Nvidia expands holiday lineup with 6800 GS graphics processor

Santa Clara (CA) - While we are still waiting for the general availability of most of ATI's recently announced X1000 graphics chip family, Nvidia is bolstering its holiday portfolio. Today, the company announced the 6800 GS, a new GPU that aims to compete with what is expected to be ATI's most bang for the buck - the X1600 XT.

The new chip is based on the last generation 130 nm 6800 processor, but, according to Nvidia, will deliver enough performance to run the latest generation of games, which include Age of Empires III, Call of Duty 2, and Quake 4. Integrated technologies cover Shader Model 3, high-dynamic range and support for SLI dual-graphics.

The 6800 GS comes with the 256-bit memory interface known from previous models as well as 256 MByte of memory. The suggested retail price of 6800 GS cards is $249, but we would expect street prices to be lower, as Nvidia promised the card to be available in volume quantities.

While the 6800 GS is not exactly a sparkling piece of technology in today's terms of the graphics processor market, it demonstrates Nvidia's current superiority in being able to deliver graphics solutions in volume. ATI's delayed X1000 series already missed the OEM market for this holiday season and now walks on thin ice to miss the boxed retail and etail market as well: According to Digitimes, with the exception of the Radeon 9550 series, all ATI GPUs will be in short supply due to an IC substrate shortage.