What we need to know to truly understand Nvidia price per wafer advantage is what the 570/580 Dia. (520mm˛) so this should mean Nvidia has 37% increase in chips. Although factor that 28Nm wafer is probably seeing a 20-25% in increase in cost to each chip, so they might cost less I would think like 15%. So if a GTX570 MSRP was $475 we should see a similar 28Nm for $400. I can’t see Nvidia selling better then GTX570 performance for 35% under the perf/$ and lose money per chip. I just don’t see the sweet spot of what a wafer providing going for $300. Sure cut-back/ geldings might be (GTX570) $300, the norm of binning is $350-380, while top shelf 7970 busters at $420. If Nvidia can deliver a bulk of chip that unseat a 7970 at that price it would will have a big impact. The average cost of card from GK104 silicon providing say a $330 average as a family when all it said and done.
Cayman had a 389mm˛ vs. Tahiti XT 378mm˛ that 1-2% improvement, so any 28Nm wafer price inflicted by TSMC was almost a fully impacted to the end user.
So yes Nvidia curtailing the dia for this go-around was a great move Now If Nvidia does pass that saving to those purchasing that would be another bold move, and very uncharacteristic of what they’ve done in the past.
Though be careful what you wish for what if AMD has Global Foundries doing their production next round and TMSC has less 28Nm production so they’re compelled to raise Nvidia’s next re-spin price to keep their shareholders happy. Did TSMC tell Nvidia even earlier that price would increase giving Nvidia an unfair advantage to start shrink the Fermi 2 years ago?