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A German web-site revealed specifications of NVIDIA’s soon-to-be-released performance-mainstream graphics cards with the GeForce 6800 chip – a cut-down version of the GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics processing unit.

The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra operates at 400MHz and contains approximately 220 million of transistors that form 16 pixel pipelines, 6 vertex processors, a programmable video processor as well as other important integrated circuits of the chip. The performance-mainstream version of the GeForce 6-series will be called GeForce 6800 and will have graphics processor with 12 pixel pipelines operating at 375MHz. The Ultra version utilizes 256MB of GDDR3 memory functioning at 1100MHz, the non-Ultra add-in cards will feature 128MB or 256MB of DDR memory operating at 700MHz, according to HartWare.net.

In addition to performance improvements, NVIDIA GeForce 6-series also features Pixel Shaders and Vertex Shaders 3.0 functionality that enhance the feature-set of the current DirectX X 9.0 version and are likely to be eventually exposed by professional and gaming applications. The main idea of Shader Model 3.0 is a great expansion of Shader Model 2.0 specs and allowing software makers to create longer and more complex programs for modern graphics processors.

MSRP for NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra-based graphics cards is $499. The GeForce 6800 is expected to retail for $299.

Graphics cards powered by the GeForce 6800 Ultra provide highest performance in today’s 3D games. The non-Ultra version is likely to offer a bit lower performance, but still boast the same functionality and faster gaming compared to the RADEON 9800 XT and the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra that originally retailed for $499.

Retail graphics cards based on the GeForce 6800 Ultra are slated for release in the May or early June. Graphics cards powered by the GeForce 6800 graphics processors are expected to emerge commercially in June.

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