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Nvidia to unveil GeForce 9600 this week?

But top-of-the-line monster card delayed, moles claim

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Nvidia's first GeForce 9-series GPU will be launched in two days' time, it has been claimed. But the anticipated 9800 GX2 will not be joining it.

The 65nm GeForce 9600 GT will debut on 21 February, card maker moles have claimed by way of DigiTimes.

The current GT part, the 8600, contains 32 unified shader processing engines, which will be doubled to 64 units in the 9600, the sources claim - fewer than the 96-128 incorporated into the various members of the 8800 line.

Nvidia will apparently up the memory bus width to 256 bits, from the 8600 series' 128 bits. That, plus clock speed tweaks, will see the 9600 GT deliver 40 per cent better benchmark scores than an 8600 GT with the same amount of memory, the moles maintain.

There's talk elsewhere that the 9600 GT's core will be clocked at 650MHz and connect to 512MB of GDDR 3 memory running at 900MHz.

The new GPU also has the ability to decode two HD video streams in parallel, to enable picture-in-picture displays, we're told.

The 9600 GT was due to be accompanied by the 9800 GX2, Nvidia's high-end answer to AMD's ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 - reviewed here - but the sources claim the card's launch has been put back to early March. Is Nvidia holding it for the CeBIT show, we wonder?

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