NVIDIA introduces GeForce 7600 GS, 7300 LE

Today NVIDIA is introducing two new additions to its GeForce 7 family: the GeForce 7600 GS, and the GeForce 7300 LE. As one might expect, the 7600 GS uses the same G73 graphics chip as the 7600 GT, inheriting support for dual-link DVI, PureVideo, and SLI. The 7600 GS is also compatible with High Definition Content Protection (HDCP), but it's up to board vendors to build cards with an off-chip "crypto ROM" necessary to store encryption keys.

NVIDIA is positioning the 7600 GS below the existing 7600 GT, which has a 560MHz core clock and GDDR3 memory at an effective 1.4GHz. The GS scales the core clock speed down to 400MHz and swaps the memory for DDR2 at an effective 800MHz. Coupled with the G73's power-efficient 90nm process, the 7600 GS' lower clock speeds allow it to be cooled with just a large passive heatsink covering the GPU and memory. Despite this passive cooling, NVIDIA claims the card is faster than ATI's Radeon X1600 XT. It's pricing the 7600 GS at $129-149, though. That will put it up against the GeForce 6600 GT and Radeon X1600 Pro.

If $129 is too rich for your blood, NVIDIA is also introducing the budget GeForce 7300 LE. This card is similar to the 7300 GS, but its core runs 100MHz slower at 450MHz. Memory speeds will depend on board partners, although NVIDIA says that at least some will ship 7300 LEs with memory running at an effective 666MHz. The 7300 LE technically isn't a new product, as it was originally sold to OEMs and system builders. However, it will now be available on the retail market for between $49 and $69. Both the GeForce 7300 LE and 7600 GS should be on sale today, following NVIDIA's recent tradition of having cards available at launch.

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