Print 21 comment(s) - last by Domicinator.. on Mar 27 at 5:21 PM

With no immediate pressure from the competition and a healthy mainstream product lineup, there is no reason for NVIDIA to rush new cards out to the market

This article was first published in German on

In talks with industry insiders at CeBIT I was able to confirm that NVIDIA's upcoming mainstream DX10 G84 and G86 cards would have been ready in time for a CeBIT launch. NVIDIA, however, decided to postpone the launch to April 17th for various reasons.

I wouldn't put much doubt in the quality of the chips of the cards at this point, since reputated video card manufacturers confirmed to me that these are up and running. MSI was already able to show custom designs of G84 and G86 based retail cards, not reference cards. On top of that, various companies exhibited notebooks equipped with the mobile variants dubbed G84M and G86M, running all day long under Windows Vista without a crash.

After all, the PCB for GeForce 8600 on down is based on the stable GeForce 7600-series line, which was already a derivative of the GeForce 6600-series layout. The only component that would need any fine tuning at this point is the GPU -- and that's been stable for months.

One possible reason is the recent delay of AMDs R600 generation to the second quarter of the year. There is no pressure from the competition to rush out the cards to the market. Instead NVIDIA can lean back and happily sell current GeForce 7 mainstream cards. Meanwhile their GeForce 8 mainstream cards based on G84 and G86 are in production. Basically NVIDIA is preparing for another hard launch.

According to industry sources I've talked to, NVIDIA will be able to deliver enourmous amounts of those cards when they launch - they will basically flood the whole market.

If you talk to the AMD crowd, however, you get other reasons, which are also somewhat realistic. Apart from various problems with the hardware, NVIDIA would delay the launch as long as possible to have a working driver ready. The current state of G80 drivers is not at the level of quality one would expect.

Though AMD may be suffering from rather low yields on TSMCs 65nm process, it decided to employ the new process on the upcoming R600 chip family, even on the largest high-end chips.  This approach may put ATI ahead technically, but it's risky with regard to the fact that NVIDIA can put massive quantities of older components at lower prices on the market very quickly.

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Hmmm... if I were a betting man
By Pdubya on 3/26/2007 4:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm completely off-base, but I think one of the biggest reasons NVidia is holding off here is that very few people are buying Vista and thus very few people other than early adopters (gamers and fatcats) and new computer buyers are purchasing DirectX10 videocards.
From NVidia's point-of-view they would likely have a lot of unsold cards sitting on store shelves (particularly with a hard launch).

Until Vista gets a Service Pack with better driver support, etc. people will continue to stay away in droves. By the way, anyone seen any unofficial statistics on Vista sales at all? No? No grand parties with all that non-existant money that isn't pouring into Microsoft HQ- no siree!
Call me flippant, but it shouldn't have taken a crystal ball for MS to figure out that consumer willingness to fork out big bucks for a not quite ready OS would be lukewarm at best given that XP is mature, stable and (most importantly) already paid for! ;P

Oh, I fully intend on upgrading my XP pro rig at some point in the next year or two. Definitely no rush though.

By plonk420 on 3/26/2007 7:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
it's not like you can't use them with XP. the benchmark results with XP are quite spectacular, too, IIRC, which is why i'm eagerly awaiting them (with growing frustration, no less)

By Domicinator on 3/27/2007 5:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Vista sales are much higher than XP sales were when it launched. People are not "staying away in droves". I think it's more likely that people are staying away from DirectX 10 cards because there's no DirectX 10 yet.

I'm an early adopter. I have an 8800GTS that I got on launch day, and I have been running Vista since a couple of weeks after it launched. The Nvidia 101.41 beta drivers are performing WORLDS better on Vista than the current official drivers, especially for games like Oblivion. That's where I noticed the biggest performance hike.

Don't forget, at every OS launch people complain and rightly so. There are always bugs and hardware/software issues. The Vista launch is no different from any other Windows launch. People seem to forget that in between releases. My experience with Vista so far has been terrific. It's an incredibly stable OS and has been getting along well with all my hardware so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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