The X800 is ATI's answer to the GeForce 6800, the new top-end graphics part that Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia unveiled about three weeks ago.
The two companies are fierce competitors, especially at the high end, where computer add-in cards carrying their chips can sell for as much as $499 and generate healthy profit margins. Those high-end consumers are also important sources for good word-of-mouth on the lower-end graphics units.
Nvidia used to dominate at the high end before stumbling with delays and production problems on a previous top product, the GeForce FX 5800. That let ATI assume the lead, and for the better part of the last year and a half the companies have fought a neck-and-neck battle for the performance crown.