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NVIDIA Corp. unveiled Wednesday its latest graphics processor GeForce 7800 GTX, the fastest visual processing unit ever built so far. The company said graphics cards featuring the chip would be available at the day of the launch, which is something that is not common for the heavily-competitive graphics cards industry: for years graphics companies have announced products that were available at least a month afterwards.

NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX graphics chip features 24 pixel pipelines, 8 vertex pipelines and consists of more than 300 million transistors. By contrast, its top-end predecessor – GeForce 6800 Ultra – consisted of 220 million of transistors and had 16 pixel and 6 vertex processors. NVIDIA said its new graphics chip is aggressively more efficient than the previous-generation product, which was proved by X-bit labs’ measurements: by having more transistors and 30MHz higher clock-speed, the new chip consumes just 3W more than the former king of NVIDIA’s hill.

According to X-bit labs’ performance tests, the new GeForce 7800 GTX manages to be up to more than 100% faster in loads of games and industrial benchmarks compared to the GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics cards.

The new flagship product of NVIDIA features several enhancements that boost its performance compared to the GeForce 6800 Ultra when operating in high-definition range mode by up to 60%, according to NVIDIA. This will likely catalyze game developers to use HDR technology more widely compared to what they have offered by now.

An additional advantage the GeForce 7800 GTX brings over the predecessor is the so-called transparent antialiasing, which allows micro-geometry details to be displayed with much higher precision compared to traditional antialiasing.

NVIDIA said graphics cards powered by the GeForce 7800 GTX would be available for orders at the day of the launch with first supplies reaching the end-user shortly. Since the first DirectX 9.0 processor – RADEON 9700 PRO by ATI – was formally launched back in 2002, neither of the graphics companies could supply enough graphics processors to ship commercially to end-users in at least 30-days after commercial launch.

“We have been shipping GeForce 7800 GTX GPU-based graphics boards to our retail partners for several weeks in order to assure that they will be in stock and for sale today – the day NVIDIA announced,” said Eddie Memon, vice president at XFX. “Our customers love real product launches, and we are sure the reaction of end users will be extremely positive.”

Recommended pricing of the GeForce 7800 GTX is $599, higher compared to the price-bin of NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 Ultra and ATI’s RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition.

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