Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Throughout out entire battery of benchmarks, the new GeForce 8800 Ultra was the top performer. In every GPU bound test, whether running in a single card configuration or double-up in SLI mode, the GeForce 8800 Ultra put up the best scores regardless of game, resolution, or configuration. In general, the card is about 3% to 12% faster then the GeForce 8800 GTX and it's in another league in comparison to the aging Radeon X1950 XTX.
The GeForce 8800 Ultra represents the current pinnacle of graphics cards on the PC. From its feature set to its performance, and the NVIDIA platform on the whole, there is nothing else available right now that can match it. When NVIDIA announced their nForce 680i SLI and 8800 series cards and christened them the 'Ultimate Gaming Platform', they weren't kidding. There is no other gaming platform - including consoles - that can offer the features and performance if NVIDIA's current high-end products.
The news isn't all good, however. NVIDIA has set the MSRP of the GeForce 8800 Ultra at an extremely expensive $829. Considering the price of standard GeFore 8800 GTX cards has fallen to about $550 and pre-overclocked GTX cards that will perform similarly to the reference clocked Ultra are available for a only few dollards more, the Ultra doesn't represent a good value. Of course, flagship graphics cards never represent the best value and there has never been a shortage of enthusiasts willing to ride the bleeding edge, regardless of price. Regardless, $829 is an exhorbitant amount of money to spend on graphics card. NVIDIA has also informed us that some of their partners will be offering factory-overclocked GeForce 8800 Ultra cards in the coming weeks that will push its performance even higher, but expect the performance delta that'll separate factory-overclocked Utlras from GTXs to be similar to what we've shown you here.
In the end, the new GeForce 8800 Ultra is what NVIDIA intended it to be - the most powerful desktop graphics card available, bar none.