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Even the strictest rules and policies are falling down in the light of the global economic crisis and unprecedented slump of demand towards personal computers and components.

For years Nvidia Corp. has not sold its high-end graphics processing units separately, but supplied its add-in card partners complete reference graphics boards that were made under Nvidia’s supervision by contract manufacturers. This ensured rapid time-to-market as well as high quality of graphics cards, but also reduced abilities of graphics cards suppliers to differentiate themselves.

Since the market of standalone graphics cards is experiencing its worst times in years, Nvidia has reportedly decided to change its policy regarding its high-end graphics cards. Under the new policy, Nvidia will allow its partners to acquire GeForce GTX 260 or GeForce 285 graphics processing units and built their own solutions based on them. Potentially, this will allow creating more affordable or higher-performance products powered by existing chips, which may spur demand towards high-end graphics cards.

Given that graphics processing units as well as memory chips may be used to make different products, graphics adapter companies may respond to market demands much quicker and tailor their new products in accordance with the needs.

One of the first high-end non-reference Nvidia GeForce graphics card will be Zotac GeForce GTX 285 powered by G200b graphics chip made using 55nm process technology, according to Expreview web-site. The new graphics board will feature re-worked power supply circuitry, which is believed to be a little cheaper to make, even though it is based on the same Intersil ISL6327 processor, just like reference model GTX 285.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Nvidia, Geforce, Zotac, G200b, 55nm

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