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OCZ Technology Group, a leading supplier of memory modules aimed at overclockers and performance computing enthusiasts, plans to re-enter the graphics cards business in the forthcoming weeks by launching graphics card products based on the GeForce 8800-series chips running at speeds beyond recommended by Nvidia Corp.

“We are going to do speed-up sorted G80 cards,” a source close to OCZ Technology said Friday.

OCZ Technology pulled out of the graphics cards market back in 2001 with the pre-overclocked GeForce 3-series graphics cards that have never become popular. This time the company seems to be confident about its success on the market.

“Right now we feel it’s a great time to re-enter the market,” the source said.

OCZ has been building up its reputation as a supplier of high-performance memory modules and power supply units for years now and performance-demanding customers are more than likely to bite the “performance-enhanced” boards from OCZ.

Nvidia Corp. currently does not allow to pre-overclock the flagship GeForce 8800-series graphics cards to its partners following the scandal with broken pre-overclocked GeForce 7900-series boards. However, a source close to OCZ pointed out that the company would not pre-overclock the cards, but would pre-test the boards for overclocking.

“We have worked on this first [pre-overclocked] G80 card, which we are not allowed by Nvidia to pre-overclock; so we are just ‘speed screening’ them and not tweaking them ourselves, but leaving that for end-users,” the source indicated.

Currently loads of high-end gamers are choosing the GeForce 8800 for exceptional performance and compatibility with the forthcoming DirectX 10 application programming interface. However, all the GeForce 8800-series boards are produced by a manufacturer certified by Nvidia, meaning that the suppliers like OCZ, EVGA and others ship exactly the same products.

To differentiate themselves from others, the brand-name resellers need to either add items into the package with graphics cards, or ensure that the boards work at higher speeds compared to the rivals.

Currently Nvidia’s add-in-card partners sell GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB (575MHz clock-speed, 128 stream processors at 1350MHz , 32 texture mapping units, 24 raster operation units, 384-bit memory bus) and GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB (500MHz clock-speed, 96 stream processors at 1200MHz , 24 texture mapping units, 20 raster operation units, 320-bit memory bus) graphics cards for $599 and $449 recommended price-points.

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