Add-on cards based on all of the Nvidia GeForce 6800 family of graphics chips will begin shipping this month from multiple vendors, Nvidia officials said.
Card vendors will begin taking preorders for cards based on all of the 6800 parts this month, Nvidia spokesman Derek Perez said this week. However, cards containing a Nvidia 6800 chip are currently few and far between. Nvidia officials said they anticipate that there will be enough chips to support a retail launch. “As far as retail goes – we’re lining up to have retail ready to go here in June – for all 6800s,” Perez wrote in an email to ExtremeTech. “Pre-orders will be starting shortly on all 6800s.”
Surprisingly, several of the early Nvidia cards that have shipped in small quantities have been based on the higher-performance Nvidia 6800 Ultra chipset. The process of “binning”, or qualifying cards at certain core and memory-interface speeds usually produces larger numbers of the slower, mainstream parts. “Boutique” PC vendors such as Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and Voodoo PC have received supplies of the 6800 Ultra chips or cards to design into their high-end machines, but the 6800 GT and vanilla 6800 cards are another story.
“Currently the 6800 Ultra is OK for stock. Only the 6800 GT is uncertain: on order, but no ETA,” a representative of one boutique PC vendor wrote in an online message to ExtremeTech.