V9999 Ultra Deluxe Card Showcase
Below is an easy-to-digest comparison chart of all the latest major high-end graphics cards, their speeds and feeds, and the respective bandwidth and fillrate specs for each product.
NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra puts up 6.4 gigapixels per second of available pixel fillrate. The 450MHz GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition offers 7.2GP/sec, and thus we can calculate the ASUS V9999 Ultra, with its 425MHz core clock, will deliver 6.8 gigapixels of available fillrate (425MHz X 16 pixel pipelines). In addition, the V9999 Ultra Deluxe, with its 1.1GHz memory clock, will deliver standard GeForce 6800 Ultra memory bandwidth at a blistering 35.2GB/sec.
Here is the ASUS V9999 Ultra Deluxe in close-up detail. You'll notice many similarities in its layout, but there are obvious departures from the standard GeForce 6800 Ultra reference design.
Again, the first thing to note is that the V9999 Ultra Deluxe's heatsink and fan assembly is a much lower profile single slot design that keeps the card within the limits of standard PCI/AGP card spacing. In fact, a similar heatsink design can be found on GeForce 6800 GT cards, rather than the standard GeForce 6800 Ultra sink that is almost twice as tall, as you can see comparatively in the picture above.
The heatsink and fan assembly is still a bit bulkier than what you'll find on a Radeon X800 XT card and, unfortunately, it's also a bit louder. The ASUS V9999 Ultra card we tested had an audible whine that was characteristic of the high RPM turbine-style fan that ASUS incorporated into the assembly. With a closed case, fan noise is somewhat noticeable but not all that annoying by most standards. Only the Quiet PC crowd will have an issue with this card's acoustic signature. In fact, during testing in our lab and under full-stress gaming situations, we were fairly satisfied at the balance this thermal solution struck between heat management performance and noise. Add to that the glitter and bling factor of a blue light illuminated fan casing, and most enthusiasts should be satisfied with this card from an overall design perspective.
On the connector side of things, this card does require dual ATX power sources, and because it is a 6800 Ultra circuit design, a 480 watt power supply is recommended. From our perspective, because this product is targeted squarely at the high end, we feel this is a somewhat reasonable requirement in terms of power budget. After all, if you are going to spend over $500 on a graphics card, chances are your power supply won't be a K-Mart special model. However, truth be told, in terms of bang for your buck and overall power efficiency, we prefer GeForce 6800 GT models, which aren't as gluttonous in their appetite for wattage.
Finally, dual DVI connectors and S-Video outputs round out this card's overall connectivity feature set, which is consistent with higher-end competitive graphics cards in the market place.