Nvidia goes mainstream with GeForce 6600 and 6600 GT

Graphics manufacturer takes GeForce 6 series from top to middle. New GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT cards to storm sub-$200 video card market.

Today at QuakeCon, graphics manufacturer Nvidia announced the new GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT graphics processors. The introduction of the GeForce 6600 series is a major step toward fulfilling the company's promise to offer consumers an entire "top-to-bottom" product line that features Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support.

Video cards based on the previously released GeForce 6800, 6800 GT, and 6800 Ultra graphics processors carry MSRPs of $299, $399, and $499, respectively, but cards based on the GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT processors will retail for $149 and $199, respectively.

The new processors maintain the same GeForce 6 series feature set, but Nvidia has adjusted performance levels to slot the GeForce 6600 video cards into the sub-$200 market. The GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT will both have eight-pixel pipelines, which is half the number found on the more expensive GeForce 6800 and GeForce 6800 GT cards. The memory interface for both the GeForce 6600 and the GeForce 6600 GT has also been halved, dropping from 256-bit to 128-bit. The GeForce 6600 will have a core clock speed of 300MHz, while the GeForce 6600 GT will have a 500MHz clock speed. The GT version will also offer support for Nvidia's new SLI technology, allowing users to combine two GeForce 6600 GT cards in a single SLI-capable system. Initial cards will be PCI Express compatible, but Nvidia has stated that AGP versions will be available shortly afterwards.

The GeForce 6600 series cards compare well to ATI's PCI Express video cards, even after the pixel pipeline and memory interface reductions. ATI's Radeon X600 Pro and X600 XT cards also feature the 128-bit memory interface, but they only have four-pixel pipelines.

The first GeForce 6600 and 6600 GT cards will be available in late September, and Nvidia will demonstrate the cards starting today at QuakeCon in Grapevine, Texas.

News source: GameSpot

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