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The GeForce 8800 Ultra punches you in the face, and you like it.

Not only do I have a press release to link, but Nvidia has a podcast out featuring info on the new 8800 Ultra. I am listening it to as I type this. Sounds like 100% Nvidia propaganda to me. OMG! They just told me how much the MSRP is. Eight hundred and twenty nine dollars. I am a shocked! Well I am going to be spending the rest of the day (and probably tomorrow) adding all the new cards and reviews to our database. While I am doing that, you should consider selling your body for sex so that you can afford this new card.

GeForce 8800 Ultra SLi

Hey big spender. Spend a little time... at these sites.

I know how busy Ultra rich people can be, so I will post some links to some sites were you can spend your "chump change" on a new GeForce 8800 Ultra.

Tiger Direct BFG GeForce 8800 Ultra $849.99 In Stock!
Tiger Direct XFX GeForce 8800 Ultra $849.99 Usually ships within 5-7 days.

That is all for now...

Limited number of BFG 8800 Ultras available now for $829.

Over at BFG's new online store they have 25 Watercooled GeForce 8800 Ultras for sale for $829.99. They have done this as a way of reaching out to their customers who are little upset about the Ultra's high price. The announcement was on [H]ard|OCP's front page, but it is no longer there.

EDITS:

3 hours later and there are still some left.

10 hours later and there are still some left.

31 hours later and there are still some left. These must be selling like used diapers.

73 hours later and there are still some left.

6 days later and there are still some left. Now taking bets on how long these 25 cards will remain in stock...

11 days later and there are still some left. I think these 25 cards may last all month long!

18 days later and there are still some left.

25 days later and they are finally out of stock. This could have happened any where between 18 and 25 days. 

Now you see HIS' 2900 XT page, now you don't.

The webmasters over at HIS apparently let their HD 2900 XT page loose a little too early back on Wednesday May 2nd. Luckly for ATi afficianadoes, the dudes over at techPowerUp! took screenshots of the page for posterity. I present these images for your perusal.

XP vs.Vista gaming article.

I just finished reading an interesting article at [H]ard|OCP. It is a comparison of two Nvidia video cards, (a 7600 GT and a 8800 GTS) playing the same games, with the same settings, using the same game save files across Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. Drivers are, of course, the usual suspects in a comparison like this and for some reason the author did not say which drivers were used for the article. But this information was given in the discussion thread for the article. The drivers used were the 93.71's for the 7600GT on XP, the 97.92's for the 8800 GTS in XP and 100.65's were used for both cards in Vista.

XP versus Vista

Nvidia may trade technology with Intel in exchange for cooperation.

Remember the article I talked about in this news post? One of the things discussed in that article was the concern for Nvidia because of its fabless business structure. Looks like Nvidia may be courting Intel now for that very reason. DigiTimes has received word from some motherboard manufacturers that Nvidia is going to trade some graphics technology with Intel in exchange for more cooperation between the two companies. Intel is looking to expand their own graphics devision so this could turn out super bad for Nvidia if Intel manages to take this information and then turn their backs on Nvidia.

Nvidia introduces us to a "new" video card.

Nvidia posted a press release today that aims to introduce us to the 7200 GS. I was not aware that introductions were in order here. The 7200 GS has been out there for some time now, as evidenced by the fact that we already have the page up for it and 5 cards listed. So the press release may be lying about the newness of this product, but it is an "entry level GPU" and it is "faster than the latest integrated graphics solutions".

Old news is not necessarily bad news.

We now have a way for you guys to read the news our site that is no longer on the front page! It is called the News Archive, and you can visit it using the link at the bottom of this page or you can use this link right here. Check out this awesome quote from a news post on February 2nd:

"man...ATi is a bunch of $*#+ing morons, availability in April? G81 will be on store shelves by then, they're basically just handing market share to nvidia.."

April?! It is now May and the R600 still has not launched yet! Come on ATi, get in the game! Of course G81 has not happened either...but we did get a really expensive card that very few people want to buy...

