Thursday, February 25th 2010

GeForce GTX 400 Series Performance Expectations Hit the Web

A little earlier this month, NVIDIA tweeted that it would formally unveil the GeForce GTX 400 series graphics cards, NVIDIA's DirectX 11 generation GPUs, at the PAX East gaming event in Boston (MA), United States, on the 26th of March. That's a little under a month's time from now. In its run up, sources that have access to samples of the graphics cards seem to be drawing their "performance expectations" among other details tricking in.

Both the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 graphics cards are based on NVIDIA's GF100 silicon, which physically packs 512 CUDA cores, 16 geometry units, 64 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 384-bit GDDR5 memory interface. While the GTX 480 is a full-featured part, the GTX 470 is slightly watered-down, with probably 448 or 480 CUDA cores enabled, and a slightly narrower memory interface, probably 320-bit GDDR5. Sources tell DonanimHaber that the GeForce GTX 470 performs somewhere between the ATI Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870. This part is said to have a power draw of 300W. The GeForce GTX 480, on the other hand, is expected to perform on-par with the GeForce GTX 295 - at least in existing (present-generation) applications. A recent listing by an online store for a pre-order, put the GTX 480 at US $699.Source: DonanimHaber
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114 Comments on GeForce GTX 400 Series Performance Expectations Hit the Web

Guess the enthusiasts will be waiting for the GTX495 then.
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470 drawing 300 watts :eek:
The 5970 draws 304 watts using furmark. What is the power draw for the 480??
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So this confirms that the Fermi cards will just be a hot, expensive, power hungry piece of junk. The 470 was listed for 499$ and let's say that it soon drops to 400. The problem is, it's slower, more expensive AND more power hungry than the 5870, which is 399$ now, but will probably drop in price a little, as ATI toughens competition. And the 480. More expensive and power hungry than the 5970, but loses in performance by about 15% (GTX295 vs. 5970). So what's the conclusion? Nvidia is taking it in the butt, atleast in this generation of GPUs. And I'm not a fanboy of either.
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in original article, is NO WORD about GTX 295, there is GTX 480 has performance as a HD5970!
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HEY good deal you can get yourself a 295 for 700 bux lolerskates
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I find it rather odd that they've not allowed for any leaked benchmark results as of yet. This is the first time I've seen them only reference benchmark results as being close to another product. We've at least seen leaked company slides but in this case we've go nothing as of yet.
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EastCoasthandle said:
I find it rather odd that they've not allowed for any leaked benchmark results as of yet. This is the first time I've seen them only reference benchmark results as being close to another product. We've at least seen leaked company slides but in this case we've go nothing as of yet.
maybe they dont wanna cause if they release benchmarks and if they completly blow like 70% of us think there gonna, thats gonna hurt there sales. and make them look like complete idiots
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Boljack said:

GTX 400 expectations have been floating around for months, but if true, this is just painful...
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Very Very disappointing TBH, but I dont believe this source anyways, I will beleive it untill I see it!
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This is proberly the result of designing and making a huge ass chip.

Future revisions, as they did from the 9800GTX and so on, will have tiny improvements, a lower power usage and some better performance. By the time this is done, AMD will already have its second line-up ready to be launched.

They missed the boat with such a chip.
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i expect it to come out too late lol
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~Technological Technocrat~
EastCoasthandle said:
What is the power draw for the 480??
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I only believe the power draw... Nvidia might be stupid, but they can't be that stupid...
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If this is true ... ATi will definitely beat NV in -price/performance- and -performance/watt-

and moreover I've read that the chips will have a higher rate of failure because of the die size ...
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It'll be a shame if It only performs that well, the power draw bit doesn't bother me. Hopefully it will overclock really well (when cooled down).
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Well, that's the way it goes. Nvidia enjoyed their time on the top, and now the crown's passed to ATI/AMD.

3-4 years from now, the GTX 600 series will come out, and will take it back.

Now do you see why a lack of competition is bad? :p Nvidia's cards were the fastest for so long, that they apparently skimped on R&D and got left behind.
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Really disappointing if this is true with the new GPU. Well at least my 295GTX is not obsolete.
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~Technological Technocrat~
afw said:
and moreover I've read that the chips will have a higher rate of failure because of the die size ...
below is an article written by the head honcho of Guru3d. its upto you how you wish to take it.
NVIDIA and its troubled GeForce 400 series ImageToday I wanted to write a little 'opinionated' editorial. Typically we do not address rumors and gossip. But an accumulation of things that have been going on over at camp NVIDIA and the Internet leading us to believe things are not as they should be. The rumors are creating a rather negative stigma for NVIDIA.

