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NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU family officially announced

It´s time to officially introduce the new GPU generation from NVIDIA and shed the light on its architecture and features.

So, the GeForce 6800 GPU family, codenamed NV40, today officially entered the distribution stage. Initially it will include two chips, GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800, with the same architecture.

The key difference between new GPUs is that GeForce 6800 Ultra has 16 pipelines, while GeForce 6800 features only 12. Besides, most cards on GeForce 6800 Ultra are to have 256MB DDR3, while GeForce 6800 cards are expected to have 128MB DDR. Though, as we know, vendors might make any GPU-memory combination anyway.

These are the key innovations introduced in NVIDIA´s novelties:

  • 16-pipeline superscalar architecture with 6 vertex modules, DDR3 support and real 32-bit pipelines
  • PCI Express x16, AGP 8x support
  • 222 million transistors
  • 400MHz core clock
  • Chips made by IBM
  • 0.13Ám process

  • 40x40mm FCBGA (flip-chip ball grid array) package
  • ForceWare 60+ series
  • Supports 256-bit GDDR3 with over 550MHz (1.1GHz DDR) clock rates
  • NVIDIA CineFX 3.0 supporting Pixel Shader 3.0, Vertex Shader 3.0; real-time Displacement Mapping and Tone Mapping; up to 16 textures/pass, 16-bit and 32-bit FP formats, sRGB textures, DirectX and S3TC compression; 32bpp, 64bpp and 128bpp rendering; lots of new visual effects
  • NVIDIA HPDR (High-Precision Dynamic-Range) on OpenEXR technology supporting FP filtering, texturing, blending and AA
  • Intellisample 3.0 for extended 16xAA, improved compression performance; HCT (High-resolution compression), new lossless compression algorithms for colors, textures and Z buffer in all modes, including hi-res high-frequency, fast Z buffer clear
  • NVIDIA UltraShadow II for 4 times the performance in highly shadowed games (e.g. Doom III) comparing to older GPUs

  • Extended temperature monitoring and management features
  • Extended display and video output features, including int. videoprocessor, hardware MPEG decoder, WMV9 accelerator, adaptive deinterlacing, video signal scaling and filtering, int. NTSC/PAL decoder (up to 1024x768), Macrovision copy protection; DVD/HDTV to MPEG2 decoding at up to 1920x1080i; dual int. 400MHz RAMDAC for up to 2048x1536 @ 85Hz; 2 x DVO for external TMDS transmitters and TV decoders; Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR); VIP 1.1 (video input); NVIDIA nView
  • NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 for color and image clarity management
  • Supports Windows XP/ME/2000/9X; MacOS, Linux
  • Supports the latest DirectX 9.0, OpenGL 1.5

We have almost received a GeForce 6800 sample, so it´s still early to speak of GPU power consumption. Though a giant core with 222 million transistors imply some high appetite for power. At least NVIDIA recommends testers to use 480W and over power supplies. By the way, GeForce 6800 Ultra reference cards will occupy two standard slots. However, it´s not obligatory for all vendors, so we might see single-slot models as well.

Well, having seen the GPU, we now have to wait a bit for its test results. Please be patient, we are going to publish the respective article in the nearest future.

Ending this news I´ll mention NVIDIA partners that will support the new release by solutions on it. They are Albatron, AOpen, ASUSTeK Computer, Chaintech, Gainward, Leadtek Research, MSI, Palit Microsystems, PNY Technologies, Prolink Computer, Shuttle and XFX Technologies.

While our review is pending, you can take a look at the preview of new nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra posted by our colleagues at Trustedreviews.

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