If rumors are true, Nvidia won’t be releasing their newest desktop parts under the GTX 870 or GTX 880 label, instead the next additions in the GeForce range (using the much hyped Maxwell architecture) will instead be GTX 970 and GTX 980.
For those of you who’ve been following the GPU market for some time, you might recall back in the days of Fermi (think GTX 480) Nvidia did indeed skip GTX 300 from the GTX 200 series. Of course, this does look like a larger upgrade to users – say going from a GTX 770 to a GTX 970, but that’s not the sole reason Nvidia are doing this.
Nvidia skipping the GTX 800 part number for desktop have been in the headlines a few times in the past, but over the past week or two rumors have come thick and fast that Nvidia are intending to launch a mobile GM204 based parts under the 900M series. This would cause a little confusion in the naming hierarchy between desktop and mobile, which obviously isn’t ideal. Nvidia don’t want a situation where they have a top of the line desktop SKU – say the GTX 880 released, and consumers believe it’s inferior to say the mobile GTX 970.
It’s possible (whose to say) that we’ll see OEM’s have a release of the GTX 880 series. Often, OEM’s cause Nvidia to do odd things – including cutting the price of the hideously priced GeForce GTX Titan Z by 37 percent… but only for OEM’s, oddly enough.
You could be more than forgiven for confusion, since it wasn’t long ago (early August) we’d reported Nvidia were set to call their next GPU’s for desktop GTX 870 and GTX 880, but these latest reports contradict the earlier ones.
Nvidia’s GTX 900 Series for an early September launch – sort of
Nvidia are planning a press event in September, which reports indeed stating it will be taking place between the 9th and 10th. Unfortunately, this will be a paper launch, and NDA won’t be lifted until September 19th. So in short, while we’ll get the announcement in early September, reviews won’t start appearing until at least the 19th. Once again this all assumes that everything runs on schedule.
You might be scratching your head and be asking where the rumors are concerning the specs. We simply don’t know, in the link above (our previous article) we’d reported that the card will be using a 256 bit memory bus, and it will have 4GB of GDDR4 RAM. But the number of CUDA cores, ROPS, TMU’s and even the cards TDP are still a mystery.
If you’re once again scratching your head and wondering why Nvidia are selecting a 256 bit bus, you’re not the only one. Some reports have stated Nvidia will be using screamingly fast RAM to help make up for the narrower memory bus, while others point out the Maxwell architecture will be a much more efficient GPU than Keplar. There are others who believe that Nvidia will implement a wider bus on the GTX 880 Ti (for example), and help to add extra incentive to buy the Ti versions. Then again, these same rumors paint a picture of the GTX 880 Ti containing 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, so take their accuracy with a truck of salt.
Nvidia are said to be launching the 900M’s in October, which will likely be the same date as the desktop’s Geforce GTX 960.
AMD meanwhile are said to have two new cards in the works, the first being the Radeon R9 285 and the second being R9 285X, both of which are Tonga parts. The 285 is said to be released next week (assuming it doesn’t slip), but the release date of the R9 285X hasn’t been announced. AMD are said to be holding fire until the Maxwell’s appear – which makes sense, they’ll likely figure out what clock speeds they’ll need to aim their GPU’s for to be competitive.