The graphics war has entered a new phase and we are now asked to forget the number of pipelines, whether PS 2.0 or 3.0 is supported even the special compression methods used and we are told to concentrate on clock speeds.
nVidia was quick to reply to ATIs clock speed boost, revealed a couple of days ago, with a speed bump of its own. In a recent nVidia briefing to its partners the company confirmed that the Geforce 6800 Ultra will clock at over 450 MHz. The details of how that will be achieved were not that clear but insiders claim that this boost will come courtesy of some impressive BIOS tweaking. The clock speed change is, apparently, something nVidia had been planning to do for some time now since it is reported that samples, clocked at the higher speeds, are already doing the rounds. nVidia must have been expecting the ATI clock boost then and the ball is now sitting pretty in ATIs court. Even though it may appear that the Canadian company does not have that many options available, we are not too sure if minor clock speed changes are enough to really make a difference in real world gaming conditions.
In other graphics war news, the first ATI X800PRO images have surfaced and you can view the board by following the Screens tab above. It has also been reported that the X800Pro and X800XT will only consume a maximum of 80W, meaning that there will be no need for an external power connector and that the card may fit nicely in most modern cases and may not dim the lights in the house when you start gaming.
Another story which may upset ATI is that the X800PRO seems to be up for pre-order in, at least, one web site with a 05/07/2004 ETA and a USD 499 price tag. Having your board up for sale before you have officially announced it must be slightly embarrassing, especially when you are building a Get Ready to XPerience It teaser campaign. For a link to the web site selling the board, follow the Download tab above.