New GeForce card
Nvidia has announced its GeForce 6 series of video cards, promising higher performance than the current top-of-the-line ATI 9800 and GeForce FX 5900 series. Only two cards have been announced, the GeForce 6800 Ultra, and the slightly more affordable GeForce 6800. Aside from reverting back to a number scheme (and skipping the number five because of the FX series), the GeForce 6 cards will feature up to 16 pipelines — twice the amount of the GeForce FX 5950 or ATI 9800XT, enabling the card to process more information at once. The series will feature Direct X 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 for enhanced cinematic effects, with a 400MHz GPU clock and a 550MHz memory clock. The GeForce 6 series cards, which are manufactured using IBM’s high-volume 0.13-micron process technology, are shipping to major add-in card partners and system builders including Acer and HP. Local availability and pricing has yet to be confirmed.
Dell number one again
Dell has widened its lead over HP as corporate buying lifted the worldwide PC industry in the first quarter of 2004, according to new market research. IDC counted worldwide shipments of 41.2 million units in the first quarter, up 16.5 per cent compared with the first quarter of last year. Gartner put the figure at 45.3 million units, a 13.4 increase from last year’s first quarter. Its figures were higher due to tracking more whitebox vendors. Dell regained the market share lead from HP with 18.6 per cent of the worldwide market, according to IDC. HP slipped to 15.6 per cent, while IBM was third with 5.5 per cent. Gartner vice-president, Charles Smulders, said channel inventory problems forced HP to ship fewer units in the first quarter, although that situation was back to normal by the end of the quarter.