The cardThe card that we received was the reference sample from NVIDIA.
At first glance, we can immediately point out some differences when compared to the 6800 Ultra. The one slot cooling solution pops right up. After closer inspection we also see that the voltage controlling circuitry is designed differently.
After removing the top plate, we can see the all-copper heatsink (smaller than the one of the 6800 Ultra), a blower that blows through the heatsink, and a piece of metal that cools the memory. This black piece of metal is similar to the memory cooler used on the 7800 series, except painted black.
The blower is manufactured by Delta, and is rated at 0.36A
After removing the heatsink, we can proceed to take a look at the core and memory.
One thing worth noticing is the actual writing on the core: it says GF-6800-GTS-G3-B1. It seems that NVIDIA was uncertain about the naming of the card until the very last moment.
The thermal paste used on the GPU seems to be of good quality (it is silver colored), but I would be more concerned with the thermal pads used as the TIM between the memory and the memory HSF. I think it would be much better if NVIDIA used the same thermal paste on the memory as it did on the GPU.
Next comes a comparison of the 6800 GS and the 6800 Ultra:
From the picture we can see that the 6800 GS has 1 DVI port and 1 VGA port. I think that this is a shame, considering the fact that CRTs are slowly finding their way out of PC shops.
The one slot cooler can be considered both a benefit as well as a disadvantage. It will allow you to fit the card onto motherboards where there is no PCI or PCI-E slot after the PEG slot (small SFF systems), but it will not cool the card as well as the two slot cooler.