Santa Clara (CA) - Nvidia expanded its discrete desktop graphics chip portfolio – this time not with a new expensive flagship model, but a new entry-level version that could stabilize the company’s recent desktop market, which moves to cheaper discrete graphics solutions.
Nvidia’s triple-digit loss in the second quarter of this year was partly caused by a distribution channel and desktop PC manufacturers that are looking for cheap discrete graphics cards. Nvidia’s cards typically carried a premium, which effectively shut the company out of an increasingly important market. In early August, the company promised to go more seriously after this market in the future and the new 9400 GT models are a first attempt to attract some attention.
9400 GT cards are priced about 10-15% below 9500 GT versions and are available within a price range of about $60 to $90. 9500 GT currently sell in the $70 - 200 range, 9600 GTs between $90 and $300, 9800 GTs between $1500 and $200 and 9800 GTXs between $200 and $400. Of course, you expect much from a $60 discrete graphics card that needs to cover manufacturing, shipping and marketing cost and should provide a few dollars for profits as well.
The reference design of the 9400 GT has the same 550 MHz core clock as the 9500 GT, but has only half the memory clock – 400 MHz vs. 800 MHz. Perhaps most significantly, the 9400 GT comes with only 16 active processors, compared to 32 in the 9500 GT, 64 in the 9600 GT, 112 in the 9800 GT and 128 in the 9800 GTX.