Two 8800 Ultra cards in SLI at DailyTech
NVIDIA GeForce: Return of the Ultra

NVIDIA today pulled the wraps off its ultra high-end GeForce 8800 Ultra, its fourth G80-based graphics card. NVIDIA has taken its run-of-the-mill GeForce 8800 GTX and raised the core, memory and shader clocks, for an infusion of performance. The latest GeForce 8800 Ultra kicks performance into overdrive with a new revision of the G80 core as well. It also marks the revitalization of NVIDIA’s Ultra suffix, which spent the last generation locked away in NVIDIA nomenclature purgatory.

NVIDIA’s new flagship graphics card features a G80 GPU clocked at 612 MHz, a mild increase from the GeForce 8800 GTX’s 576 MHz. The 612 MHz G80 GPU pairs with 2.16 GHz memory, up 360 MHz from the GeForce 8800 GTX’s 1.8 GHz. Aside from subtle clock speed increases, there is still 768MB of video memory attached via 384-bit wide memory bus. NVIDIA has raised the shader clock speeds by 150 MHz to 1.5 GHz as well. A new cooler spanning the entire length of the card also joins the list of upgrades.

Despite previously hard launching the GeForce 8800 GTX and GTS last November, the GeForce 8800 Ultra will not hit stores until May 15. AMD expects to introduce its long-awaited ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT around the same time. NVIDIA maintains its performance crown with the GeForce 8800 Ultra.

“The definitive gaming platform is built around the fastest components available and today there is no disputing those components include the GeForce 8800 Ultra GPU and an NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI-ready motherboard,” Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs, said. “The graphics industry evolves extremely quickly and it is quite an achievement when you can leapfrog your own performance milestones in succession like we have done with these GeForce 8 Series GPUs.”

Expect GeForce 8800 Ultra based cards to hit stores on May 15 from NVIDIA launch partners. NVIDIA launch partners include ASUS, BFG Tech, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision, Leadtek, MSI, PNY, Point of View, Sparkle and XFX. Pricing for the ultra high-end GeForce 8800 Ultra starts at $829, according to NVIDIA.

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