nVidia pumps up the power

In an effort to secure the gaming performance crown, graphics chipset manufacturer nVidia has launched its GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics card, which features two 7900 series GPUs onboard

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 7, 2006

In an effort to secure the gaming performance crown, graphics chipset manufacturer nVidia has launched its GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics card, which features two 7900 series GPUs onboard. Though essentially a single card PCI Express solution, in that it will occupy one PCI-E slot of a user’s motherboard, the GeForce 7950 GX2 includes two separate 7900 GPUs as well as featuring one gigabyte of GDDR3 RAM. The card’s total rendering power is derived from 48 pixel and 16 vertex shaders (responsible for adding textures and effects to graphics). In comparison, nVidia’s highest-end single 7900 GTX GPU offers 24 pixel and eight vertex shaders. nVidia’s reference specifications dictate that the standard core and memory frequencies of 7950 GX2 cards are 500MHz and 1200MHz. This means each GPU and the gigabyte of on-board memory are clocked slower than those of 7900 GTX (which typically runs these components at 650MHz and 1600MHz). SLI support is also present on the 7950 GX2, meaning users can slot two of these cards into an SLI compatible motherboard, totaling four separate GPUs to take care of graphic rendering. XFX – one of nVidia’s many hardware partners in this region – has already begun shipping cards based on the 7950 GX2 and has three different variants. Its most basic card follows nVidia’s reference specifications and features core and memory speeds of 500MHz and 1200MHz. The next, the Extreme Edition, features speeds of 520Mhz and 1300MHz, while the highest end ‘XXX’ Edition will run at 570MHz and 1550MHz. All these cards offer support for resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600 pixels and will only be sold in PCI Express form. These cards are expected in stores by the end of this week, priced from $550.

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