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A Taiwanese web-site DigiTimes reported that Albatron Technology may commercially release its GeForce 6800 and GeForce 6800 Ultra-based graphics cards in early May, not in late May as was originally anticipated by NVIDIA.

“Retail graphics cards based on the GeForce 6800 models are slated for release in the next 45 days” – sometime in late May or early June, according to NVIDIA’s official statement released on the 14th of May.

Albatron’s spokesman reportedly officially told that the company’s latest graphics cards, the GeForce 6800 and the GeForce 6800UV, will hit the shelves in Taiwan in early May, a lot earlier than NVIDIA said on the launch day of its NV40 graphics processor.

The high-end of the new GeForce 6-series line will be the chip called GeForce 6800 Ultra operating at 400MHz and containing approximately 220 million of transistors that form 16 pixel pipelines, 6 vertex processors, a new 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 only 12 pixel pipelines, according to some reports.

The GeForce 6800 Ultra will feature 256MB of GDDR3 memory operating at 1100MHz and will retail for $499. The GeForce 6800 is expected to have 128MB of DDR memory onboard and retail for $299.

Early May availability of graphics cards based on the processor formerly known under NV40 code-name may seem a bit surprising, as typically graphics processor developers do not tend to be really fast to market with announced product, as the companies have to get enough chips from their contract semiconductor makers to fulfill the demand and not to cause shortages on already formally available products. Furthermore, sometimes dates of availability are aligned with shipments dates of chips and graphics companies do not have control on them.

According to unofficial information, ATI Technologies’ highly-anticipated R420 graphics processors is to be launched in early May.

Albatron’s spokesperson did not return enquiry for comment immediately to X-bit labs.

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