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NVIDIA may add a yet another iteration of its GeForce 6800-series graphics processor presumably in attempt to make its latest graphics chips available at very affordable price-points.

NVIDIA’s recently leaked unofficial ForceWare drivers version 62.01 are said to support GeForce 6800 LE graphics processor, a slower version of the GeForce 6800-series graphics processing units unveiled earlier this year, GZeasy web-site reports.

An NVIDIA representative questioned on the matter of the GeForce 6800 LE did not immediately return the inquiry.

Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA Corporation last year lost the majority of high-end market to the rival ATI Technologies, who now commands more than 75% of the high-end standalone graphics cards market. With the top-of-the-range GeForce FX 5950 Ultra NVIDIA could not re-capture a significant part of the market because of its lower performance compared to the RADEON 9800 XT, but this year’s premier GPU from NVIDIA – the GeForce 6800-series – is capable of delivering speed in-line with ATI’s leading RADEON X800 family. In order not to let the arch-rival to continue solidifying its positions with the RADEON X800-series chips, NVIDIA now offers three flavours of the GeForce 6800-series and also targets to intro a yet another incarnation of the graphics processor.

Specifications of the GeForce 6800 LE are not disclosed at this time. It is even not clear whether the GeForce 6800 LE is a lower-speed flavour of the GeForce 6800 with 12 pixel and 6 vertex pipelines, or is a cut-down version of the mentioned graphics processing unit with only 8 pixel pipelines and/or fewer vertex pipelines. Earlier this year some reviewers got the GeForce 6800 graphics cards with only 8 rendering pipes enabled. After flashing a new BIOS version, additional 4 pipelines were activated.

Last week Dell Computer started to sell ATI RADEON X800 SE graphics card. On the question whether product would be released for retail, an ATI representatives told X-bit labs that the “X800 SE” part was targeted only at OEMs and is unlikely to reach retail. NVIDIA may respond ATI with its GeForce 6800 LE aimed strictly at OEMs.

At press time neither Dell nor HP offered GeForce 6800-series graphics cards with their desktop systems.


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