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Nvidia launches Titanium today

In stores for Christmas

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Nvidia today announced the launch of the Titanium family - three so-called GPUs positioned at the high and mid-ends of the PC graphics market.

We say "announced" because there's no official pricing details yet or shipping product - the first add-in cards featuring Titanium chips are expected to reach the stores 45 days or so, after October 12, in time, just, for the Christmas buying season.

Some will arrive earlier - 3DPower, the UK card maker, and its retail brand alter-ego Absolute Multimedia, say they will have the MORPHEUS Titanium (incorporating a Ti 500)in UK stores at the end of October and online at an estimated street price of £349.

If not when, now

Nvidia's timing with today's press release beggars the question - why announce now and not next week?
Could it have anything to do with ATI's launch plans for the Radeon 8500 and 7500 series? Word on the street is that the Toronto-based rival will announce volume shipments for its own new high-end graphics chips tomorrow.

We do know that The Titanium 500, or Geforce 3 Ti 500 as it is traditionally known, will play in the sub-$400 space, described by Nvidia insiders, as a traditionally good market segment for the company.

This price is the "knee of the curve - after that (sales) volumes fall substantially," we are told. But if 3DPower's suggested street price - £349 - is anything to go by, there may be a little difficulty at first in getting under the $400 bar. But maybe this is the old pound for dollar conversion game - Tom's Hardware Guide reckons the price positioning is $349, pitching th Ti 500 head to head with the Radeon 8500.

Nvidia will focus most of its initial marketing activity for the Ti 500 at retailers, rather than system builders. Titaniums for the OEM market, sold inside PCs, will hit the streets "in coming months", the company says. There is a long list of card and PC OEMs signed up here.

Specculation

The other members of the Titanium GPU family are called the GeForce 3 Ti 200, and the GeForce 2 Ti 300, which Tom's Hardware Guide reckons will retail around $199 and $149, respectively. They will play against the ATI Radeon 7500.

All three Titaniums are XP-ready. As always, with graphics chips, there's reams of specs to flick through. Check out the press release, for more details on anti-aliasing, 3D rendering, buffering and
all that malarkey.

Want to delve beyond the jargon? Then take a gander at Tom's Hardware Guide's comprehensive Titanium review.

If you haven't got the time, here is the 10-second version: Titanium cards do not represent a quantum leap over previous Geforce 3, but the Titanium 500 is faster than anything that's gone before. The Geforce 3 Ti 200 has a very attractive price point, but what is the point of The Geforce 200? ®

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