This time around, we tested 21 different PCI Express graphics cards and configurations. Unfortunately, some important cards were not available for the test, or didn't reach our lab in time. Thus, we are unable to present any results for NVIDIA's standard GeForce 6800 (with 12 pixel pipelines) as well as the ATi Radeon X800 Pro and X850 Pro. We will update our charts to include those results as soon as possible.
In the low-budget segment, you may also notice the absence of ATi's Radeon X300 SE (with a 64-bit memory interface) and NVIDIA's new GeForce 6300-TC cards with TurboCache. Although the latter card was available to us for testing, the driver supplied by NVIDIA supported only the GeForce 6200-TC cards, and no other models. Therefore, an apples-to-apples comparison without "driver hacks" is impossible at the moment.
This time around we are also including all currently possible SLI configurations. With SLI, two graphics cards of the same type divide the calculations required to render a 3D scene, working in parallel. While the obvious advantage is a tangible performance increase, it obviously comes at double the price of a conventional single-card solution. To be clear: SLI is expensive, and at the present time can only really deliver a noticeable performance improvement in very high resolutions or in games making extensive use of pixel shaders. In short, it is a configuration for the well-to-do enthusiast who can afford two graphics cards in a single system.
An Overview of the Test Candidates
|GeForce 6800 Ultra||NV45||256 MB||DX 9.0c||400||1100||256-bit||16|
|GeForce 6800 GT||NV45||256 MB||DX 9.0c||350||1000||256-bit||16|
|GeForce 6600 GT||NV43||128 MB||DX 9.0c||500||1000||128-bit||8|
|GeForce 6600||NV43||128 MB||DX 9.0c||300||550||128-bit||8|
|GeForce 6200||NV43||128 MB||DX 9.0c||300||550||128-bit||4|
|GeForce PCX 5900||NV35||128 MB||DX 9||375||700||256-bit||8|
|GeForce PCX 5750||NV36||128 MB||DX 9||425||550||128-bit||4|
|Radeon X850 XT PE||R480||256 MB||DX 9.0b||540||1180||256-bit||16|
|Radeon X850 XT||R480||256 MB||DX 9.0b||520||1080||256-bit||16|
|Radeon X800 XT PE||R423||256 MB||DX 9.0b||520||1120||256-bit||16|
|Radeon X800 XT||R423||256 MB||DX 9.0b||500||1000||256-bit||16|
|Radeon X800 XL||R430||256 MB||DX 9.0b||400||1000||256-bit||16|
|Radeon X700 XT||RV410||128 MB||DX 9.0b||475||1050||128-bit||8|
|Radeon X700 Pro||RV410||128 MB||DX 9.0b||425||860||128-bit||8|
|Radeon X600 XT||RV380||128 MB||DX 9||500||740||128-bit||4|
|Radeon X600 Pro 256||RV380||256 MB||DX 9||400||600||128-bit||4|
|Radeon X600 Pro 128||RV380||128 MB||DX 9||400||600||128-bit||4|
|Radeon X300||RV370||128 MB||DX 9.0b||325||400||128-bit||4|