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Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra card available in two weeks' time

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It's the "world's fastest GPU", Nvidia claims, though it may not be long before AMD's ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT grabs the title from the GeForce 8800 Ultra, released today as forecast.

Actually, the Nvidia chip may even have the edge even then, if early tests of the 2900 XT and 2900 XTX are anything to go by.

We'd have liked to have brought you a full review of the 8800 Ultra, but we were told Nvidia UK only has two samples, and we're not on the list. Presumably we were not considered... well, how would you decide who gets one of only two cards to test? Gamers themselves won't be able to get their hands on boards based on the chip until 15 May, apparently.

Whatever, the 8800 Ultra is said by its maker to deliver 10-15 per cent higher frame rates and benchmark scores than the 8800 GTX does. The Ultra is an overclocked GTX - both contain 128 unified shader processing units - running at 612MHz to the older part's 575MHz. Both connect to 768MB of memory across a 384-bit bus, but where the GTX's VRAM is clocked at 900MHz, the Ultra's is set at 1080MHz.

Ultra-based boards - when they eventually become available - are expected to retail for around €699 ($950/£476).

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