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A leading maker of computer components, Microstar International, recently confirmed that at least 350 of its GeForce 6800 GT graphics cards shipped in the European Union did not meet designated specifications and agreed to replace the products.

X-bit labs reported last week citing a Germany-based web-site that at least some of MSI’s retail PCI Express x16 graphics cards sold as NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT products had the GeForce 6800 graphics chips on them. The original NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT graphics chip has 16 pixel processors and 6 vertex processors, whereas the GeForce 6800 graphics processing unit employs 12 pixel and 5 vertex processors, thus, delivering lower performance.

Microstar International representatives in France and Germany confirmed authenticity of the graphics cards and announced they would replace GeForce 6800 GT graphics cards with improper graphics processing unit free of charge. Customers who wish to exchange their graphics cards that do not comply with specifications advertised by graphics chip designer NVIDIA Corp. should contact their country’s MSI representatives. Customers should have appropriate documents confirming the purchase.

It is unclear how graphics processors with incorrect specifications could reach the market, but MSI said its graphics cards used bridged versions of the NV40 graphics processor, which is sometimes referred as NV45, since the majority of such chips is intended for GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra configurations, whereas for the GeForce 6800 PCI Express bus flavour for NVIDIA supplies NV41 chip that natively has 12 pixel and 5 vertex processors.

It is unclear whether MSI shipments to other countries are affected by the problem, but a spokesperson for the company in the U.S. said the representatives did not see such graphics cards in the USA.

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