NVidia has launched the world’s fastest graphics processing unit (GPU) and manufacturers are getting their most expensive cards on the market.
The new GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics processor now takes over from the company’s GeForce 8800 GTX at the top of the range. The existing GTX is widely considered to be the fastest graphics engine on the market for enthusiasts and gamers.
The GPU promises a performance boost of 10-15 per cent over the GTX and is the first to support Microsoft DirectX 10, which is being used by developers on some of 2007’s biggest games. The chip bolsters nVidia’s performance credentials against ATI Technologies, which has been quiet on the launch front since its acquisition by AMD at the end of last year.
The 8800 Ultra comes with 768Mb of dedicated graphics memory, the same as the GTX, but runs at a slightly higher core clock speed of 612MHz versus 575MHz. Memory bandwidth speed has been tweaked to over 103GB per second, up from 85GB per second and there have been some improvements to texture fill rates, memory and shader clock speeds. Cards based on the new processors will cost from £450 to £500.
Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at nVidia, said: “The definitive gaming platform is built around the fastest components available and today there is no disputing those components include the GeForce 8800 Ultra GPU and an nVidia nForce 680i SLI-ready motherboard. The graphics industry evolves extremely quickly and it is quite an achievement when you can leapfrog your own performance milestones in succession like we have done with these GeForce 8 Series GPUs.”
Glen Robson, general manager of Dell gaming products, said: “Dell is deeply committed to designing PCs that cater to gamers’ needs and offering the latest and greatest GPUs is a key technology differentiator. NVidia GeForce 8800 Ultra GPUs deliver stunning performance gains today and support the key features that will facilitate an awesome visual experience on DirectX 10 titles.”
Products based on the 8800 Ultra are now arriving from card makers including the likes of BFG, XFX, Gainward, PNY, Gigabyte, Asus and Galaxy.
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