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ZOTAC Displays HDMI-Equipped GeForce 8-series

ZOTAC Technology, a new division of PC Partner Group, displayed a top to bottom lineup of GeForce 8-series products. All new ZOTAC mainstream GeForce 8-series products feature HDMI output and S/PDIF input. The ZOTAC mainstream GeForce 8-series lineup consists of GeForce 8600, 8500 and 8400-series based graphics cards.

ZOTAC provides HDMI output on mainstream GeForce 8-series graphics cards via DVI-to-HDMI dongle, similar to AMD fashion. As with the AMD ATI Radeon HD 2000-series, the ZOTAC models pipe audio and video through a single HDMI cable. The DVI-to-HDMI dongle is included on the upper-end GeForce 8600-series and sold as an optional accessory for the entry-level GeForce 8500 and 8400-series.

ZOTAC provides an internal S/PDIF input header since the mainstream GeForce 8-series lacks integrated audio processing capabilities. S/PDIF input is a new feature to mainstream GeForce 8-series based cards. Users can connect S/PDIF output from sound cards and integrated audio solutions for single-cable audio and video output via HDMI.  GeForce 8800-series products will not have S/PDIF input and the feature is limited to the GeForce 8600, 8500 and 8400-series.

All mainstream ZOTAC GeForce 8-series cards shipping in Europe and the U.S. will feature HDMI with HDCP compliance and S/PDIF input, ZOTAC Marketing Director Carsten Berger said. Some early models sold in Asia lack HDCP compliance and S/PDIF input, however, all cards manufactured in June and afterwards have the features, Berger said.

ZOTAC had the new mainstream GeForce 8-series Zone Editions on display at Computex 2007. The new Zone Editions feature passive-cooling in addition to HDMI output and S/PDIF input. ZOTAC Zone Edition models include the GeForce 8600GTS, 8600GT and 8500GT. Each ZOTAC Zone Edition model features a different passive-cooler.

At the top of the Zone Edition spectrum is the GeForce 8600GTS. This model features a single-slot passive cooler with heat-pipes. ZOTAC equips the GeForce 8600GTS with 256MB of 2.0 GHz video memory. The GeForce 8600GTS GPU features a 675 MHz clock speed.  

The middle GeForce 8600GT Zone Edition makes due with a double-slot passive-cooler. The GeForce 8600GT Zone Edition uses heat-pipes to transfer heat from the GPU to a radiator on the backside of the card. ZOTAC pairs the 540 MHz GeForce 8600GT with 256MB of 1.4 GHz video memory.

At the bottom of the Zone Edition lineup is the GeForce 8500GT. The GeForce 8500GT has a single-slot cooler and 256MB of video memory. The 450 MHz core clock is joined by 800 MHz memory.

The different passive coolers on the GeForce 8600GTS and 8600GT models are due to cost reasons and the single-slot cooler on the GeForce 8600GTS costs more, Berger said.

Expect a top to bottom ZOTAC product lineup to arrive in retail channels next month. Pricing on the Zone Editions aren’t set yet, however, expect around a $10 price difference compared to regular models.