On a budget but want to get some DirectX 10 lovin'? nVidia has the answer...
It has unveiled the GeForce 8600 and 8500 series, two ranges of midrange cards with plenty of bang for your buck.
Top of the tree is the $199 to $229 priced 8600 GTS (above in a version boxed by PNY) which features 32 stream processors with clock speeds of 1.45GHz and core and memory speeds of 675MHz and 1GHz respectively. Just below this is the 8600 GT ($149 to $159) which also comes with 32 stream processors but drops the shader clock rate down to 1.18GHz while the core runs at 540MHz and the memory at 700MHz.
Finally variants of the 8500 GT will be from just $89 to $129 and it is a much more meagre beast with 16 stream processors at 900MHz and a 450MHz core and 400MHz memory.
Like the flagship 8800 GTX however all the new eight series models have support for PureVideo HD video processing technology which provides hardware acceleration for Mpeg2, VC-1 and H.264 in high definition and standard resolutions. That said HDCP does not come on the reference boards and while most third parties will add this feature onto the 8600 GTS, support on the 8600 GT and – in particular – the 8500 GT will likely vary from company to company.
All the new eight series cards will be immediately available and PNY has announced a partnership with PC World to launch its 8600 GTS in quantity in the stores today. Now off you run...