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InnoVISION Multimedia, a manufacturer of graphics cards and an important partner of NVIDIA Corp., has released a number of high-end GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics cards into the retail market. The first batch of products powered by NVIDIA’s latest GPU was noticed on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.

World’s Fastest Graphics Cards Shipping

The GeForce 6-series of graphics processors will be available across entry-level, mainstream, performance-mainstream, high-end and, apparently, so-called ultra high-end graphics cards. The new series of NVIDIA’s graphics processors is the company’s second generation lineup of DirectX 9.0-compatible offerings that greatly leverage the feature-set of NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics chips and brings important additional capabilities, such as Shader Model 3.0, as well as great performance improvements over the previous generation hardware.

In mid-April NVIDIA unveiled a $499 offering called the GeForce 6800 Ultra that is based on a 400MHz chip that integrates 16-pixel pipelines, 6 vertex pipelines as well as equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 memory at 1100MHz. Later graphics cards powered by similar graphics processors – the GeForce 6800 GT and the GeForce 6800 – priced at $399 and $299 will be introduced to the market.

Performance tests and analysis of results in 25 gaming benchmarks conducted by X-bit labs analysts revealed that NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra massively outperforms all present-generation graphics cards, such as NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra as well as ATI RADEON 9800 XT, and is also faster in the majority of the cases compared to ATI RADEON X800 PRO that is also available now. The only graphics card that is able to beat NVIDIA’s high-end GPU in certain cases is ATI RADEON X800 XT, which is not available today.

InnoVISION Strikes at $650 Price-Point

In early May 2004 Albatron, another add-in graphics cards partner of NVIDIA, said it would be the first to retail the GeForce 6800 Ultra-based graphics cards. The company suggested to start the shipments in mid-May, however, by the 25th of May, 2004, no GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics cards from Albatron were spotted for sale.

NVIDIA insists that all of its graphics cards partners will be ready to start shipments of the GeForce 6800 Ultra at approximately the same timeframe, which may mean that shortly there will be more high-end NVIDIA-based products in the market. InnoVISION Multimedia still appears to be the first firm to start selling the GeForce 6800 Ultra products, even though, in limited quantities, according to Akiba PC Hotline, a web-site that tracks Japanese retail market of hardware components.

InnoVISION’s Inno3D Tornado 6800 Ultra graphics card features two DVI and one TV-Out connectors. The product is equipped with two-slot bracket as well as a massive cooling system, requiring some additional space in computer case.

As expected, the first batch of the GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics cards cost quite a lot. In Tokyo, Japan, customer have to pay around $630 – $650 per single graphics cards. The initial GeForce 5800 Ultra-based graphics cards were quoted at $498-$542, which was also more than $100 higher than recommended cost. By contrast, the GeForce 5900 Ultra-powered graphics cards entered the market at $492-$595 price-points amid officially recommended pricing of $499. Even though recommendations are effective only for the USA, there are no huge differences between them and pricing in the rest of the world.

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