updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon October 29, 2007
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA today is releasing the GeForce 8800 GT, a new mainstream version of the company's fastest video card series. The chipset takes advantage of an improvement in the manufacturing process to allow much of the speed of top-performing cards with the single slot and cost of older cards. The new core is built on a 65-nanometer process (versus 90 nanometers) and runs far more efficiently: typical power use is 105 watts versus roughly 185 watts for a top-spec 8800 GTX, NVIDIA says. The GT can also potentially outperform the GTS by including more shader units to process pixels and vertices (112 versus 96) and faster clock speeds, boosting the core from 500 to 600MHz and reaching an effective 1.8GHz memory speed compared to the 1.6GHz of the GTS.
The new GeForce is also NVIDIA's first video card to support the PCI Express 2.0 standard, which theoretically offers much higher bandwidth for particularly data-intensive graphics. PureVideo processing has also been fixed compared to the GTS and GTX cards and allows for near-total independence from the CPU when decoding HD video from movie discs or downloads, even at 1080p. Dual dual-link DVI ports should be standard on reference cards with HDCP encryption support for some protected videos.
Shipping today from several well-known video card makers such as Biostar and Gigabyte, the 8800 GT should be available at prices ranging between $199 for a 256MB card or $259 for more advanced 512MB cards. The chipset offers theoretical support for common operating systems but has not yet been announced outside of the Windows platform.