The GeForce 7600 GT
Take that same leading edge 90nm process technology, crank your clocks speeds a bit and cut down to a 12-pipe machine and you're looking at a compelling product for the mainstream $200 graphics card market. You'd also be looking at the new GeForce 7600 GT.
GeForce 7600 Series GPU Block Diagram
90nm - 177M transistors
The new GeForce 7600 architecture is setup to fall smack-dab in the sweet spot of the market for volume. This GPUwith 12 Pixel Shader engines, 5 Vertex Shaders and 8 ROPs. Its core clock speed is nicely goosed up to 560MHz and it sports 1.4GHz GDDR3 memory (700MHz DDR) over its 128-bit memory interface. An interesting note here is that while virtually all other resources were cut in half in comparison to the GeForce 7900 series (shader units and ROPs for example), NVIDIA decided to leave an extra Vertex unit intact, 5 total, versus what may have been perceived as a standard chop-down to 4 in this architecture. This should most definitely bring performance benefits to this lower cost architecture, in the area of Geometry processing when there are high polygon-count models being rendered in a scene. Beyond these simple cut-downs of the core, the architecture is essentially unchanged and the GeForce 7600 series will offer all of the basic features set of the high end 7900 series, including full support for Shader Model 3.0 rendering and NVIDIA's PureVideo technology.
Finally, take note of the GeForce 7600's die size captured above. The chip is obviously highly optimized and we would not be surprised if these cards approached the $150 price range later this year, in certain configurations from the various AIBs.
The GeForce 7600 GT pictured here is a 256MB card, but NVIDIA informed us that 128MB models will likely be available as well. The card sports the same single-slot cooler found on the 7900 GT, however, the similarities basically stop there. The 7600 GT GPU, formerly codenamed G73, does share the same core architecture and overall feature set as its high-powered counterparts, but as we mentioned above the number of shader and vertex units, and ROPs have been cut down. The card also differs from the 7900 series in that it features only one dual-link DVI output in conjunction with one single-link DVI output. The 7600 GT though, doesn't require supplemental power. NVIDIA claims the card requires no more than 70w, which is in-line with the 75w a typical PCI Express x16 slot can supply. As is the case with the new 7900s, pricing on the 7600 GT will vary depending on the configuration, clock speeds, and bundle offered by NVIDIA's board partners.