Nvidia extends DirectX 10 cards into the mainstream

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Santa Clara (CA) – Nvidia today launched the second wave of DirectX 10 graphics cards, which now reach into the entry-level and mainstream market. The announcement comes several weeks before AMD is expected to introduce its first family of DirectX 10-capable graphics chips.

Nvidia is one of the companies that is profiting from the merger pains between AMD and ATI, at least for now. The company has been shipping its high-end DirectX10 cards since early November of last year, while its counterpart - ATI’s R600 - has been delayed more than once is not expected to launch for several more weeks. Nvidia is now increasing its current lead with mainstream and entry-level parts that come with less memory and fewer stream processors, but offer key features of the 8800 parts - such as support for CUDA and DirectX10 - as well.

On the higher end of the mainstream market, Nvidia now offers the 8600 GTS that aims for a price range between $200 and $230. compared to the 96/128 processors and 768/640/320 MB of memory of the enthusiast 8800 products, the 8600 GTS comes with 32 units and 256 MB memory. Core and memory clocks (675/1000 MHz)of the new chip are slightly higher than that of the 8800 chips (575/900 MHz and 500/800 MHz).

8600 GT cards will be available in a price range between $150 and $160 and offer 32 pipes as well as a 540 MHz core and 700 MHz memory. The entry-level 8500 GT ($90 - $130) drops to 16 processors, a 450 MHz core and 400 MHz memory.