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Nvidia brings forward GeForce Go 7800GTX debut

Avoiding an ATI Radeon X1800 launch clash?

Nvidia may announce its upcoming GeForce Go 7800GTX mobile graphics chip earlier than anticipated.

A reliable source familiar with the GPU's roll-out has suggested the part will be formally introduced on Wednesday, 28 September, a day ahead of the previously-anticipated launch window.

Nvidia's arch-rival, ATI, said earlier this week that its R520 desktop graphics chip, aka the Radeon X1800, would be on store shelves by the end of the month, even though it has yet to formally launch the GPU. We wondered if it was holding back on the official debut the better to spoil Nvidia's 7800GTX launch. We suspect Nvidia may have pulled back the 7800GTX debut in order to come in ahead of ATI.

Today's launch date news follows UK PC vendor Evesham's announcement yesterday of its Voyager C720 notebook, which will feature the next-generation graphics chip.

Evesham is one of the vendors listed on a leaked Nvidia presentation detailing the 7800GTX. Others include Dell, Alienware, Voodoo, Sager, Falcon, ABS, ProStar and HyperSonic.

The slides indicate the GPU contains 302m transistors, some 100m of which are used to double the shader performance over the old 202m-transistor GeForce Go 6800 Ultra and raise the geometry performance by a factor of 1.6. The new chip yields double the 3DMark03 scores its predecessor did, the slides claim.

The improvements come despite a reduction in core clock speed, from the 6800 Ultra's 450MHz to 400MHz. Both chips have the same memory clock: 550MHz (1.1GHz effective). The memory is connected across a 256-bit bus. The chip delivers "99 per cent" of the performance of "shipping desktop PCs" - presumably those with the desktop 7800GTX on board.

The extra transistors also equip the 7800GTX with the ability to do anti-aliasing in transparency layers. It's designed to support Windows Vista, Nvidia said. ®

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