B)One Connector, Two Connector:
John "digitalwanderer" Hayden sent me an email this morning that was asking about our testing of the GeForce 6800 Ultra and having to use two connectors. John reported that Jen-Hsun Huang repeatedly mentioned during a quarterly earnings report that the GeForce 6800 Ultra did not require both Molex connectors to be plugged in unless you were overclocking (I have yet to verify this). From the reviewer’s guide that we were given by NVIDIA, it seemed that it was required that we use both Molex plugs, but in fact it did never spell that out exactly. So we asked NVIDIA today what exactly the deal is pertaining to the cards.
We designed the Ultra reference board with an optional second power connector for enthusiasts who want to over clock the GPU.
The Ultra board will run at standard clock frequencies without the optional second connector.
The optional second connector will allow enthusiasts to take the performance of our processors beyond the normal limits.
Being that our own GeForce 6800 Ultra is packed away at the moment, we called our friends at BFGTech and asked them to run some tests for us and they did immediately. Their reply after a short test is quoted below.
"We just ran 3DMark03 with one power connector with no problem. We are letting it run for a few hours to see if anything happens.
The warning said the clock freqs would drop with only one power cable hooked up, but checking CoolBits, they were the same.
A little while later we got another response from BFGTech after some sustained testing was completed.
"With one connector, we are getting some artifacting in 3DMark03 during Battle of Proxycon and Trolls, but not much, some shimmering and black lines. Played UT2004 no problem with one connector. "
From this very limited testing it would see that both connectors are needed for acceptable operation of the 6800 Ultra contrary to what we are being told by NVIDIA, but certainly we need to expand the testing a bit and come up with some more solid facts. Another issues to factor into all of this is that these are not "retail" cards that are being tested at the moment and very few will find their way into gamer's hands. We have put off power testing till we get real retail 6800Us to test with. I think that is when we will see the real truth emerge about the power needs of the GeForce 6800 Ultra and other GF6 cards.
Some theories are being thrown around in the Beyond3D forums on this that might interest you.