Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Performance and feature-wise, the X800XL and 6800GT are close to equals. They both handle today's game engines with ease, only slowing down when we reach the highest resolutions, and even then usually only after applying image quality optimizations. Judged on it's own, the NX6800GT is a perfect choice for someone who doesn't necessarily want to spend the money for an Ultra version, but is seeking something better than the lower-end 6600GT. As we saw in the benchmarks, the 6600GT starts off well, but had its output nearly doubled by the NX6800GT under more stringent conditions.
While the performance of the MSI NX6800GT was great overall, we don't want to overlook the fact that the card runs nearly silent. Even when we set the UltraGear fan to it's highest function, we barely heard the fan over the rest of the system noise. The card also overclocked well, which may help placate some buyers with dispensible income who have to have the "fastest" card out there. Rather than plunk down the extra coinage on a GeForce 6800 Ultra, which are starting to get harder to find, all one needs is to get the NX6800GT and raise the speed to "Ultra" levels, or faster. Better yet, with SLI configurations now available to both the Intel and AMD crowd, simply get the NX6800GT now and save up for another to get the best of both worlds.
The MSI NX6800GT really lived up to the expectations set forth by the gamer in us: great performance, quiet operation, and a stellar collection of games and applications. We're giving it a 9 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.