Similar to the Palit 7800GT Blitz that we had just reviewed , the GeForce 6800 GS version features Palit's distinctive red PCB, which makes it look more like an ATI product. The layout and circuitries have been reworked extensively and Palit has chosen to use capacitors from Rubycon, one of the more reputed Japanese brands instead of a cheaper Taiwanese make. Hopefully this would allow the 6800GS Blitz to replicate the extreme overclocking that we had seen on the 7800GT Blitz.
Besides its non-standard appearance, the clock frequencies are vastly different from the reference design. Palit seems intent that the cards in its recent 'Blitz' series live up to their names and the straightforward way of achieving that is by overclocking. And this overclocking is not just any token amount for marketing hype. Compared to the reference clocks of 425MHz for the core and 1000MHz for the memory, the Palit 6800GS Blitz comes in at an impressive 485/1300MHz. That is a 15% increase in core clock speed and 30% in terms of its memory frequency. To achieve this rather spectacular amount of overclock, Palit has chosen to use more expensive 1.4ns DDR3 memory chips instead of the default 2.0ns rated ones. In short, the approach that made the Palit 7800GT Blitz such a success is similarly applied for the 6800GS Blitz.
Given that Palit has spared no expense to make this card one of the fastest in its class, we were however a bit disappointed at the workmanship. While the components are generally up to the mark, the assembly seems rather lacking. Take the thermal paste between the memory chips and the heatsink. Our card had an overly generous dose of thermal paste for its memory, with the sides oozing over with the white substance that reminded us more of a cheeseburger rather than a high-tech toy. It seems to us like a haphazard application of the paste and such a thick layer may actually be more harmful to heat transfer. Also, the heatsink for the memory chips positioned above the cooler is not seated properly over the chips. This occurs because the heatsink is too large and hence it is squashed against the cooler and forced into a slight slant as a result. Again, this could adversely affect the efficiency of the heatsink.
The Palit 6800GS Blitz is also not the quietest of graphics cards, though admittedly, the GeForce 6800 GS is not exactly an angel in this department. We do have the impression that it was just a trifle louder than the reference card and that could be due to a faster spinning fan to cope with its higher clock speeds. Turning to its bundle, Palit has done a decent job here, with the standard accessories all accounted for. The DVD playback application is always useful though not the newest available. Finally, the Conflict Global Storm game is dated from last year and Palit has also thrown in the old (and frequently found in such bundles) Xpand Rally as a bonus. Here's what we found in our orange package: