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Nvidia sees double in Dell box

Latest XPS system for game enthusiasts will sport two Nvidia graphics cards.

Graphics processor maker Nvidia is scoring a double play with an upcoming game enthusiast computer offered by Dell.

Due out in a few weeks, Dell's XPS 600 will have two PCI-Express x16 slots, each designed for Nvidia's latest GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card. The two cards link together to think as one.

As a result, Dell said its XPS 600 users can play 3D games and DVDs at very high-resolution settings--the DVDs, for example, will be able to play at 480-pixel resolution.

Nvidia calls the process of linking two cards together its "scalable link interface," or SLI. The combination doubles the amount of video bandwidth a computer can handle over current dual x8 PCI-Express computer designs.

Nvidia's archrival ATI has a similar technology it calls Crossfire. The company has delayed its debut until early September, around the same time the Dell box is set to come out.

Starting at $3,099 with a Pentium 4 single core processor, Dell's XPS 600 will automatically ship with Windows XP Home and come with a 160GB hard drive, dual 16X DVD-ROM and 48X CD-RW drives and 512MB of advanced computer memory.

Dell is also offering a combination of the two Nvidia cards with an Intel Extreme Edition 8xx series dual-core processor (two computer brains on one piece of silicon).

Dell and Nvidia, which have collaborated many times in the past, are expected to show off the new PC at id Software's QuakeCon 2005 computer game event next Monday.