KitGuru has spoken with 3 different graphic card companies and none of them has any visibility on the new GF106 core parts that nVidia will market under the GT440 to GTX450 brands. Interesting, but what does it mean for technology buyers?
Back at the start of May, KitGuru put its flag in the ground and said that mainstream nVidia parts would begin to hit the market in July. Guess what? Our flag was well placed. KitGuru lovers can break out the knowing smile right about now. But what of the rest of the range ? The truly accessible products at truly accessible price points. We're ready to plant more flags.
While it is possible to create an entire range of cards from a single chip, it's an expensive approach. The more intelligent thing is to create a part (like the GTX480 based on the GF102 design), and then use the fall-out parts (weaker in some way – whether by accident or design) to create yourself a range. With GF102, let's call those the GTX465 and GTX470.
The far more attractive (albeit slow-selling) GTX460 comes from a more refined GF104 design. As will the GTS455, although with a weaker/cheaper memory system.
These various designs have managed to create a set of DX11 cards that have not managed to limbo much under £150.
The GF106 design promises a proper, toe-to-toe war with AMD's mass market Radeons. Logically, the price points for these cards will be in the £75 to £150 range, probably with a strong focus on getting a killer part to market around £99.
The question is, when?
Product can take a week to get to shop shelves from the time it arrives with distributors like Jon Atherton and the chaps at Enta. Bulk shipments into those distributors come, literally, on a slow boat from China. To get to that boat, properly packaged, branded, built and tested also takes time from the AIB (Add In Board) partner's production facilities.
If nVidia delivered chips tomorrow and everything went super-smooth, then you'd still be unlikely to see the GT440/GTS450 in the shops before Friday 3rd September.
Allow for a few delays and you are more likely to see volume on UK shelves around Tuesday 14th September. There might be a smattering before that date and the launch itself will of course be earlier, but sensible volume is expected (by us) at the start of the 2nd week in September.
If this timeline is correct, then the final push through to the 420 products (including the 50w Fermi – GT420) won't happen until AMD is ready to deploy its full refresh.
KitGuru says: If you've saved up £99 ($150) for an nVidia DX11 card, then you will need to wait a little longer before you can spend it. Enjoy your summer holidays and expect to see GT440/GTS450 in shops a while after everyone is back to school/work/play.
Care to share? Let us know in the KitGuru forums.