NVIDIA send out a press release regarding its new GeForce 9600 GT graphics card, claiming this product is 116% faster than its GeForce 8600 GTS predecessor. The press release doesn't contain any specific pricing information, it only says "below $199".
"After going to all the GeForce LANs and seeing the rigs that gamers play on, we wanted to kick off the GeForce 9 with the perfect GPU for gamers," said Ujesh Desai, general manager of GeForce desktop GPUs at NVIDIA. "The first product to be introduced in the GeForce 9 family gives gamers the horsepower to play cutting-edge DirectX 10 games at a price they will love and can afford."
A point has been reached in PC gaming where the graphics horsepower requirements to play popular games such as Call of Duty 4 and Unreal Tournament 3 at high-definition resolutions such as 1900x1200 and above, with high-image-quality features enabled, may have outpaced a lot of the installed hardware. Until now, graphics processors capable of delivering playable frame rates at those stressful settings have cost in excess of $400. With the GeForce 9600 GT GPU, immersive gaming with incredible graphics is now within the reach and budget of PC gamers for less than $199.
"NVIDIA continues to innovate in hardware technology so that game enthusiasts and consumers can fully experience the incredible graphics offerings in Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows Vista," said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows, Microsoft. "The new GeForce 9600 GT GPU further extends NVIDIA's ability to deliver improved DirectX 10 performance on Windows Vista at an affordable price point, so that anyone and everyone can have an amazing gaming experience."
The new GeForce 9600 GT GPU shows an improved performance-per-watt ratio compared to its predecessor as well as improved compression efficiency. In addition to 64 stream processors-each individually clocked at a blazing-fast 1625 MHz-and a 256-bit memory interface running at 900 MHz, the GeForce 9600 GT GPU is designed for the new PCIe 2.0 bus standard and features backwards compatibility with the original PCIe standard.