Preview: Upcoming graphics chips from ATI, Nvidia

There's a wealth of information already on the soon-to-be-released ATI HD 4800 chips, and less on Nvidia's GTX 200 products. Here's a quick summary of what's out there.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

AMD-ATI and Nvidia are preparing for the next graphics chip showdown. And there is already a good deal of information (and rumor) on the two chips due in June.

The names of the two upcoming product families have been widely reported: The ATI line is branded as the Radeon HD 4800, while the Nvidia is dubbed the GeForce GTX 200.

Advanced Micro Devices is expected to launch the HD 4850 (price estimates of graphics boards range between $189 and $219) and then follow with the 4870 (estimates range between $199 and $279). In the fourth quarter, AMD plans to add the dual-chip ATI Radeon 4870 X2.

Nvidia will respond with the high-end GeForce GTX 200 family. Initial products will be the GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280.

VR-Zone has already gotten its hands on some preliminary performance numbers for the HD 4850 and 4870. German-language site Hardware-Infos has posted a table with specifications of the HD 4850 and 4870.

Tech site tg daily said "that card vendors will start printing their boxes next week, which means that the specifications are final at this time."

Less seems to be known about the Nvidia GTX 260 and 280, though a Turkish site is claiming to have all the specifications.