Last week most of NVIDIA's partner got sampled with the first GeForce 400 series graphics cards, and of course somebody somewhere leaked information towards a person which we'll just call 'Mr C', this friendly little fellah has an unnatural and seriously unhealthy attitude towards NVIDIA, I'm seriously afraid he's gonna stroke out some day. Take a chill pill man, it's just hardware.

With his most recent plot and post however a lot of chatter started on the web with ATI fans attacked NVIDIA fans, the guy is really good stirring up things, yet his claims are often well .. very semi-accurate for sure. What I wanted to do is talk you through what has been happening at NVIDIA (from what we know), where we are and what's going to happen.

So it was what .. roughly summer 2009 when NVIDIA taped out a new product series under family name Fermi. Initially Fermi was supposed to launch alongside Windows 7 back in October 2009, mind you that it was taped out -- add to that 6-8 eight weeks for the first products to get into real production. That makes total sense.

Due to 40nm yield issues (broken chips on a wafer) the initial launch got delayed, with a silent hope of a Christmas release. That didn't happen.

NVIDIA had time though, DX11 is not yet taking off massively, but for DX11 to take and create incentive to developers and end-users one must invest in it, you'll actually have to release DX11 class products sooner than later. It's all about adoption rate.

At CES Fermi very likely was supposed to launch, NVIDIA invited selected press to attend a briefing, that briefing in the end became an GPU architecture deep dive briefing. It was weird to the extent that the press wasn't even allowed to even see the product physically, neither where any details on clocks, TDP, temps shared whatsoever. At that very briefing Guru3D was promised boards in February for review with a launch during CeBIT. Well is the 22nd of February, there are no boards seeded to press.

Last week I had a brief call with our primary NVIDIA contact regarding CeBIT and he didn't even mention Fermi once, when I asked when we could expect samples the word got out, likely during or after CeBIT. So while you'll see GeForce 400 boards shown at CeBIT, we do not expect it to launch next week.

Perhaps there might be a launch in March but we feel (yet do not hope) its going to be a paper launch with a small selection of press seed samples and limited available stock. Last week NVIDIA's CEO made a rather remarkable comment indicating they still need more time, Fermi based products will be available in good volume starting Q2, a financial quarter.

“Q2 [of FY 2011] is going to be the quarter when Fermi is hitting the full stride. It will not just be one Fermi product, there will be a couple of Fermi products to span many different price ranges, but also the Fermi products will span GeForce Quadro and Tesla. So, we are going to be ramping now on Fermi architecture products through Q2 and we are building a lot of it. I am really excited about the upcoming launch of Fermi and I think it will more than offset the seasonality that we usually see in Q2,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

Financial Quarters in the industry however end one month later than you and I assume, Q2 for NVIDIA means the start of May 2010.

Here's what we think is going to happen, during March we'll definitely see the launch of GeForce 470 and 480, though with low allocation and volume available until Q2. Once we hit Q2 expect a lot, seriously a lot of derivative DX11 class products for the midrange, entry-level and low-end spectrum as well. Why ? Well NVIDIA is late to the market, real late .. roughly six months ago GeForce 480 and 470 should have been released and the other planned products overlap that timeframe. The summer is going to be busy for NVIDIA, either that or they will be re-scheduling their product releases.

So that's my vision of what is going to happen in the next three months.

Now let's go a little deeper into the issues causing the delays. Initially NVIDIA ran into a can of worms with the A1 revision of GF100 (Fermi), yields have had to be incredible horrible as they very quickly shifted to revision (build) A2 of the ASIC. After revision A2 was out some time passed and TSMC reported that the majority of their 40nm issues had been solved. Good proof of that is that ATI is pushing out many DX11 class product in much diversity and reasonable volume. That means the wafer yields, though likely not very good, where okay enough. So there's something else going on as well next to yield issues. Either a bug slipped in or the thermal package is causing issues resulting in lower than anticipated clock frequencies and perhaps heat related issues.

Last week NVIDIA's board partners finally got samples of Fermi based products. This means a finalized package - with perhaps some clock changes at best. Most of the partners received a GeForce GTX 470. Now here's the difference with the aforementioned website, we know the majority specs and some performance results, however I'm not about to share them, I mean come on ... give NVIDIA some credit here.

