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Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT (Dual GeForce 6800 GT)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Wednesday, 10th August, 2005
Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars  

GV-3D1 Upsized!

When the original GV-3D1 was unveiled, Gigabyte became the first ever manufacturer to combine two SLI-capable GPUs onto one PCB, forming a single board SLI graphics card. Made available at the very beginning of this year, the GV-3D1 was based on dual GeForce 6600 GT cores. As impressive and innovative it was, it was unfortunately tied down to be used on nForce4 SLI motherboards only as NVIDIA's drivers will only allow SLI operation on such motherboards. The latest update from NVIDIA a few days ago revealed that SLI motherboards would no longer be enthusiast toys and would be packaged to suit mainstream motherboard prices. So that's good news for would-be SLI owners or even those who would like to future-proof their machine with another form of upgrade option.

However, Gigabyte isn't the only manufacturer pursuing single board SLI graphics cards and others mimicked this effort as well. Just three months after Gigabyte's GV3D1, ASUS displayed their huge EN6800GT Dual graphics card in CeBIT Hannover 2005 and mind you that it combines dual GeForce 6800 GT GPUs in SLI mode. To power and cool a single core based GeForce 6800 GT isn't a simple task, let alone two of them on a single card. We even reviewed this one-of-a-kind product right after the Computex 2005 here . While the card performed flawlessly, it was awfully huge and till date, it's not even made available in limited editions for the novelty collectors. Gigabyte who pioneered the single-board dual GPU SLI configuration concept isn't one to sit back. Their answer is in the form of the GV-3D1-68GT – Gigabyte's very own dual GeForce 6800 GT graphics card. First revealed during the Computex 2005 trade show, it took a little while longer for Gigabyte to tweak their version, but according to the promising specifications, the wait might have been worth it. We'll see if this proves to be true as we scrutinize the GV-3D1-68GT which we received recently:-

Gigabyte's GV-3D1-68GT and it's majestic packaging is not just for publicity purposes as it's billed to be the king of single card, dual GPU SLI configurations – for now at least.

The card's immense packaging with theme and quotes signifying it as a winner is no deception and is probably closer to the truth if you have read our in-depth article of the GeForce 7800 GTX. While the GeForce 7800 GTX is the best there is from NVIDIA (for now), it is still no match for a pair of GeForce 6800 GT/Ultra as their combined horsepower far exceeds a single GeForce 7800 GTX. Hence you can see why the Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT has little competition apart from a dual GeForce 7800 GTX pair. Unlike the ASUS EN6800GT Dual, the GV-3D1-68GT isn't just clocked at a normal 350/1000MHz, but at higher frequencies of 375/1060MHz, which is fairly close to clock speeds of the GeForce 6800 Ultra. So as you can see, Gigabyte is really confident in their GV-3D1-68GT, but read on to find out if just high-speed specs are enough to win over our hearts.

Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • Dual NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT GPUs
    • Stock 3D GPU clock = 375MHz
    • 16 pixel rendering pipelines (per GPU)
    • 6 vertex pipelines (per GPU)
    • 256-bit DDR3 memory controller (per GPU)
  • CineFX 3.0 Shading Engine
    • Support for DX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
    • Support for DX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
    • Texturing Engine Features
      • Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
      • Support  for 16-bit and 32-bit floating point formats
      • Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
      • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
    • Full 128-bit FP Precision Graphics Pipeline
      • Native support for 32 / 64 / 128 bits per pixel rendering modes
  • UltraShadow II Technology (accelerates shadow  computations)
  • Intellisample 3.0 Technology
  • Advanced Video and Display Functionality
    • Dedicated on-chip video processor
      • MPEG video encode and decode
      • WMV9 decode acceleration
      • Advanced adaptive de-interlacing
      • High quality video scaling and filtering
    • Integrated NTSC/PAL TV encoder support resolutions up to 1024x768 with built-in Macrovision copy protection
    • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
    • Dual 400MHz RAMDACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz
    • Dual DVO ports for interfacing external TMDS transmitters and external TV/HDTV encoder
    • Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
    • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0
  • NVIDIA High-Precision Dynamic-Range (HPDR) Technology
  • Advanced Interface Support
    • Designed for PCI Express x 16
  • Advanced thermal monitoring and thermal management
Graphics Memory
  • 512MB Graphic DDR3 SDRAM (Samsung GC-16, 1.67ns chip)
    • 256MB frame buffer per GPU fixed
  • Default memory clock = 530MHz clock rate (effective speed of 1060MHz DDR)
  • 256-bit memory interface (per GPU)
  • 33.9GB/sec Memory Bandwidth (per GPU)
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz
  • 2x DVI-I connectors (for Digital Flat Panel displays, compatible with analog displays with converter)
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for video output (supports TV-output resolution up to 1024x768)
  • 2x D-SUB DB15 analog VGA connectors (via supplied cable)
  • Quad monitor display support
Driver Support & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 2000 / XP / XP Pro x64 Edition / Server 2003 x64 Edition
  • Gigabyte V-Tuner 2 Utility
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 6
Game Bundle
  • Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising (full game, 1CD)
  • Xpand Rally (full game, 1CD)
Other Information
  • PCIe x16 slot required
  • One six-pin Molex power connector required
  • Two free expansion slots required
  • Power supply rated at 400W or higher (recommended by NVIDIA)

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