Christmas comes early for gamers

nVidia has seemingly delivered an early Christmas gift to gamers with the launch of its new 6800GS chipset, which it claims offers performance similar to the 6800GT but for a sub-$250 price.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  November 8, 2005

nVidia has seemingly delivered an early Christmas gift to gamers with the launch of its new 6800GS chipset, which it claims offers performance similar to the 6800GT but for a sub-$250 price. Though nVidia is pitching its new GPU as a replacement to the 6800GT, coming down to raw specs, the GS appears a much closer match to the company’s standard 6800 GPU. Like the standard 6800 GPU, the 6800GS features five vertex and 12 pixel shaders. In contrast, the 6800GT offers six vertex and 16 pixel shaders. Shaders are responsible for adding textures and effects to graphics. However, nVidia reckons the 6800GS’ 425MHz core clock speed will make up for this shader difference. The standard 6800 and 6800GT by comparison feature core clock speeds of 325MHz and 350MHz. The GS also differs from the standard 6800 in that it’s manufactured using a 110nm fabrication process and makes use of 202 million transistors in all. In contrast, the 6800 is fabricated on a 130nm process and uses 190 million transistors. Despite the higher transistor count, nVidia claims the GS will generate less heat and use less power thanks to the new fabrication process. In terms of competition from rival GPU manufacturer ATi, the GS will go up against the X800XL, which is used in sub-$250 cards. The X800XL offers six vertex and 16 pixel shaders, and a 400MHz core clock. Vendors such as ClubIT and Point of View Graphics are already shipping cards based on the new GPU, and these are expected in the region by mid-November.

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