NVIDIA GTX 980 and 970 Rumored for September Launch
A lot of news has been revolving around AMD and INTEL releasing new products while NVIDIA has been sitting silently in the background. Thankfully, rumors are starting to come out that should be pulling them out of their shell. While the details are still pretty sketchy, it’s beginning to look like NVIDIA is skipping the 800 series desktop nomenclature entirely and introducing the GTX 980 with the GTX 970 in September.
The most interesting thing about this is the decision to skip the 800 series name scheme. I get particularly intrigued by the marketing techniques because it shows how intense the GPU war is. The most common sense reason for this is to avoid confusion with consumers in that NVIDIA is also releasing their 900 series mobile GPUs and both chips are using the same underlying architecture. On the other hand, it also sounds like NVIDIA was able to jump ahead making these offerings seem that much more advanced to what AMD is releasing right now and what NVIDIA currently has on the market. Of course without specifications or performance, this could be nothing more than keen marketing. Either way consumers could subconsciously think that the architecture has taken a dramatic leap when, in reality, the GPU should be based around the same designs that brought us the GTX 750 Ti not that long ago.
Whether or not these GPUs merit the 900 series badge or not, the exciting news is we’re finally going to see what high end Maxwell is all about. The notorious problem with power efficiency is scaling. At the low end of the spectrum, it’s much easier to get a higher performance per watt even though the actually card itself may only be a low to mid range offering. As the GPU becomes more powerful, so that it can keep up with high end processes like modern games, the power efficiency actually becomes less impressive than what it was for the lower end cards. Enthusiasts don’t mind because gaming is best done on the highest settings but either way, it will be interesting to see just how power efficient these cards will be for two reasons. The expectation is that there will be a significant performance improvement over the previous GTX 780 and GTX 770, but the other speculation being thrown around is that of NVIDIA having moved to the 20nm manufacturing process with this new release. The latter seems unlikely since the TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) doesn’t sound like they will go into full production with that process until next year, but if rumors wind up being true, the GTX 980/970 will be that much more exciting. Just remember to keep the salt handy.
If you’re like me, you’re probably trying not to spend money on new hardware because the wife disapproves. On the other hand, these new releases seem to make their way onto the Christmas wish list without any help. From the looks of things, the GTX 980 and GTX 970 look to be some solid releases from NVIDIA and I’m excited to see how the performance looks once the reviewers get a hold of them. The official announcement should come on September 9th or 10th with the NDA being lifted on the 19th. Hopefully that will be close to when the release date is, but until then, here’s hoping September goes by quickly so we can quit guessing at everything coming out!