Today, the market for independent graphics cards on PCIexpress is split between two product lines only:
- nVidia has setup a long list of boards around the 8×00 moniker (the 8 series). The high-end, 8800 GTS and 8800 GTX, are providing a lot of gaming power. The lower end, 8600 GTS and 8400 are much more reasonable.
- AMD (previously ATI) has just recently joined the game where nVidia was alone and happy for several months with the Radeon HD 2900 XT. It is covering most of the gaming market and will soon be joined by 1MB and Pro versions to provide competition for nVidia high-end. The lower end is HD 2600 and HD 2400.
Some people argue that, if the high-end part of the families are very powerful gaming rigs (the price is sky-rocketing too), the lower end products are not even really low-cost versions of the best products. Tom’s Hardware is part of these and tells us that the mid-range has disappeared for graphics cards and that these entry-level cards are more for HD video than for gaming despite the DirectX 10 branding. The arguments are quite interesting and it is not a surprise that I recently went to an nVidia 8800 GTS in order to prepare a gaming machine (a smaller 8600 GTS would have been significantly less attractive).
Additional information: You can check the whole nVidia line with the help of a post from OverClex.net.