Summary & Conclusion
Benchmark Summary: We ran benchmarks with each card that we tested at 41 different test configurations. Obviously, the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition, with its faster core and memory clock speeds, was going to outpace the other GeForces, so we'll focus on the 6800 Ultra EE vs. X800 XT PE battle in our summary. If you were keeping track, you'll find that the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition was the fastest card in 18 of the tests, it lost to the Radeon in 12 tests, and the remaining 11 tests were a draw. The GeForce was mostly faster when AA was disabled and when 4X AA was enabled. It was also clearly superior in Doom 3, but the Radeon shined with using anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering concurrently in most of the tests.
There's a lot to like about the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition. It's one of the fastest overall video cards currently available for 3D gaming, and no other card is better equipped to handle Doom 3 at the moment - bar none. Image quality was excellent throughout all of our testing (both during benchmarks and while gaming), it's one of the few cards with dual-DVI outputs, and it ships with a complete version of an excellent game, namely FarCry. About the only drawbacks to the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition are price and availability. You can expect to pay upwards of $600 for a card of this caliber, and we were unable to locate a retailer that had them in stock at the moment. The eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra (non-Extreme Edition) is available at multiple outlets for about $550, but the Extreme Edition isn't widely available just yet. In the end though, if you've got the budget, and can find one, you'd be hard pressed to find a better overall performer. And Doom 3 gamers looking for the absolute best performing video card need look no further. We're giving the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition a 9 on the Heat Meter.