Anonymous sources inside Tawianese graphics card manufacturers, cited by a report on Digitimes
, suggest that Nvidia plans to launch the first cards in its GeForce 9-series as early as February.
The product's specifications are not known at this early stage, and in fact probably aren't finalised just yet. However, the chip is codenamed D9E and will utilise TSMC's 65nm manufacturing process, just like the GeForce 8800 GT's G92 graphics chip
Apparently, the cards will all support Microsoft's DirectX 10.1 API and thus Shader Model 4.1 - we covered many of DirectX 10.1's features in our Radeon HD 3870 review
which we published this morning.
D9E will cater just for enthusiasts and those looking for more cost-effective solutions will have to wait for the D9P-based products that are rumoured to arrive next June. D9P will apparently be based on a 55nm process node but again, specifics are thin and light right now.
Regardless, if you're really looking for good value for money in the graphics card market right now, there's no reason to look much beyond Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT, or AMD's ATI Radeon HD 3870. Both are great products in their own right, with the 8800 GT taking the lead in the performance stakes, while the Radeon has price on its side right now.
As we get closer to launch, I'm sure more information will become available - we'll let you know more as and when we do. For now, discuss the news in the forums