Nvidia Corp. has released the first graphics processing unit (GPU) in its GeForce 9 Series that it claims makes the largest single-generation performance jump in the Company's history. The GeForce 9600 GT GPU delivers up to 116 percent more performance than its predecessor, Nvidia says. It's powered by 64 stream processors — each individually clocked at 1625 MHz — and a 256-bit memory interface running at 900 MHz. It also improves high-definition video playback on everyday PCs by leveraging Nvida PureVideo HD technology to deliver high-quality playback of HD DVD and Blu-ray movies. The programmable video-processing engine takes on all of the high-definition H.264 video decoding, freeing the CPU to perform other tasks. "After going to all the GeForce LANs and seeing the rigs that gamers play on, we wanted to kick off the GeForce 9 with the perfect GPU for gamers," Ujesh Desai, general manager of GeForce desktop GPUs at Nvidia, said in a statement. "The first product to be introduced in the GeForce 9 family gives gamers the horsepower to play cutting-edge DirectX 10 games at a price they can afford." Most GPUs capable of performing at today's standard levels of high-definition resolutions and high image-quality cost over $400, but the GeForce 9600 GT is priced at $199. GeForce 9600 GT-based graphics cards are available now.