Gigabyte has announced details of one of the most interesting graphics cards we’ve seen recently. The Gigabyte 3D1 uses SLI technology, but combines two nVidia GeForce 6600GT chips onto a single board. The 3D1 also features a 256MB of DDR3 RAM with a 256-bit memory interface, compared to the 128MB of RAM with a 128-bit interface of single 6600GT boards.
Gigabyte has used a custom dual-fan system to cool the dual chips with minimal noise. Gigabyte claims that the 3D1 can turn in a faster score than ATI’s just released Radeon X850 XT card in 3DMark 2003, hitting 14,293. The idea is that users will be able to buy a card and motherboard for less than a single Radeon X850 or GeForce 6800 Ultra. The supplied specs have the core running at 500MHz, and the memory at 600MHz (1,200MHz effective).
It’s not the first time that a graphics card has featured two cores. A few years back ATI launched the Rage Fury MAXX in an attempt to compete with the origianl GeForce, while 3Dfx had the ill-fated Voodoo 5 5000 and 5500. Gigabyte will no doubt be hoping for more success than those previous cards enjoyed.
The 3D1’s dual core solution could be a great way of avoiding the heat issues associated with running multiple graphics cards in one case. That said it’s a shame that there appears to be no SLI connector at the top, which rules out the possibility of running two of these in an SLI board to get a quad-performance boost.
We spoke to Gigabyte to find out more but they could give us no firm details on pricing or availability in the UK. However, late January was mentioned.