It seems that high-end graphics cards are always in the lime light upon the initial launch of a new graphics processor architecture from any of the major players. Although there's a limited number of potential consumers, relatively speaking, for these flagship enthusiat-class boards, they pave the way for their more modestly priced siblings, in terms of setting the standard for the base GPU architecture and how it performs versus the competition. We're sure many of you wouldn't think of dropping over $500 for an uber-class 3D card like a GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition or Radeon X800 XT Premium Edition, but there are some who will spare no expense, and these cream-of-the-crop video cards drive stakes in the ground of the fiercely competitive 3D graphics hardware landscape.
Not long ago, ASUS delivered its ATi-based high-end card, the AX800 XT, to the HotHardware labs. ASUS is one of the few AIB (Add-In Board) partners that has the luxury of being able to provide both NVIDIA- and ATi-based designs to the channel. This time out, we'll be looking at ASUS' top-of-the-line NVIDIA-based card, the V9999 Ultra Deluxe, a GeForce 6800 Ultra card with a low profile single slot design and a few more tricks up its sleeve.
•Superscalar GPU architecture
Delivers up to 8 times the shading power of previous-generation products for streaming gaming performance.
•NVIDIA CineFX™ 3.0 engine
Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects.
•High-Speed GDDR3 memory interface
•NVIDIA UltraShadow™ II technology
Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects.
•NVIDIA High-Precision Dynamic-Range (HPDR) technology
NVIDIA HPDR sets new standards for image clarity and quality through floating point capabilities in shading, filtering, texturing, and blending.
•NVIDIA Intellisample™ 3.0 technology
The industry's fastest antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals at lightning fast speed.
Core Clock Speed: 425MHz
Memory Clock Speed: 1.1GHz
ASUS Unique Features
World's first multiplayer audio and video chatting solution for PC game that gives you more face-to-face fun.
Powerful utility for users to flexibly build their own security systems to monitor a specified location and detect any environmental change. Now it supports remote monitor function through Internet.
•Advanced and stylish blue LED thermal solution
All-new one-slot design to minimize both size and noise, stylish blue LED on the fansink accentuates the technology and futuristic feeling.
•High-quality Webcam bundled
USB camera with 300KB resolution lets users enjoy GameFaceLive or Video SecurityOnline right out of the box.
The first thing that strikes you about the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe is the package, bundled accessories, and software. Not pictured here are two DVI to VGA converters that come standard with this GeForce 6800 Ultra that sports dual DVI output exclusively. In addition, ASUS bundled in a USB Webcam for video conferencing and the company's "VideoSecurityOnline" monitoring utility. Finally, the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe comes bundled with several major gaming titles, including Deus Ex: Invisible War, Battle Engine Aquila, Gun Metal, a 6 in 1 Game Pack, ASUS DVD XP, and Media Show.
Beyond all that fanfare, the card itself also has specs and a look that also stands out beyond the average reference design. The V9999 Ultra has a thin single slot design that is more akin to a GeForce 6800 GT layout but with full 6800 Ultra clock speeds and then some. In fact, the card's core engine speed is clocked at 425MHz, which is 25MHz faster than the stock GeForce 6800 Ultra clock speed.
Finally, to add further glitz to an already sufficiently glitzy package, ASUS powers the active heatsink and fan assembly on the V9999 Ultra Deluxe with an LED illuminated turbine fan that glows inside of a blue translucent casing. The net result is a card that is not only tricked out under the hood but also looks like it means business and will surely be a showcase in any modded window case setup.