Nvidia today launched its GeForce 9 series of graphics cards with the new GeForce 9600 GT, giving the current higher-end GeForce 8-series cards and AMD's HD3800-series a run for their money. Although usually a new series is kicked off by the fastest card in the bunch, this time around Nvidia has launched the series at the heart of the discrete graphics market: the $170 - $190 price range.

In light of increased pressure in the sub-$200 range, AMD seems to have quietly trimmed the prices of its Radeon HD 3800 graphics cards. According to DailyTech, AMD will reduce the suggested retail price of the Radeon HD 3870 from $249 to $189, while the Radeon HD 3850 suggested retail price will move from $199 to $169. This is definitely good news for gamers and stays in line with an ongoing trend towards higher level of gaming performance for the mainstream market.

Check out some GeForce 9600 GT reviews (HotHardware, Ars Technica, HardOCP) so you can better decide whether you should spend your hard earned cash on a GeForce 9600 GT, Radeon HD 3850, Radeon HD 3870, or GeForce 8800 GT.