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A leading hardware maker Gigabyte Technology recently announced a graphics card with two GeForce 6600 GT processors onboard, delivering one of a few dual-chip graphics cards in the recent years and the first ever consumer graphics card with two NVIDIA chips.

The product branded 3D1 uses NVIDIA SLI technology to enable Multi-GPU solution, but Gigabyte claims its 3D1 graphics card is more efficient compared to typical SLI setups and faster compared to single-chip high-end graphics cards, such as ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra.

Gigabyte’s 3D1 features two NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT graphics processors working in pair thanks to NVIDIA’s Multi-GPU SLI technology. The chips are clocked at 500MHz, each is equipped with its own 128MB GDDR3 local buffer operating at 1200MHz. The graphics card features D-Sub, DVI-I and HDTV outputs. Gigabyte allows its customers to overclock the 3D1 graphics card using a special V-Tuner 2 utility.

Gigabyte claims its 3D1 graphics card achieves 14 293 scores in Futuremark 3DMark03 benchmark, versus 13 271 and 12 680 scores at ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra. The 3D1 is also faster, according to 3DMark03 scores provided by Gigabyte, compared to dual GeForce 6600 GT SLI setup. During its test, Gigabyte used its own NVIDIA nForce4 SLI mainboard (GA-K8NXP-SLI) along with AMD Athlon 3000+ processor and 512MB of memory. The firm used Futuremark-approved official CATALYST 4.12 driver for Powered by ATI graphics cards and non-approved beta ForceWare 70.80 drivers with NVIDIA hardware.

The company did not provide any other performance numbers. It is unclear, whether the 3D1 can operate as fast as single-chip high-end graphics cards, such as ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra, in environments when more than 256MB local frame-buffer is required. Performance in the so-called eye candy mode (FSAA 4x + anisotropic filtering 16x) in modern games is also of serious interest.

The Taipei, Taiwan-based maker of hardware will supply its 3D1 (sometimes referred as 3D10000) graphics card along with its GA-K8NXP-SLI mainboard for a pricing that remains to be seen. It is also unclear, whether a mainboard with support for SLI is needed for Gigabyte 3D1 operation.

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