Many have suggested that it might get pushed back to early Q1 2007 but things are still on schedule. We don't have the exact date but the chip should surface sometime in October or November, just before the Yule shopping madness.
Nvidia will be the first to launch, with its G80 chip, while ATI will have a refreshed R580+ powered with GDDR4 to counter Nvidia's new offering until its new beast arrives.
ATI is using the dust-it-out strategy but I don't think it has any other choice as it cannot push delivery of the chip faster than that.
R600 should be the biggest and the fastest-clocked chip around but we still don't know how it will compare to Nvidia's G80 chip. We do know that R600 will have more graphic features and will be more capable, but that doesn't necessarily mean faster in the frame-rendering battle.
ATI is not hiding the fact its R600 does Shader Model 4.0 and is fully DirectX 10 compatible. R600 will be a faster version of the redesigned Xbox 360 chip and will end up with more Shaders, more pipelines, faster memory and a faster clock. It won't have any on-die memory as this is too expensive and too complicated for such a chip.
We also hear the R600 won't need a master card so you will be able to plug a pair of them and they will work. µ
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