updated 09:55 am EST, Wed November 8, 2006
GeForce 8800 Announced
Although an official announcement is still pending, NVIDIA will today officially launch its next-generation video chipset, the GeForce 8800 series. The new architecture is the first to truly support the unified shader model of Microsoft's DirectX 10 software and an upcoming version of OpenGL, preventing the separation of pixel and vertex shaders that ultimately limited performance in earlier video cards. Performance is better than previously expected, according to DailyTech. The top-end GeForce 8800 GTX will feature 128 shader units supported by a 575MHz core processor, as anticipated, but will see its unprecedented 768MB of video memory clocked to a effective 1.8GHz, up significantly from the original 1.5GHz. A more mainstream part, the GeForce 8800 GTS, is also being released and will reduce costs by trimming the available shader units to 96, lowering the total memory to 640MB at a 1.6GHz effective clock speed, and introducing a 500MHz core. Features and shipping details are available after the jump.
All 8800-series chips will support HDCP for certain copy-protected movies, dual-link DVI for large displays, and SLI for dual video cards. Video cards using the technology that are expected to launch today include the ASUS EN8800GTX, the eVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTX (pictured), and the MSI NX8800GTX. NVIDIA officially prices the 8800 GTX and GTS at prices of $599 and $499 respectively, though pricing is expected to vary depending on hardware and software bundles.