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Nvidia Corp. is reportedly preparing a competitor for the yet unreleased code-named RV790 graphics card from ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices. There almost no details, but the fact that Nvidia Corp. is getting ready to respond even to a product with unknown level of performance once again emphasizes that the two companies are in cut-throat competition for the market share.

ATI is projected to launch its RV790 graphics processing unit (GPU), which is an overclocked version of the RV770 chip that powers ATI Radeon HD 4800-series products, sometime in early April to regain presence in $200 - $300 market segment, where currently the company has nothing to offer, meanwhile Nvidia’s partners are offering factory overclocked GeForce GTX 260 core 216 for around $250.

Considering that performance of ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB is similar to Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 core 216, the presumable ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB will be able to leave the competitor behind noticeably. Naturally, Nvidia does not want to lose competition and, according to VR-Zone web-site, is preparing a graphics card that would better compete against yet-to-be-released RV790.

The rumours claim that Nvidia wants to further boost performance of its GeForce GTX 260 product by either unlocking additional stream processors while retaining 448-bit memory bus or keeping 216 activated stream processors, but activating 512-bit memory bus. Yet another option could be returning the GeForce GTX 280 (G200b/55nm, 240 stream processors, 512-bit memory), perhaps, with lowered clock-speeds and definitely based on the newer 55nm GPU, into the lineup at $299 price-point. The easiest way to compete against ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB will be simply boosting clock-speed of the existing GeForce GTX 260 core 216 products.

On Monday Nvidia already slashed recommended pricing of the GeForce GTX 260 core 216 to around $200, hence, the company now also need a product to compete in sub-$300 segment.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Nvidia, Geforce, G200b, 55nm, ATI, Radeon, RV790

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