Friday, January 4, 2008

Nvidia Readies Dual-Chip, Single-Chip High-Performance Graphics Cards.

Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2, GeForce 9800 GTX, GeForce 9800 GT Approaching

Nvidia Corp., the world’s largest designer of discrete graphics processing units (GPUs), reportedly plans to update its lineup of expensive graphics cards with at least two new offerings later in the quarter. The most powerful of the novelties will carry two graphics chips, whereas another will feature single-chip designs.

The new top-of-the-range graphics card by Nvidia is called GeForce 9800 GX2 which is based on two yet unknown 65nm graphics chips with 128 unified shader processors inside. The board, according to [H]ard|OCP web-site, will be 30% faster compared to Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra and will enable 4-way multi-GPU configurations. The novelty will have 256 stream processors in total, but will rely on driver support to demonstrate its potential, just like any multi-GPU solutions.

The least expensive solution – Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX – is projected to be released in late February or early March and is claimed to be based on one GPU. The new model 9800 GTX will replace existing GeForce 8800 GTX, thus, should offer performance on par with GeForce 8800 Ultra and support 3-way SLI configuration. In addition, there will be a the least expensive version of GeForce 9-series called GeForce 9800 GT and due in March or April.

Based on information reported earlier, Nvidia GeForce 9800-series graphics processors will support DirectX 10.1 feature-set along with powerful video encoding engine and post-processor.

Even though the new GeForce 9800 GX2 is projected to offer performance only 30% higher compared to Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra, whereas the new GeForce 9800 GTX should outperform the 8800 GTX by a similar margin, the new lineup represents a great threat to ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2.

At present Nvidia sells GeForce 8800 Ultra for $849 in retail, whereas the GeForce 8800 GTX costs about $549 - $649. Provided that the new solution by graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices offers performance of the GeForce 8800 Ultra, AMD’s new dual-chip graphics card will have to cost the same amount of money as the new GeForce 9800 GTX. Unfortunately, dual-chip configurations offer performance advantages over a single-chip ATI Radeon HD 3870 only in cases when its driver can take advantage of multi-GPU ATI CrossFireX technology. Therefore, in all other cases the GeForce 9800 GTX will be faster compared to ATI’s dual-chip solution, making it very hard for ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 to finds its place on the market.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

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