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While the GeForce 7800 GTX, NVIDIA’s latest top-of-the-range chip, is already available in mass quantities, some makers of graphics cards still believe there is a space for products featuring two previous-generation GeForce 6800-series graphics processing units. Unlike ASUS, who recently cancelled dual-GeForce 6800 GT board, Gigabyte has just launched its flavour of such technology commercially.

“Gigabyte Technology today introduced the much anticipated GV-3D1-68GT, the most powerful and technically advanced Gigabyte graphics accelerator card to date with a monster score of more than 20 000 in 3DMark03, and just under 10 000 in 3DMark05,” Gigabyte said in a statement.

The new GV-3D1-68GT graphics card features two GeForce 6800 GT graphics processors, each of which has its own 256MB local-buffer with dedicated 256-bit bus. The card may provide either extreme performance in 3D modes as well as support for up to 4 displays. Gigabyte said that the graphics card fits into typical ATX cases, which means that its size is inline with the size of single-chip GeForce 6800 GT product, or slightly larger. Stock graphics processing unit (GPU) and memory clock-speeds are unclear, but Gigabyte’s manual implies that the company’s V-tuner 2 utility may overclock the product to 425MHz/1100MHz GPU/memory.

Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT. Click to enlarge

Graphics cards with two visual processing units are possible thanks to NVIDIA’s multi-GPU technology, thus, Gigabyte’s GV-3D1-68GT will only work on mainboards based on a chipset by NVIDIA Corp. that supports its multi-GPU tech branded as SLI. The company strongly recommends to use its own mainboards with dual-chip GeForce 6800 GT graphics card.

During the launch of the GeForce 7800 GTX a representative for ASUSTeK told that the company no longer has plans to commercially launch its dual-chip GeForce 6800-series product. Instead, the company is looking forward to utilize two GeForce 7800-series chips on a single graphics card targeted for hardcore enthusiasts. The reason for cancellation of the project is suggested to be the launch of the new-generation GeForce 7800 GTX graphics processing units.

Tests of the GeForce 7800 GTX product revealed that sometimes its performance is on-par with dual-GeForce 6800 Ultra setups. Still, in a lot of cases GeForce 6800 Ultra in SLI mode outperformed single GeForce 7800 GTX tangibly.

The GV-3D1-68GT is equipped with dual DVI-I, TV-Oot and D-Sub output, and comes bundled a range of software, including Cyberlink PowerDVD 6.0, Joint Operations, and Xpand Rally. Pricing is unclear, but is unlikely to be lower than $700.


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