With all of the new video cards that have been released over the past few months, it can be difficult to know how one card compares to another in any given category. To give you an idea of how the new NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS stacks up against a few other products with similar price points, give or take a few bucks, we've put together a simple chart with some pertinent performance details...
NVIDIA's reference specifications call for the GeForce 6800 GS GPU to be clocked at 425MHz with 500MHz (1.0GHz DDR) memory. The GeForce 6800 GS has 12 pixel-pipelines, 5 vertex shaders, and a 256-bit interface to its 256MB GDDR3 frame buffer memory. These numbers equate to a peak fillrate of 3.4GPixels/sec / 5.1GTexels/sec with a maximum of 32GB/s of memory bandwidth. This put the GS well ahead of the GeForce 6800 in terms of raw performance, and just shy of the 6800 GT in the fillrate department.
If you take a look at the new GeForce 6800 GS, you'll see that it is physically very similar to the existing 12-pipe GeForce 6800 (AGP version reviewed here). The GS uses a very similar PCB to the standard GeForce 6800 and the same single-slot active cooler with heat-pipes is used to cool the GPU and memory. At the upper corner, near the retention bracket, you'll see the card's SLI connector, and although NVIDIA claims lower power requirements for this card it does have a supplemental 6-pin PCI Express power connector at the other end of the board as well. According to NVIDIA, the 6800 GS has a maximum power utilization of approximately 70W and they recommend at least a 350W power supply be used for a single board setup, and at least a 420W power supply for SLI configurations. As you can see in the last shot above, the GS has a less elaborate voltage regulator configurations, which alludes to the new card's less stringent power needs.
Our GeForce 6800 GS' output block housed a single DB15 analog output, a single DVI output, and an S-Video output. Like previous cards in the GeForce 6 series, the GeForce 6800 GS can power dual-independent displays from a single card.