With practically half of the year gone, we have already seen the mid-range DirectX 10 cards promised by NVIDIA in the form of the GeForce 8600 and 8500 series, not to mention the budget OEM-only 8400 and 8300 variants. The high-end enthusiast segment is secure, even if the GeForce 8800 Ultra has been shown to be an over-indulgent demonstration of the G80's prowess. The mobile versions have quickly followed, with new notebooks now featuring these GeForce 8M chipsets. NVIDIA has also just announced a faster GeForce 8700M variant for the mobile segment and at this rate, one may just see GeForce 8800M chipsets by the end of the year.
As for the other significant graphics chipmaker in the market - ATI/AMD, after conceding the performance crown even with its moderately fast Radeon HD 2900 XT, its great hope lies in the upcoming mid-range Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 series. Judging from the many retail ready Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 graphics cards that we saw at Computex 2007 recently, the prospects for a hard launch are good and we predict some solid benchmarks and even retail units by the end of this month. Mobile versions are also in line to compete against NVIDIA and the mid-range competition will be the crucial battleground now for both companies.
Of course, manufacturers are not sitting idly during these exciting developments. They are likely to be tweaking and customizing specific variants for the consumer. Foxconn for one has been trying to break into the graphics business and the company has unsurprisingly gone with NVIDIA for its products so far. Taking the oft-trodden route of overclocking its graphics cards in order to differentiate from competitors, Foxconn has a couple of these accelerated cards for its GeForce 8800 and 8600 series. We take a look today at one of these overclocked cards, the unimaginatively (if accurately) named Foxconn GeForce 8600GT-256 OC560/1620.