Nvidia is have announced the world's first DirectX 10-compliant graphics chip, the GeForce 8800 (codenamed G80), shipping in the middle of November. However, despite the advantage of early launch, demand for GPU will depend on penetration rate of the Windows Vista OS and availability of new PC games supporting DirectX 10.

Updates include the Shader Model 4.0 support, DirectX 10 will improve visualization and rendering capabilities utilised in PC games, it also see a reduction in CPU overhead,. It means that content developers will get additional space to write bad code and waste cycles.

Nvidia expressed the doubt that ATI's next-generation R600 chip, which is also expected to support DirectX 10, may appear in the market before 2007. Nevertheless, ATI will continue benefit from its close relationships with Microsoft around the Xbox 360.

Since DirectX 10 is positioned as a Vista-only solution, with presumably no ability to work with previous Windows versions, Nvidia's move to launch the GeForce 8800 in November should rather be considered as a symbolic step.

So far, Microsoft only promised that Windows Vista will run DirectX 9.0, allowing to later upgrade it to DirectX 10 via Windows Update. When Microsoft releases a DirectX 10-capable OS, ATI will perhaps catch up.