NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL

The $599 NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL card that Apple introduced on Monday represents a significantly improved graphics card now available to Mac users.

Previously, the best card available to Mac users was the ATI Radeon 9800 XT which adds $300 to the cost of a build-to-order PowerMac G5. The new GeForce 6800 adds another $150 to that cost, but delivers significant performance boosts.

Tom's Hardware provides a review of the PC version of the card. The card appears to represent a generational jump rather than an incremental upgrade:

NVIDIA has seemingly pulled out all stops in an attempt to deliver cutting edge graphics with its GeForce 6800 Ultra. After gamers for too long have had to be content with mere incremental improvements to graphics performance, NVIDIA new card delivers a performance jump not seen for a long time. The device is also solidly engineered as well as insanely fast.

Halo Benchmarks at Tom's Hardware show impressive improvements over the ATI Radeon 9800 XT.

The specially engineered Mac version of the card also provides support for Dual DVI connectors -- providing support for the new 30" Apple Display. In fact, it comes with two Dual DVI connectors, allowing users to drive two 30" Apple Displays.

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