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Unlock 6800xt PCI-E?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

This forum looks like the best place to ask this question.

I've been researching for a bit and it's my understanding that the chip used in the 6800 AGP cards is different tan the 6800 PCI-E cards and hence AGP's can be unlocked and PCI-E's can not. (is this correct?)

For example the 6800LE AGP had a chip that could be unlocked quite a bit (I think up to 16 pipelines)

but a 6800 PCI-E has 12 and only 12 piplines from the factory and can not be unlocked any further because it is a different chip/core.

I understand that the 6800xt is suppose to be the locked version 6800LE but does that mean Locked for the AGP or PCI-E or both?

I'm getting a PCI-E MB and I'm looking for a new card.

Can the 6800xt PCI-E (8 pipes stock) be unlocked at all. I'm pretty sure it can't unlock up to 16 piplines like the 6800LE once could, but can it unlock up to 6800 PCI-E levels of 12 piplines? and same question for vertex shaders. and what are success rates?

and if the 6800xt PCI-E is not unlockable at all. which is a better choice out of a 6800xt pci-e with 256mb Gddr3 with 8 pipes or a 6800 pci-e 256mb ddr with 12 pipes?

and I'm open to overclocking either card I get.

I know similar questions have been asked but I just want to be clear on all this, I mean crystal clear.

Thanks for any and all the help!
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post #2 of 11
Unlocking a card is different from overclocking it although both things allow you to unleash some kind of hidden power inside your card.
Overclocking is when you raise memory frequency or core frequency or both.
Unlocking is when you typically enable pixel rendering pipelines that are already on the card but are intentionally masked by manufacturers so they can sell it at a lower price for budget minded persons.

If I'm not mistaken, the PCI-E versions overclock better than the AGP ones. The drawback is that, most of the time, they cannot be unlocked.

I've tried my luck with the 6800XT PCI-E but I wasn't able to unlock it using RivaTuner.
I would get the 6800 with 12 pipes even if it has DDR memory but I think you need someone who is able to run and compare benchmarks (3DMark05 for example) on both to give you a final decisive answer.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
z one,

thanks for the quick reply. It's good to hear at least one personal testimony of atttempts to unlock the 6800xt PCI-E.

Thanks for further explanation as well. I was aware of the difference betwewn overclocking and unlocking, but always nice to have thourough replys like yours. (potentially further helps the thread starter and any additional readers)

oops, I see where I used overclocking when I meant unlocking. I'll edit that.

I too was leaning towards the way you mention, of the 6800 with 12 pipes even though the memory is only GDDR.

Does anyone else have experience with the main thread quesitons or definitive answer on the unlocking the 6800xt PCI-E
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post #4 of 11
it also is my understanding thatr most of the PCI-e cards cannot be unlocked, but though they cant be unlocked... the OC like hell! but it is more important to have more pipes than higher speeds(usually). so like zone said, go for a card that has 12 pipes already, the 6800gs is about 150-175 usd and from what i have seen it over clocks very well!
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post #5 of 11
As far as I know you can't unlock anything on the 6800XT PCIe version, because it uses a different chip than the one used on the AGP version.
The only unlockable PCIe card available right now are the x800GT/GTO wick are default 8 and 12 pipes and both can be pushed to 16 if lucky.
As the other said, the 6800GS is probably the best option because for 20 bucks extra you get a 12 piped OCable card. You could wait a day or two to see how the 7600 performs, since it seems to be around in the same price tag.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, pbasil and drag

It looks more like the 6800xt PCI-E can not be unlocked at all, I appreciate you points of view.

If anyone out there wants to stand by a definite answer and say for sure it can not be unlocked I would still like to hear it.

I would rather not chance not being able to unlock upto at least 12 pipes on the card and so the 6800 is looking more and more like the card for me.

I have found one (6800 PCI-E 256MB DDR) for $95 dollars. Drag, is there a 6800GS pci-e for just $20 more than that, and if so where?

and when is the 7600 coming out?

I guess there is the option of waiting to get a better deal but I would really like to keep this card at $100 or under and I have my doubts about at 7-series card with some muscle debuting close to $100, although it could drive the 6800's down.

thanks again guys
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post #7 of 11
wellmaybe you should wait for the new cards to come out, it will most likely drive prices down then you can get a 6800gs for around 100....
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
basil, I did some searching and it looks like the 7600 is planned to release around the end of March 2006.

For a few weeks, it may be worth the wait to get a 68000GS pci-e for a hundred, I just hate having my system waiting around for one component.

ahh, I don't like shopping for video cards at times. Too many choices, lots of decision making.

I just need lots of money to throw at a 7900GTX
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post #9 of 11
lol dont we all....lol

but im geussing the 7600 wont be all that much beter than a 6800gt, though thats my thoughts....

im pretty sure it will drop the prices of all other cards when the 7900's and stuff start to come out, so maybe save up for another couple of weeks and just get a 6800gs or maybe a better one....
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post #10 of 11
I just ocd one of these and ran 3dmark 03. I got similar scores as my radeon 9800 pro. Got 8900 marks. Give or take. By far better than my radeon but my 6800 GT OC agp runs cooler and faster by far. I think its a great budget card for the 80 dollars I paid for it. The xt card I mean. Runs all the games smoothly as far as Im concerned.
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