Nvidia has today unveiled the first GPU in its brand new range of GeForce 9 Series graphics cards. The company says that this range may eventually offer the largest single-generation performance jump in the company’s history.

Nvidia claims that the new GeForce 9600 GT is well over twice as powerful as its predecessor, the 8600 GT.

“After going to all the GeForce LANs and seeing the rigs that gamers play on, we wanted to kick off the GeForce 9 with the perfect GPU for gamers,” said Ujesh Desai, general manager of GeForce desktop GPUs at Nvidia.

“The first product to be introduced in the GeForce 9 family gives gamers the horsepower to play cutting-edge DirectX 10 games at a price they will love and can afford.”

High performance for the mainstream

In addition to 64 stream processors - each individually clocked at 1625 MHz - and a 256-bit memory interface running at 900 MHz, the GeForce 9600 GT is designed for the new PCIe 2.0 bus standard and features backwards compatibility with the original PCIe standard.

Nvidia claimed in its press release that these new cards will be the first to deliver lightning-fast performance at affordable mainstream markets.

However, AMD – of which rival firm ATI is an absorbed part – issued a response to this. It doesn't like what Nvidia has been saying and begged to differ about the state of pricing in the market.

“By now you're beginning to hear about Nvidia's latest foray into the mainstream graphics segment, and with information and samples on the 9600 GT soon to be had, you may be wondering what AMD's response will be.  The short answer is that AMD already addressed the mainstream market, three months ago,” said an AMD spokesperson.

“The launch of the ATI Radeon HD 3850 in November saw the introduction of new gaming and multimedia features with incredible price/performance that our competition is having a hard time matching even now.  Since the launch, our AIB partners have delivered to market a wide selection of HD 3850 products in a variety of configurations, ranging in price from $169 to $229, but generally found around $189.

“As Nvidia introduces the 9600 GT to market, it's claiming that it'll hit a price of $169 to $189, but we encourage you to check come launch day (8800 GT at $199?!).  In some cases, the 9600 GT may well be priced in the territory of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 - a product that handily outperforms the 9600 GT,” she said.