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GeForce GTX 970/980 8GB graphics cards are still in plans

The first rumours about 8GB versions of GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 graphics cards emerged sometime in October, 2014. However, none of such graphics adapters showed up last year. Apparently, add-in-boards with 8GB of GDDR5 memory are still in plans, however, their availability will depend on supply of high-performance 8Gb GDDR5 chips.

While the partners of Advanced Micro Devices initiated shipments of 8GB versions of AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics cards last year, they all used 16 4Gb GDDR5 memory chips to build them. For some reason, Nvidia and its allies chose not to follow their competitors and use 4Gb GDDR5 devices to build 8GB graphics cards, but decided to wait till Samsung releases its new 8Gb memory ICs [integrated circuits].

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According to Chinese VR-Zone web-site, who managed to obtain an excerpt from a Samsung’s document, the world’s largest maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) will start to sample 8Gb GDDR5 memory devices in the first quarter of 2015. The new 8Gb memory ICs will operate at various data-rates up to 8MT/s, therefore, will be able to address all possible graphics solutions.

Once Samsung begins mass production of 8Gb GDDR5 memory chips, Nvidia’s partners will be able to introduce GeForce GTX 970/980 graphics cards with 8GB of onboard memory.

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While 8GB of GDDR5 DRAM is excessive for the vast majority of applications today, some games actually take advantage of such massive amount of memory. Moreover, 8GB of memory will be usable if you plan to play new titles in ultra-high-definition resolutions.

Based on unofficial information, Nvidia is on-track to introduce new premium graphics cards based on the code-named GM200 graphics processing unit this quarter. Many of the new GM200-based graphics cards will feature 6GB of memory (since the GM200 has 384-bit memory bus), whereas others could, at least theoretically, sport whopping 12GB of memory onboard thanks to 8Gb memory devices.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: Keeping in mind that AMD is expected to roll-out its next-generation high-end Radeon graphics products with only 4GB of memory, it will be interesting to see how such cards will compete against Nvidia’s top-of-the-range solutions with 6GB or 12GB on-board. On the one hand, AMD’s new-generation graphics board will feature HBM memory with up to 640GB/s bandwidth (Nvidia’s GM200-powered AIBs will feature 336GB/s – 384GB/s of bandwidth). On the other hand, it will feature only up to 4GB of DRAM on-board…

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