Performance Leap: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra

Cine FX 3.0

The new and improved CineFX 3.0 architecture forms the basis for an entire family of graphics processors which will be brought to market in several versions over the coming months. NV40 is currently the flagship model of this family. NVIDIA focused a lot of its efforts into making this architecture especially scalable. Therefore, the components of the chip can be used like building blocks - just a few parts for the entry-level, or add more parts to make a high-end product.

All members of the NV4x series will offer the same feature set, at least as far as DirectX 9 features are concerned. The ROP (raster operations pipes - FSAA, memory interface, etc.) of the mainstream and entry-level cards will most likely be scaled down, however. What's certain, though, is that these models will come with pared-down vertex units and pixel pipelines. After all, the transistor count of a chip determines its production cost and thereby its retail price - and in this market segment, that's what makes all the difference.