What I will tell you is that the clock frequencies on these boards surprised me, the GeForce 470 seems to be clocked at roughly 650 MHz, that's lower than I expected. And that indeed will have an effect on performance. I think it's safe to that the GeForce 470 and 480 will be worthy competitors towards the Radeon HD 5850 and 5870. Will it be a knock-out ? I doubt it very much. But is it important for NVIDIA to deliver a knockout to the competition ? Well they would hope so, but no .. not really, as the current performance levels that ATI for example offers simply are superb already. Being six months late to the market does pose an issue, ATI will already be respinning and binning their upcoming products, clocked higher and they could match NVIDIA in either price or performance.

Whether or not how much faster or slower Fermi / GT100 will be will remain trivial, but it will al depend on pricing. If Fermi is slightly slower, then the prices will be adjusted accordingly. So in the end it will everything will make sense again.

Back to reality. We found out (and verified), surprisingly enough, that the GPU is already at revision A3, that's the third revision of the GPU, the GF100 already has had three builds. So yes, something was wrong, very wrong alongside the initial yield issues. But we know that the products right now are in volume production, will it be many weeks before we see good availability ? Sure it will. Maybe April, or indeed May is where things will start to make a difference. Performance will be very good, however with the clocks I have seen (and only if they are final) I do believe they will not be brilliant though. NVIDIA has many trump cards though, they have an outstanding driver team which will drive performance upwards fast and soon.

And that's where I like to end this little opinionated article. NVIDIA's Fermi is not a what I read somewhere "a sinking ship" or to quote "Hot, buggy and far too slow". I have no doubt it will be a good product series, but I'll agree on this, NVIDIA likely would have wanted to squeeze some more performance out of it as it was likely the most difficult product they have ever gotten to market, it has been fighting them all the way.

In the end as stated we are not sharing juicy details or the performance numbers we have seen. As always, in order to remain objective you judge a product once you actually have had it in your hands to test it. Which is what we intend to do.

In the end I'm not concerned about NVIDIA, but the AIB and AIC partners heavily rely on these new products in already harsh times. And for them this all is and was worrisome. So with that I'd like to close, patience, my friend, is a virtue ... we should all have a little more and base our real opinions on the final product, and not blindly absorb rumors on the web. We do expect a final release late March. But that as well remains a rumor, of course.
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lol if this is true nvidia is screwed, if a a 470 sits between a 5850 and 5870 theres nvidia will keep that performance crown for long especially with AMD sitting in the shadows and if the specs for the HD5890 that are currently rumored are true, 48rop, 2400sp, then . . . . . . disaster

and if the 480 uses more power than HD5970 and it took nvidia this long to come up with that that would be a complete fail on their behalf and means that fermi is doomed.

I don't think this news can be true, it can't be.
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Although I don't believe a word of it I want to translate some parts of it...

GeForce GTX 470 will be about %20-%25 faster than GeForce GTX 285. The new flagship GeForce GTX 480 will have a performance near ATi Radeon HD 5970.

A possible Fermi X2 will have two GeForce GTX 470 GPUs. More concrete information will be provided at CeBIT 2010. GTX 480's Power consumption will be near HD 5970.

There will be factory overclocked cards...
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300W power draw??? Holly crap o.O
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Will all of you just BE QUIET!!

Semiaccurate, Bright Side of News, Guru 3D, yadda yadda yadda.

What's the common link? NO CONCRETE INFO.

The pricing will not be high. Sabre PC website price was a hoax - go check it out. Another techy website with 'sources' revealed it will be very competitive and sold at a huge loss, just to hit ATI's current dominance. The cards wont be appearing in big numbers so hypothetically, a 10000 card run sold at a £200 loss each is only £2 million. Nvidia can easily soak that up. Think about it people - NV have been hit hard - all they have to do is release a good card (which Fermi will be, power draw aside) and sell it competitively. They just need to be seen to be 'in the race'.

All the subterfuge over benchmarks is suspect but be realistic, GF100 will perform well. Remember how good the 4870 was and then NV went 'BAM!!' GTX 280. All they do is punch with a bigger glove. I'm a fanATIc now (after converting to two 5850's from a GTX295) but i seriously believe people should stop waving the victory flags.

First and foremost, I'm a sad git and i trawl at least 5 or 6 of the major techy sites to garner info. It's not all Black and White dudes. Charlie's still ranting (and he has a 50/50 record so could go either way), BSN* kiss NV's ass a bit too much these days and the other sites play with rumours.
TPU is quite neutral and i like this site for that but the forums have too much gossip - like a day out at a nail salon.

Wait for the release and the reviews (Personally I'll happily wait for the TPU review). But remember - this is the company that is the power in GFX still. NV might just take a small financial hit just to make a point.
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