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Nvidia Retakes 3D Speed Crown

Blazing back after the shock of archrival ATI's record-setting Radeon 9700 and 9800 Pro and the flop of its own GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, Nvidia Corp. unveiled the GeForce FX 5900 and 5900 Ultra, reclaiming the title of world's fastest 3D graphics processing unit (GPU) for advanced DirectX 9.0 games like Id Software's forthcoming Doom III. In fact, Nvidia says, the new flagship of the GeForce FX family transforms the PC into the ultimate cinematic gaming platform.

Long anticipated under the codename "NV35," the new 0.13-micron-process chips feature a 256-bit memory interface with support for up to 256MB of 850MHz DDR memory, yielding 27.2GB/sec of bandwidth at their peak of 8 pixels per clock cycle. The cooler- and quieter-running chips also offer true 128-bit color precision; Nvdia's CineFX 2.0 engine with second-generation pixel shaders; UltraShadow technology for accelerated rendering of lighting and shadows; and Intellisample HCT for superior anisotropic filtering and antialiasing image quality and performance.

According to Nvidia, the GeForce FX 5900 series will ship in June in graphics cards from over 60 OEM partners including Creative Labs, MSI, PNY Technologies, AOpen, eVGA.com Corp., BFG Technologies Inc., Gainward, Leadtek, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and VoodooPC. The price of a 256MB GeForce FX 5900 Ultra card is expected to be around $499, with 128MB models starting at $399.

Eric Grevstad is managing editor of internetnews.com sister site HardwareCentral. The complete version of this story can be found here.