WISE BIRDS tell us here in Vienna that ATI and at least some of their knowledgeable partners don't feel so bad about NV40 Ultra. Even though the NV 40 Ultra, Geforce 6800 Ultra is a very fast card that outperforms everything else on planet for the time being, the ATI next generation chip might end up even faster. The canaries are singing that 12 pipelines, 475MHz/950MHz card with 96 bit precision and PS 2.0 shader only will end up faster then 16 pipelines, 400MHz /1100MHz cards with 128 bit precision and PS 3.0 shader model.
ATI knew for some time it would lose out feature wise, but stays committed to bring the faster technology, without some of the extra features.
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News source: The Inq