Today has proved to be an evolutionary day in the world of 3D - with two separate stories about the release of high-end video cards with a 512MB frame buffer. The manufacturers in question later confirmed both stories. First off, ATI have announced that they will be showcasing a 512MB video card based around the R480 core at the Texas Gaming Festival that is being held in Dallas this weekend. We do not know the full name that this video card will be given or details on operating speeds just yet, but we know that it will be a part of the Radeon X850 series and will be available on PCI-Express only for the time being. Here is a snippet from the press release: "...the event will include an overclocking demonstration and a PC modding event. Attendees will get the opportunity to preview the world's first 512MB gaming card and one lucky gamer will even get to take one home." The second announcement has been made by one of NVIDIA's board partners, namely Gainward, whose brand was recently bought by Palit. There were reservations, held by several key partners in the industry, about whether the Gainward reputation of being one of NVIDIA's more evolutionary board partners would live on. Today's confirmation from Gainward, stating that they are producing a SLI-ready GeForce 6800 Ultra with a 512MB frame buffer should silence the critics. We understand that the card will have 256MB of memory on each side of the video card - something that I have made note of previously. The traces for an extra 256MB of memory have always been on NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 PCB. The thought of two GeForce 6800 Ultra's in SLI is rather tantalising, but doubling the frame buffer makes things that little bit more insane. The cards will be available with both conventional air coolers and Gainward's CoolFX water cooler. We expect that the fastest air-cooled cards will be clocked at 430/1200MHz, while the card featuring the CoolFX water cooler should be clocked at 450/1200MHz. We do not have pricing information on ATI's 512MB X850 series video card, but we understand that Gainward expects their cards to end up £150 to £200 more expensive than their current Ultra/2600 series video cards. Looking at the current prices of Gainward's video cards, we expect these babies to retail for anywhere starting from around £550 for a single card - a lot of money, but if you can afford one, you should be buying two for a cool £1100. Our only reservation at this time is the availability of both cards. While the technological showcase is fantastic, we would all like to be able to buy these cards at some point. We can only estimate that you will be able to buy a video card with a 512MB frame buffer at some point during 2005.