GT's or Ultras? The plain 6800 is slower because of less pipes and slower clock speeds for core and the DDR memory, not really because it is a 128MB card.
Just where are you finding these cards? Usually it's 128MB for the 6800 and 256MB for the GT. I assume, that a 128MB 6800GT would easily outperform a 256MB 6800 in just about everything. 16 pipes and higher clocked makes a big difference, the amount of memory, for the most part, doesn't.
this is hard ! i cant [-peep-] decide what to buy ! i want performance but on the other hand i dont wanna spend lots of money for just a small performance increase, what to buy to be almost on top ? what is important ? ddr? ddr3? gt? ultra? 128? 256?
Seems you need to look at some reviews and benchmarks of the games you want to play. Also good to do is look at how they perform on a system configured like yours. If you want high end and want to be able to play all current games at a resolution of 1280x1024 and above, and even turn on some AA/AF eye candy, then forget the plain GF6800 and get a 6800GT. or save $100 and face the facts that there will be earlier reached limits on your resolutions/details/eye candy. Both are great choices when priced right for you. For some people a 6800 would be a dream card. Others wouldn't want less than a 6800GT or X800XT even.
What monitor do you have? What is it's max resolution? What is the resolution you want to play at? To me, it would not be a wise investment to buy a $350+ video card if your 15-17" monitor tops out at 1024x768. If you plan on using a 19" or bigger and hope to play at 1280x1024 4xAA/16xAF, or 1600x1200, then a highend card is the way to go. Also, Your system will a bottleneck in some games so at lower resolutions their won't be any impovement from stepping up to the GT, while other games will show a big improvement without having to jump to 128x1024 or higher to see it.
Anyway, don't get stressed over it, enjoy having the opportunity to buy & game on one of these newer 3D beasts.
There's really not that big of a difference between the GT and the Ultra. Not enough to justify $100 difference. If you can find an MSI GT they're supposed to be some of the best OCers because their cooling solution is great and quiet to boot.