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Next generation GeForce 8000-series mid-range details emerge

The GeForce 7600 and 7300 became readily-available, affordable video cards almost overnight.  A major secret to the success of these cards was due to the fact that the GPUs were designed to use the old PCB designs from GeForce 6200 and 6600.  Once again, NVIDIA will take advantage of this mentality again with the next generation G86 and G84 video cards scheduled for release this quarter.

Was it surprising that images of the GeForce 8600 that have been "leaked" out to the internet look identical to GeForce 7600s, or for that matter GeForce 6600s?  It shouldn't be, as that was sort of the whole point in making G84 and G86 pin compatible with G73, which was already pin compatible with NV40

G86 and G84 (G8x family) GPUs do have some major differences between G73 however.  For starters, the main G73 power rails run at 2.5V -- on the G84/G86 these rails run at 1.2V and 1.8V.  The G73 clock generator runs at 1.3V while the G8x family clock generator runs at 3.3V.  Additional dead pins have also been allocated on the G8x family for higher density memory.

One of the bigger surprises of the G8x family is the support for more than 4 GPUs, at least in the design.  It seems pointless to put a low or mid range GPU into SLI mode when a high-end card can usually produce better performance at lower cost.  However, the G8x family design kit touts an interface for "more than 4 GPUs."  Given the unified shader architecture of the GeForce 8000 family, it would be pretty safe to say this additional functionality is probably reserved for some sort of physics project.

The G86 and G84 GPUs are expected to launch before Cebit 2007 this March.


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RE: benchmarks
By Araemo on 1/25/2007 9:39:08 AM , Rating: 3
"If the G86 and G84 are pin compatible with the 7600 then the G84 and G86 would likely have a 128-bit memory interface despite the rumors of moving to 256-bit."
From dailytech above:
"Additional dead pins have also been allocated on the G8x family for higher density memory."

If there were 'dead pins' in the G73, those could be allocated to widen the memory bus. I slightly doubt we'll see 256-bit, 192-bit would make more sense since it's half of the 384-bit the 8800GTS uses, it allows a more linear scaling in components. Yes the card designs would need more traces, but adding a few memory bus traces is probably a lot easier than redesigning the entire card, as long as the # of traces is relatively low. (Is 64-ish (Probably closer to 75 with power and etc) traces per memory chip relatively low? I don't know, but the possibility is definitely there without ruining the entire cost-savings design (Though the Ultra part does seem to me like it's going to be more expensive than people are claiming, or lower specs at that price point)


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