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Thursday, June 16, 2005
AOpen Aeolus 6800Ultra SLI mode

3. A closer look

AOpen has used the nVidia reference design and added their brand name on the large heat-sink that sits on the board. The graphics card is not as heavy as it looks in the pictures below, but it does take up two slots since the cooler extends into the second, neighbouring slot.

click to enlarge!

The card also requires a dual Molex power feed from your power supply. Ideally, try and have the feeds coming from separate wiring loops, if that is possible.

Underneath the cooler and the metal plate, there is a set of 8 modules of 32MB GDD3 memory, resulting in a total 256MB capacity.

The choice of Samsung's K4J55323QF-GC20 GDDR3 promises good overclocking potential and maximum stability at high load. But we will discuss the highest memory clock frequency these cards can handle later, since we are not expecting as great an overclocking potential in SLI mode. But, on the other hand, who needs to overclock two 6800Ultras?

As already mentioned, the stock memory clock frequency is set to 1100MHz, while the core clock is set to 400MHz.

The picture below demonstrates the "heart" of the card, the nVidia chipset that lies on the board. It is manufactured with 0.13 micron technology and offers 16 Pixel Pipelines. Because of the 0.13 microns, it really heats up under heavy load, but the GPU cooler does a great job keeping the GPU temperatures at considerably low levels.

It should be noted that the GPU cooler reduces its rotation speed to reduce noise, when the GPU is cool enough and no extra cooling is required.

The metal fins enhance cooling performance by providing as large as possible a surface area where the heat can dissipate.

But let us see how SLI works and how it increases the overall performance of the system...

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