IntroductionASUS V9999 GeForce 6800 Gamers Edition 256MB
NVIDIA's tried to draw a definite distinction between its GeForce 6800 range of cards. For the most part, the distinction is clear. 6800 Ultras and GTs use the full complement of 16 rendering pipelines and 256MB of high-speed GDDR3 memory. Vanilla 6800s are supposed to be equipped with a lesser 12-pipe rendering setup and slower DDR1 memory that's limited, in the main, to 128MB. Vanilla 6800s are positioned at around the £200 mark, making them significantly cheaper than the premium GPUs.
ASUS, however, is doing its level best to ensure that the performance deviation between vanilla 6800s and GT/Ultra models is kept to a minimum. It looks like an impossible task; 6800s are fundamentally slower. One would have to somehow graft on 256MB of high-speed GDDR3 memory at the very least. ASUS appears to have done exactly that with its V9999 GeForce 6800 Gamers Edition card, and raised regular 6800s' memory speed from 700MHz to a GT-matching 1GHz.
It sounds like an interesting proposition - a card that straddles the specs of both GT and vanilla 6800s, with base GeForce 6800 GT clocks but with only 12 rendering pipes and 5 Vertex Shader units. Let's take a closer look.