Today sees nVIDIA launch a new chipset series and a new high end graphics card. nVIDIA begins a new era of high-performance computing.
On the chipset front here's what nVIDIA has to tempt enthusiasts:
nVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI
- Socket 775
- 1,600MHz FSB
- 3-way SLI
- DDR3 memory support
- 2,000MHz memory speed (EPP 2.0)
- 6 SATA/2 PATA
- 2 gigabit Ethernet connection
- 10 USB
- 5 PCI
Very impressive set of specifications. In addition to the hardware, this chipset also supports nVIDIA's System Monitor 3D application which is used to monitor a number of monitoring of PC component characteristics (more details and video on the nVIDIA website).
Now let's look at the GeForce 9800 GX2. The 9800 GX2 doesn't introduce a new GPU (the 9800 series uses the G92 silicon as was first seen on the GeForce 8800 GT) but it does package two GPUs into a single card. Crammed into the package is a whopping 1GB of DDR3 memory and fan that looks like it belongs on a snow blower (although not a noisy snow blower). Here's the spec on the card:
- Stream Processors - 256
- Core Clock (MHz) - 600 MHz
- Shader Clock (MHz) - 1500 MHz
- Memory Clock (MHz) - 1000 MHz
- Memory Amount - 1GB
- Memory Interface - 512bit
- Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) - 128
- Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) - 76.8
This is a very beefy card that crushes all the opposition (although in benchmarks it's hard to separate it from two GeForce 9900GTS 512 cards in SLI configuration). This card mercilessly rips into the Radeon 3870 X2 and in most tests it shows AMD/ATI who the boss is. And the news is about to get worse for ATI. nVIDIA has Quad-SLI technology and new GPUs in the pipeline.
Alienware flagship Area-51 7500 has already seen an nForce 790i Ultra/GeForce 9800 GX2 makeover and has been relaunched as the Area-51 desktop. Shipping date for systems is estimated for mid-April. Time to smash open that piggy bank!
- 9800 GX2 - $599 - $649
- nForce 790i Ultra SLI - Approximately $350 - $450
Read the in-depth review over on HotHardware.