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Gainward, a leading maker of high performance graphics cards based on graphics processing units from NVIDIA Corp., said on Wednesday it would showcase its products with 512MB of onboard memory at CeBIT 2004 show in mid-March, just a couple of weeks after NVIDIA’s rival ATI Technologies showcases its graphics cards with 512MB of memory.

The company said its CoolFX PowerPack! Ultra/2800 PCX ‘Golden Sample’ graphics cards will be equipped with NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra chips clocked at 450MHz and 512MB of GDDR3 memory operating at 1200MHz. The company said depending on the cooling system – either water-cooler by Innovatek, or a massive copper heatsink with fan from Gainward itself – the products will allow certain overclocking options.

Gainward said its graphics cards based on NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra with 512MB of memory will be intended for PCI Express x16 bus and will be capable of working in pairs, delivering ultimate performance for the owners thanks to NVIDIA’s multi-GPU technology dubbed SLI. Gainward said two CoolFX PowerPack! Ultra/2800 PCX ‘Golden Sample’ graphics cards with water-cooling running in SLI mode would be showcased at CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany, on 10th – 16th March.

It is unclear whether 512MB consumer graphics powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 Ultra visual processing units is Gainward’s initiative, or a new reference design from NVIDIA Corp.. NVIDIA has been offering Quadro graphics cards with 512MB of onboard memory for about half a year now.

Earlier today ATI Technologies said it would demonstrate its graphics cards with 512MB of memory onboard this weekend at a gaming event in Dallas, Texas. ATI’s spokeswoman Patricia Mikula told X-bit labs the RADEON X850 XT 512MB graphics cards were intended to demonstrate the next-generation capability to gamers and then send the similar boards to game developers. She declined to comment whether the company’s next-breed of graphics cards powered by the upcoming code-named R520 VPU would have 512MB of memory onboard, even though this would be a logical projection for the company’s roadmap. Ms Mikula also said the company was considering commercial RADEON X850 512MB products for PCI Express x16 bus, but the final decision has not been made.

But Gainward definitely wants its 512MB graphics cards to reach the market. According to the firm, Gainward CoolFX PowerPack! Ultra/2800 PCX ‘Golden Sample’ will be available in late March, 2005, through Gainward’s worldwide distribution and retail network. Gainward did not reveal pricing of its forthcoming boards with 512MB of memory.

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