Nvidia takes on all comers with GeForce 4

Especially ATI

After all the hype and pre-launch leaks, perhaps the most notable thing about today's debut of the Nvidia GeForce 4 GPU family is its market segmentation.

For Nvidia is immediately setting out its GeForce stall for mainstream commercial systems. The usual gig for a PC graphics chipmaker is to launch high first and soak up diehard gamers willing to spend big dollars for premium boards. By launching a mainstream range immediately, Nvidia is striking deep into arch-rival's ATI's OEM heartland, at the price - maybe - of a few cannibalised high-end sales.

So what else: the GeForce 4 family comes in three flavours: the high-end Ti; the mainstream MX; and the Mobile 4xx GO. OEM systems featuring the MX are already shipping, mobile systems will launch this month and Ti boards will hit retail in 60 days or so, Nvidia says.

Have we forgotten something? Ah yes, the specs. Jump over to Nvidia for the skinny on the GeForce 4's "revolutionary new technologies". And you want some reviews? According to a typically thorough piece in Tom's Hardware, the GeForce 4 TI 4600, a hefty $399, is "the best 3D card that money can buy right now". The value MX is a good performer but a shade expensive, according to the good Doctor. He also questions Nvidia's decision to place the MX under the same banner as the Ti. This devalues GeForce 4 as a performance brand, he argues.

A welter of big brand PC makers have climbed on the GeForce 4 bandwagon, including Apple, Compaq, Gateway, HP, MicronPC and Toshiba. Board manufacturers include: ASUSTeK, eVGA.com, Gainward, Leadtek, MSI, PNY and Visiontek. ®