Long expected, but officially announced today, Nvidia's 8800GT brings near-800GTX power to the sub £200 price bracket. As you'd expect from Nvidia's 8 Series GeForce cards, there's full support for DirectX 10, Windows Vista's graphics engine.

The new card itself has 112 stream processors - each of which is individually clocked at 1. 5GHz - plus a 256-bit memory interface running at 900MHz. And while the 8800GT is designed for PCI Express 2.0 (offering 5Gbps throughput), it's backwards compatible with original 2.5Gbps PCI Express slots.

The 8800GT is also the first 65nm GPU that Nvidia has produced. This more efficient process technology not only shrinks the size of the circuitry but reduces the overall power consumption.

So the 8800GT is cooler as a result and requires smaller, thinner fans to keep it that way.

Blu-ray and HD DVD-friendly

The card also features Nvidia's PureVideo HD technology supporting VC1, H.264 and MPEG2-HD for HD DVD and Blu-ray playback. The video processing engine takes on all of the high-definition video decoding, freeing the CPU to perform other tasks.

"When we introduced the GeForce 8 Series family, our most savvy customers and press demanded a product with 64 stream processors and a 256-bit memory interface to deliver more performance at the popular €199 to €259 price point," said Ujesh Desai, head of GeForce desktop GPUs at Nvidia.

"At this price point, gamers are getting more performance and features than ever before."

The card will be available from the usual suspects. We've already had confirmation from Albatron, which has announced the 8800GT-512 and Gigabyte with its snappily-named GV-NX88T512H-B. Both offer 512 MB of fast GDDR3 memory clocked at 1800 Mhz.