Nvidia's launch of its 8600GTS, 8600GT and 8500GT GPUs prompts a flurry of announcements from partners.

Mid range GeForce launch sparks frenzy

Nvidia has announced the extension of the GeForce 8 Series line-up to include three new GPUs, bringing high-resolution gaming, Vista graphics, and HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback to ‘virtually everyone regardless of budget’.

“With Windows Vista being the first operating system to require a GPU to fully realise its graphics potential and with the growing list of popular software applications that take advantage of a dedicated graphics processor, GPUs are no longer a luxury required only by hardcore gamers,” said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of the GPU business unit at Nvidia.

The mid-range GPUs are generally viewed as the realistic alternative to the 8800 series, which are top of the range and priced accordingly. This impression is backed up by the flurry of product launches from Nvidia board partners, including BFG, Foxconn, PNY, ECS and Asus.

The launch comes in advance of the long awaited AMD/ATI R600 launch, due in May. The delay in its launch has meant Nvidia has been allowed to introduce in full its latest family of GPUs without challenge. It remains to be seen how much of a disadvantage this will put the R600 under.

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