The most affordable DirectX 10 graphics card from Nvidia yet, the G86 Geforce 8300, is nearly ready for launch with a limited number of samples already completed. Large-scale production of the entry-level cards is scheduled for March.
The G86 supports the 128-bit memory interface and is fully DirectX 10 compliant – but the most important factor is the card’s price, which is expected to be below £100.
ATI expects to be in full-scale production of its smaller DirectX 10 compatible RV610 cards by April. Early A12 silicon samples are expected in March, and the cards will come with Windows XP and Vista drivers. Expected at a similar sub £100 price point, it will be in direct competition with Nvidia’s G86.
The competition between the two products will signal the opening up a relatively new market of powerful and affordable discreet graphics cards. Many are predicted that the add-on market will grow in Q2 thanks to Windows Vista – and the emergence of more affordable cards such as these will benefit retailers by further drawing in the mainstream buyer.