The XXX Edition
The card itself follows the standard design and uses the same copper based heatsink found on the reference card, though the original bland exterior has been replaced by XFX's colorful cartoon decal. The cooler fan too, appears to have been tweaked to provide the increased cooling needed for the overclocked core and memory. Yes, like virtually all of XFX's graphics products, the XXX Edition comes at higher than usual clock frequencies. The graphics processor has been bumped up by around 14% to 485MHz from the standard 425MHz. Meanwhile, the DDR3 memory has increased by 10% clock speed, up to 1100MHz DDR.
The ordinary appearance of the XFX card gives no hint of its overclocked frequencies.
With our untutored ears as the sole judges, we feel that the cooler fan produces slightly louder noise during operation compared to the reference card, probably as a result of the increased workload from the overclocked and warmer core. The temperature differences however are slight enough not to cause any undue concern. XFX has added a supporting bar at the top of the PCB in order to prevent it from warping due to the rather sizable weight of the copper heatsink. This is of course more of a precautionary feature and unless you handle the card roughly, it should not pose a problem. The rest of the card basically follows the reference design. You should also know that the GeForce 6800 GS consumes more power than the PCI Express interface can deliver; hence there is a separate power connector that needs to be plugged in for the card to work.
If you don't know by now, you should note that all GeForce 6800 GS cards require a separate power connector. As seen here, XFX has added a metal bar across the top of the PCB to strengthen the board and prevent it from warping due to the weight of the cooler. It's a nice touch though not essential.
Nothing out of the ordinary here at the back of the card. These are standard I/O connectors found on the majority of graphics cards now. For a mid-range cards like the GeForce 6800 GS, do not expect to find dual DVI-I outputs.
The accessories and software bundled are very basic in nature with no frills included so it is fortunate that as the only game in the bundle, FarCry is still one of the finer FPS titles to have been released and you will find out just how well the XXX Edition performs for that game in our benchmarking section. The list of items that we found in the box include:
S-Video extension cable
6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
Quick Installation Guide