updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue April 17, 2007
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 Debut
NVIDIA this morning finally loosed its mid-range GeForce 8-series cards to the public. Confirming virtually all the early claims, the new cards have the full feature set of the range-topping 8800 but use fewer shader units to trim prices and speeds. The fastest card launched today, the GeForce 8600 GTS, sells for $229 with 32 shader processors, a 675MHz core, and 2GHz effective memory; the $150 GeForce 8600 GT shares the same features at a 540MHz core and 1.4GHz memory, while the basic GeForce 8500 GT sells for as little as $89 by halving the shaders to 16 and using a slower 450MHz core with 800MHz memory speeds.
Boards using the cards should be available immediately from ASUS, PNY, and similar card manufacturers. Prices should vary slightly depending on the amount of memory and exact clock speeds, as some makers already plan factory-overclocked models.