R600 Arrives At Last!

The long-awaited Radeon HD 2k series arrives today. The first card to be released to the press is the Radeon HD 2900 XT. Reviews will be going up over the next couple of hours and I'll be working hard to get them all up along with pictures, retail versions, and pricing!

EDIT: I've read the first round of reviews, and it's not pretty. The 2900 XT barely matches an 8800 GTS 640MB, it draws *way* more power (like nearly 100W more), and it's image quality is not quite as good as nVidia's. To add insult to injury, the 8800 GTS 640MB can be had for about $70 less. 

Check out the card page for details:

Radeon HD 2900 XT

Radeon HD 2900 XT

Sapphire will be polluting your PC very soon...

Props go out to Altgamer and their review of the Sapphire HD 2900 XT for pointing this out. Page 2 of their review contains the press release and pic for the soon to arrive Sapphire HD 2900 XT Toxic, the first watercooled HD 2900 XT! Sapphire's press release link.

Sapphire Radeon HD 2900 XT Toxic

Prepare for a flurry of activity...with showers of awesomeness.

Summer is here and now that Mike is out of school and the warmer weather has heated my normaly cold blood, GPUReview will be evolving much quicker than in the past. You are bound to notice some improvements and changes sooner or later. If something breaks, if you like what we are doing, or if you have some humble suggestions, leave us a comment to this story or send a PM to Mike or Evil Incarnate in the forum area.

I don't want to be too specific about some things we are planning, because well... we want to make sure we can get them to work and to function properly. 

GeCube Shows Off Their 800MHz Dual-Slot Radeon HD 2600 XT

I love it when I run the parser...not really expecting it to find anything, and then BAM! Something interesting presents itself. GeCube has launched the site for their HD 2600 XT graphics card. Just in case the page is removed I have taken screenshots of the Product Feature and Specifiactions pages.

My favorite part of these pages is how specific GeCube is about the power requirements on the Specifcation page. "Recommends a 400-Watt power supply or greater to ensure normal system operation where a number of other internal devices are installed." "Note : No extra power cable to the video card connection is required or needed for easy installation of this powerful, high performance gaming video card."

The page shows the card as having an 800MHz core clock (which I believe is a new record), 256MB of GDDR4 memory on a 128 bit memory bus with dual-link HDCP on both DVI ports, as expected. What wasn't quite expected was the dual slot cooler, which is a first for a mid-range card, especially one without a separate power connector.

According to ATi's slide presentation on the HD 2600 series, the memory on the 2600 XT should be clocked at 1.1GHz (2.2GHz effective), for an aggregate memory bandwidth of around 35 GB/sec. This compares favorably with the 32 GB/sec of bandwidth boasted by the GeForce 8600 GTS.

If we have enough information Mike and I will try to get the entry created for the HD 2600 XT's chip, so we can then enter this card into the database.

EDIT:

I found everything we needed. Here is our Radeon HD 2600 XT page.

EDIT 2:

I just noticed that the box has "512MB GDDR4" on it, even though everything else on GeCube's site says "256MB of GDDR4".

GeCube HD 2600 XT

According to you, the 7600 GT is no longer the most popular.

Slow news day folks. I noticed today that the GeForce 7600 GT PCI-E is no longer the most popular card on our site. The 7600 GT has been on the top of the popularity list for at least 5 months (probably longer than that) but now the GeForce 8800 GTS and the HD 2900 XT are the top dogs. The numbers next to the card types are the number of hits that each card has received in the past 7 days on our site.

The 7600 GT PCI-E, still has about as many hits as usual, but the 8800 GTS and HD 2900 XT have managed to surpass it.

 

Popular Electronics June 1968

Sapphire first to web with their 2600 Pros, 2400 XTs and 2400 Pros.

