NVidia officially announced two new graphics processing units (GPUs) yesterday - the GeForce4 Titanium and GeForce4 MX chips.
Cards built using NVidia's GeForce4 Titanium chips are already available as options from Apple's UK Apple Store. These cost between £190 - £260 extra, depending on which model is purchased. The cards ship pre-installed on Apple's "Ultimate" model Power Mac G4s.
"This is the deepest, widest product announcement in NVidia history," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVidia. He added: "Normally we attack one segment of the market at a time, but with the GeForce4, we are launching, for the first time ever, revolutionary new products at every price point of our desktop, mobile and Macintosh product lines."
GeForce4 Titanium is the company's new high-end offering, and details of the product confirm the claims made by Apple in its embargo-busting press release – issued Tuesday, retracted Tuesday, and reissued Wednesday.
Specs The GeForce4 Titanium's graphics-processing unit includes a 300MHz chip, a 325MHz memory, and support for 128MB of 650MHz DDR SDRAM (an amount Nvidia executives say future games will require). The chip also includes four independent 32-bit memory controllers, plus DirectX 8.1 compatibility. Finally, it also features dual vertex shaders - a design gleaned from the company's work on Microsoft's X-box.
Graphics cards featuring the GeForce 4600 Titanium chip set are expected to cost up to $399. (Nvidia does not manufacture graphics cards, only the chips.) Nvidia also says it plans to launch two other iterations of the Titanium chips - with slower clock speeds -that will appear on boards priced at $299 and $199.
The consumer GeForce4 MX 460 offers many of the same features as the gamer-oriented GeForce4 Titanium chip, including a speed of 300MHz. The MX also includes support for 64MB of 550MHz DDR SDRAM, full-scene anti-aliasing, and dual DVI or TV-out (depending on the card vendor). The company will eventually ship two lower clock speed versions of the MX 460.
Both chips support dual displays using a technology called nView, which permits any combination of analogue or digital monitors to be set up.
The chips also support Accuview Antiliasing, which improves visual quality by reducing "jaggies" without sacrificing quality.