Today NVIDIA has taken a route that they normally don’t take in an effort to stop the leaks that normally plague the launch of their new products. To protect the specs of the new NVIDIA 8800 Ultra they have no cards available to buy, but the cards should be available around May 15th.
The new 8800 Ultra will have features and specifications fairly close to those of the 8800 GTX. The reason for that is that the 8800 Ultra is based on the 8800 GTX with some tweaks to allow for performance higher than what the GTX can attain.The 8800 Ultra is running a core clock of 612MHz, a shader clock of 1500MHz and a memory clock of 2.16GHz at stock settings. We can fully expect to see 8800 Ultra’s running faster than this from the trio of NVIDIA card partners known for overclocking cards; XFX, EVGA and BFG.
What isn’t clear to me at the time of this writing is if we will see the overclocked cards at the same time the stock cards launch around the 15th. What is also not clear is what clock speeds we can expect to see from the overclocked cards. NVIDIA originally quoted a higher stock core clock for the 8800 Ultra than what we ended up with, so we could get the idea from that change that perhaps this was done to allow for overclocking room for the likes of XFX and the other card partners.
What is for sure is that NVIDIA has put a whopping price tag on their ultimate performance card of $830. Compare that to the 8800 GTX going in the $650 price range and you can see that the 8800 Ultra is much more expensive for what basically amounts to faster clock speeds only. NVIDIA is catching a fair amount of flack for not only the prices, but for not having cards available at launch for purchase. Whatever you think about he move or the price what isn’t to be doubted is the fact that the 8800 Ultra is the best performing graphics card on the market. Image via AnandTech.
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EDIT: It seems that NVIDIA actually sent 10 cards out to select review sites. Ironically the stories I have red thus far out on the net, I can't figure out who actually has a card they have tested hands on and who is just spouting the numbers NVIDIA handed out.