These pages apparently appeared in our new automatic parser on May 23rd, but I just noticed them. My bad. They have pages up for the HD 2600 XTs (PCI-E & AGP), HD 2600 Pros (PCI-E & AGP), HD 2400 XTs (PCI-E & AGP), and HD 2400 Pros (PCI-E & AGP). Sadly there are no pictures of any of the actual cards. There is however a handy new XLS spec sheet for the "2k" series.

I don't have enough time today to get all this stuff added, but I have added the 12 card HD 2600 series to our database as they are specified in the XLS. I am known for my poor opinions about Sapphire's web presence...so Mike, I am gonna need some help here. 

Asus 8600 GT will come with 5.25" bay overclocking station.

TweakTown sends word that Asus will soon be selling a 8600 GT that comes with this nifty OCgear hardware overclocking control unit. The unit will allow you to increase the speed of the GPU core, monitor the temperature of the GPU core, adjust the fan speed of the graphics card, adjust the audio volume for your PC and display your current FPS in games. That is a lot of stuff packed into the ol' 5.25 bay!

Asus OCgear hardware overclocking control unit. 

UT 3 will benefit from faster fillrate more than faster geometry processing.

Like many of you I am really looking forward to the release of Unreal Tournament 3, which by the way is now rumored to occur on September 3rd. (September 3rd has been shot down by Mark Rein) Doc Shock, a senior member of the Epic forums has translated some parts of a interview with Tim Sweeny that is featured on the German website of PC Games Hardware. [H]ard|OCP then brought up the fact that because AMD/ATI chose to concetrate on geometry performance more than the fillrate performance of their R600 line, Nvidia may end up having a nice advantage when running Unreal Tournament 2003.

Using our comparison tool you can see that the 8800 GTS has a higher texture fillrate, but lower pixel fillrate than the HD 2900 XT, but both the 8800 GTX and 8800 Ultra have higher pixel and texture fillrates than the HD 2900 XT. It should also be noted that like the Unreal Tournament games that came before it, Unreal Tournament 3 is part of Nvidia's The Way It's Meant To Be Played program.

I am not as well versed in fillrate and geometry knowledge as Mike, so I will leave any further comments to him.

Unreal Tournament 3 Screenshot

Radeon HD 2900 XT with 1GB of GDDR4 may be here soon!

TweakTown is pretty certain that we will see a new HD 2900 XT card in June. This card is supposed to have 1GB of GDDR4 memory and will be under 10 inches long. In a [H]ard|Forum thread on this subject, [H]ard|OCP Video Card Editor Brent Justice said:

"I am 90% sure they will kick out a 1 GB GDDR4 version. I am also 90% sure that version will not have much of a frequency increase, if at all. It may simply be a 2900 XT with 1 GB of RAM, which would not improve performance in games. Think 256 MB 9800 Pro.

We will see though, GDDR4 would help bring the power utilization and heat down very slightly, but I don't know if it would be by any noticeable measure."

ATI/AMD gets mega desperate, buys Radeon owners Steam games.

Shacknews has reported that as of right now, all Radeon owners can download Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch for free from Valve's Steam distribution system. Could this have anything to do with the lackluster launch of the HD 2900 XT. This "reporter" certainly thinks so.

Both of these games are kick ass, especially Half life 2 Deathmatch. Of course I just happen to be the number one HL2 DM player in my clan (mentok1982), so I am a tad biased. If any of you (Radeon owners or otherwise) think you have what it takes to pwnZ0r me, go ahead and jump on my clan's deathmatch server tonight. I'll learn you a thing or two.

EDIT: You don't have to be good at the game to join any of our servers. As long as there is room for you and you play by the rules (when you enter the server the rules are listed) you are welcome.

7:00PM Eastern: The server is empty, but I am going to get on and see if anyone joins me.

7:20PM Eastern: I can't get on the server. It is not responding. There is a Steam update today and it is messing up all my Vista Gadgets and my Instant Messageners. I have sent messages to the server admins, so hopefully the will fix it soon.

7:50PM Eastern: Well, we will have to try again later after Steam is working properly. Lots of people are having Steam realted issues after today's Steam update. 

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