What a Mess: Next-generation NVIDIA Codenames Revealed
November 8, 2007 2:18 PM
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Get ready for an avalanche of new NVIDIA products
NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 GT might be
one of the best performance-per-dollar cards since the Radeon 9800
, but things are moving fast at NVIDIA and there's a lot more on the way from the company between now and next Summer.
Over the last quarter, the company moved away from the old "Gx" designation for its core names, instead opting to switch to a more descriptive system. NVIDIA's new codenames follow:
D8M: Eighth generation mainstream, previously named G98
D8P: Eighth generation performance, previously named G92
D9M: Ninth generation mainstream
D9P: Ninth generation performance
D9E: Ninth generation enthusiast
GeForce 8800 GT, codenamed G92 and D8P, stole the majority of the headlines last week. GeForce 8800 GT, the
112 stream processor sub-titan
, became NVIDIA's first 65nm processor design. However, NVIDIA's dark horse was really the revision on GeForce 8800 GTS SSC.
GeForce 8800 GTS SSC, as it’s awkwardly called, is essentially identical to the GeForce 8800 GTS based on the 90nm G80 core. However, where typical 8800 GTS components only enables 96 of the 128 stream processors of the G80 core, the 8800 GTS SSC enables 112 stream processors -- the same number featured on the GeForce 8800 GT.
And yet in December,
GeForce 8800 GTS is expected to undergo another revision
as the company moves from the 90nm G80 core to the 65nm D8P. Vendors will introduce 112 stream processor and 128 stream processor revisions on D8P, which even further convolutes the corporate guidance put forth just a week ago.
NVIDIA will continue to cannibalize the GeForce 8000 series as it moves to 65nm silicon across the board. GeForce 8400 will likely be the first to go before the end of the year, as the G86 design is replaced by the 65nm D8M silicon, which was previously called G98.
As 2007 comes to a close, the company will ramp production on ninth-generation components to replace the eighth-generation 65nm parts, D8x. Sound familiar? It should, as NVIDIA is almost exactly replicating Intel's tick-tock strategy of alternate cycles of design and shrink.
Early NVIDIA roadmaps claim D9M, the first ninth-generation NVIDIA component, will replace the GeForce 8500-series lineup. There's no retail designation for these D9x parts, but it would be a safe bet to say these will be the GeForce 9xxx-series cards.
D9M will add PCIe 2.0 support, DirectX 10.1, wider memory controllers (up to 128-bits) and will be based on a 65nm silicon. D9P, the likely 8600-series replacement, adds the same features as D9M, but the memory controller width will top out at 256-bits.
D9E, the enthusiast component slated to replace the GeForce 8800-series, will incorporate all of the features of D9P and add a 512-bit memory bus. NVIDIA is holding its cards close on D9E, and has not provided any other guidance or release date.
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You can't scold your customers...
11/13/2007 4:44:41 AM
Part of the reason they can't blow themselves out of the water, is b/c customers get ticked off when they buy something pricey only to have it become eclipsed by a cheaper product.
The video card industry is huger than ever but as fragile as ever. Imagine if BMW sold you an M series vehicle today, on the premise that it was SO FAST. Then within a year they upgrade their base model to 500HP and with better fuel economy... yikes right? How many times can they do that and still sell M-series products ever?
This totally happened with the computer industry. They make an effort now so that a crappy computer is crappy right out of the gate, and a high end model stays mostly out of reach by the $500.00 computers for the next 2 or 3 years at least. You can't outdo a 1950XT with a 2400XT... wrong price brackets. It MUST be that way if we can hope to continue to see innovation for decades to come.
In terms of real "lead", they are investing correctly in terms of technology. Just like a Honda Accord isn't going to come out with 250HP engine with 12MPG... cause it just wouldn't sell, regardless of the price. Same goes for video cards, people want a slick package (at least I do) and lucky for us these slick packages are cheaper to produce (while being vastly more expensive to design). So they're investing in brain power, which in the long term is the only way to move forward. Remember, it's not like AMD/ATI isn't investing in research either. They're coming out with an even smaller process this week.
Could you squeeze another 25% out of this level of technology? Sure, but I think they're headed in the right direction... I want twice as fast as now and below $300.00 and I want it to be a single-slot solution that doesn't require an expensive powersupply and is relatively quiet. Think I'm alone? I boubt it, and it's the way moving forward.
If you were a diamond seller, and thought, why sell dimonds for $1000.00 and have competition when I could sell them for $500.00 and corner the market... well, the thing is, that may work fine this year, but next year... you're running the same business under one roof as there was last year, and with less than half the profit.
I'm glad NVIDIA and AMD are keeping each other at least a little bit honest. It's getting harder and harder to double performance... they have been out to lunch for a while now, $500-$800 "enthusiast" cards ... WAY out of line ($300- $500 TOPS for top level). They were asking us to have 600W power supplies and maybe special sloppy motherboards that could handle two double width cards... yikes. No no no. Single-slot $200.00... design design design. Don't spend a lot of $ making too many cards at this technology level, make enough of them to keep things viable and move on to the next technology level.
My heavy suspition is that there isn't high volume availability of the 8800GT b/c it's a transition product. Every card they sell right now is a card that ATI won't sell ... yes, but it's also a card they won't sell next year too.
$35k Lexus last year, if you sell too many $15K Lexus' this year... you won't sell hardly any $35k ones next year.
I will admit that I would just as soon spend $300.00 now and $300.00 in 6 months for a twice as good card but I don't think that's normal... and it's something that I might say and not actually do. It would be cool to see runaway innovation... but I think it would just cause a crash later on.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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