Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 6: Gifts For Geeks and Gamers

For Brute-Force Gaming: Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTX Graphics

The NDAs have expired and Nvidia's new GPU has been released. Not only is it the fastest single GPU on the planet - sorry, ATI - but it's also faster than the previous generation dual GPU card, the 7950 GX2. Zing!

Specifications? How does 128 streaming processors (AKA unified shaders) sound? Keep in mind that the Radeon X1950 XTX used to be the pixel shader champ with 48 of the little workhorses, and the GeForce 8800 GTX almost triples that number.

How about clock speeds? While the core runs at a relatively moderate 575 MHz, each shader core has an independent clock generator of 1350 MHz! And the 1800 MHz effective double data rate GDDR3 memory speed is nothing to sniff at either, especially when it's running on a wide 384-bit bus.

This GPU has got it where it counts, kid. All those numbers translate to lighting fast game speeds, at the highest resolutions with the highest image quality, and that's what it's all about for the ubergamer, isn't it? Ladies and gentlemen, please start your saliva glands. We have a new icon to worship and lust after, and it is called the Geforce 8800 GTX.

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