updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri September 29, 2006
GeForce 8800 Photos
Revisions of ATI's Radeon and NVIDIA's GeForce graphics cards this year have been limited to slight improvements on an existing design. True overhauls of their graphics technology are only now beginning to materialize through early leaks. The first to be shown is NVIDIA's GeForce 8800, photos of which have appeared courtesy of Chinese website PCOnline. The images reveal a card which requires extraordinary amounts of cooling and power to run at full speed. Multiple photos show attachments for watercooling pipes as well as dual power connectors, confirming earlier claims that the future NVIDIA card will be much more complex than the current GeForce 7950 and draw much more power: earlier reports have suggested as much as a 300W power draw under load. The leak also appears to confirm that the new GeForce will have 768MB of video memory and a correspondingly larger 384-bit memory interface. Expect the GeForce 8800 to be made official within the next few months.
Click through for a selection of additional photos of the prototype card with notes.
The first photo shows two power connectors at the top that would connect into the computer's main power supply, drawing power beyond what the PCI Express bus can offer. Most high-end video cards only require one of these.
Looking at the back reveals twelve points around the main GPU where a full twelve memory chips have been soldered in. Only eight are needed for today's 512MB cards.
Finally, the front shows both the standard video outputs (DVI and S-video) as well as a pipe leading from the cooling system, suggesting that the GeForce 8800 may require an external cooling unit in at least its prototype version.