The Inno3D 6800 sports a very NVIDIA themed appearance in terms of both its box and heatsink design. The front of the box portrays Nalu, NVIDIA's latest 3D demo that shows of the 6800 series' power. The box also clearly states the 6800's specifications: AGP 8x, 12-pipe GPU, DirectX 9 and OpenGL 1.5 support, Shader Model 3.0 support, and a 256-bit memory bus.
Included with the 6800 is its Inno3D manual, software bundle, S-Video-to-composite cable, and VGA-DVI converter. It is disappointing to see Inno3D did not include an S-Video cable or molex Y splitter, but it is nice to see an S-Video-to-composite conversion cable for people with TVs without S-Video.
The software bundle consists of a driver CD, a "games try-out" CD, Futuremark 3DMark 2003 (free version), WinDVD 4, WinDVD Creator, and a full version game, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. This is a pretty conservative software bundle that matches a fairly conservative accessories bundle. I am not so sure if people are as interested in Commandos 3 as they may be in Far Cry, but that is of course debatable.
The Inno3D 6800 mirrors NVIDIA's reference 6800 design with an identical PCB layout and heatsink design. The one difference is its PCB color: black. The Cooler Master branded reference heatsink covers both the 6800 core and eight 2.8ns memory chips. Note that the orientation of the single slot cooler does not exhaust hot air out the back side by the VGA and DVI connectors like the old 5800 heatsink and Arctic Cooling's VGA Silencer do. If you have a PCI card installed beneath this video card, and if your case is not ventilated on the side by the AGP area, the length of the 6800 will likely trap more hot air than usual and the heatsink will simply circulate hot air. But as you will see later, the 6800 has a very high core temperature threshold, and should withstand any extreme environment.
Unlike the GT and Ultra, which have dual DVI out, the reference 6800 design has one VGA and one DVI connector like past video cards. If you have a dual DVI monitor setup, you may want to look at the next model up. The 4-pin S-Video out is the same as usual. Here is a shot of the single 4-pin molex connector necessary to supply extra power to the card:
If you forget to (or simply don't) supply this auxiliary power to the card, NVIDIA's drivers will automatically down clock the card's speed in Windows to prevent damage and give you a warning/notice. With this in mind, let's take a look at the Inno3D GeForce 6800's performance.
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