Overclocking & The Rating
It just wouldn't feel right if we didn't attempt to overclock this card, so we did, in typical HH fashion.
455MHz in the core and 1.16GHz max memory speeds were realized with the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe, which puts it into Ultra Extreme Edition territory but still just a tad behind in memory clock, at 1160MHz versus the EE's 1200MHz memory speed. This gave us about a 9% increase in overall performance in AquaMark 3 testing; easy money.
Out of the 36 benchmark recordings we took, the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe scored 21 victories against the ATi Radeon X800XTPE-based competitive ASUS card. The V9999 Ultra excelled in gaming tests with Doom 3 and Halo and often showed strength at default settings but fell behind somewhat when AA and AF were enabled. In summation, the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe shows best-in-class performance levels for the high-end enthusiast graphics card segment, a competitive field to say the least and not one that is easily dominated.
ASUS once again has put together a very strong offering with its latest GeForce 6800 Ultra-based product. From its game bundle to the optional USB Webcam right on down to that blue light special heatsink assembly, it is obvious that ASUS has tried to position this GeForce 6800 Ultra as a breakout product in a sea of reference designs. For the most part, the company has succeeded in this effort, offering 25MHz higher than stock core clock speeds in its GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU to boot.
The V9999 Ultra Deluxe can currently be found online for as little as $554 sans the Webcam. Our contacts at ASUS state that the MSRP with the package we tested should be $539 - $549 currently. However, we have yet to see this price and availability with the package we've shown you here, in the retail channel. We're hopeful that ASUS has stronger availability in the U.S. moving forward. Regardless, this is a slightly inflated GeForce 6800 Ultra cost structure, one we feel is warranted, however, with the card's somewhat differentiated single slot cooler design and higher-than-stock core GPU clock speed. Not to mention the fact that we were hard-pressed to find any GeForce 6800 Ultra card in the channel currently for less than $539. Let's face it, if you are bellying up to this ultra high-end graphics card price point, a few more pesos for an optimized cooling design and higher core clock speed, covered by a three-year warranty, is probably money well spent.
We're giving the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of 9 and our Editor's Choice award, for its best-in-class GeForce 6800 Ultra performance and overall product offering.