Graphics Wars Heat Up As Nvidia, AMD Launch Cards

Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices released new graphics processors Monday as the two chip makers continued to compete on discrete graphics products while emerging as allies of a sort in promoting the possibilities of GPU computing in the face of CPU giant Intels uncertain steps in that direction.

Nvidias new GeForce GTX 200 series includes the GeForce GTX 280, available in quantity starting Tuesday for a suggested manufacturers" price of $649, and the GeForce GTX 260, available June 26 with a price tag of $399. The GTX 280, with 240 processors and a full gigabyte of frame buffer memory, is clearly Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidias latest edge-pushing high-end consumer card, while the 192-processor, 896MB GTX 260 has humbler specs, but not by much.

Up the road in Sunnyvale, Calif., AMDs latest pair of consumer cards from its ATI graphics division target a lower portion of the discrete market. The new ATI Radeon HD 4800 series will deliver a teraflop of graphics performance, according to Rick Bergman, GM of AMDs Graphics Products Group. And the Radeon HD 4850, set for release June 25, will do it for less than $200, Bergman said. The second card announced Monday is the Radeon HD 4870. Its a bit more powerful and a bit more pricey at around $300 than the 4850, and isnt scheduled for availability until July 8.

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