NVIDIA's first GeForce 9 series card officially launched today, the budget 9600 GT, which is based on a shrunken version of the G92 graphics processor in their mid-range 8800 GT and the newer GTS cards.

It's actually extremely similar to the 8800 GT, but smaller and more efficient. It has half the number of stream processors but at a higher frequency, so Tom's Hardware says you're looking at a 38 percent drop in raw processing power vs. the 8800 GT cards. However, in the real gaming world, performance was only about 12 percent lower than the 8800 GT. So while it's not enough of a departure to warrant being branded a 9 series card, it's the "the best card in its price range for performance with antialiasing enabled." [PR Newswire, Tom's Hardware]


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