The turtle race has begun with the HD 2400 and 8400GS soon becoming both available, in a store near you.
While the HD 2400 or 8400GS are neither the flashiest, or the fastest, of the recent new-generation video cards from ATI and NVIDIA, they are nonetheless very important offerings from both companies trying to bring consumers into the DirectX 10 fold. With Windows Vista, and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray technology slowly being embraced by the PC using masses, there will be no shortage of competition for the lower-end video card market.
Initial benchmarks have been reported, and it seems that the preliminary results favor the 8400GS over the HD 2400. Although the 8400GS is clocked higher, at 450/400, than the competiting HD 2400, which is clocked at 520/500, the 8400GS has a respectable lead in the synthetic benchmarking program 3DMark06. The HD 2400 is reported to reach a score of somewhere around the neighbourhood of 1250 3DMarks, whereas the 8400GS comes closer to 1600 3DMarks. A possible reason for the subpar performance of the HD 2400 could be that it has 4 texture mapping units, whereas the 8400GS has twice that many, with 8 texture mapping units on the 8400GS.
These figures are preleminary indicators only; but if they hold up, it seems that the NVIDIA might have an edge in this competition for the lower-end market. The 8600GS will retail for around $45 USD, and will hit stores on June 19th.