There is no question that NVIDIA has been on the back foot for a long, long time. GF100 was an over-ambitious chip, and it was just too big and inefficient for the shaky 40nm process. It seems as though AMD hit a sweet-spot in efficiency with the Cypress. NVIDIA has realized the same, and what we are seeing today is GF104, which will closely seek to emulate Cypress. Perhaps, it is also the end of NVIDIA’s “big die, maximum performance” policy, as it has clearly failed two generations running, though none as much as GF100.

GF104 consists 1.95 billion transistors and is likely to be of a similar size to Cypress, around 350 mm2 (NVIDIA do not release exact die sizes officially). It is clear that the GF100 was gunning for the HD 5970 – having fallen miserably short. Now, we are back on similar strategies for both NVIDIA and AMD, with the “maximum efficiency” approach. Can the GF104 beat Cypress?

MOD 9300 GeForce GTX 460 3qtr NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Release Round up

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There is no question that Nvidia have been on the back foot for a long,
long time. GF100 was an over-ambitious chip, and it was just too big and
inefficient for the shaky 40nm process. It seems as if AMD hit a
sweet-spot in efficiency with the Cypress. Nvidia has realized the same,
and what we are seeing today is GF104, which will closely seek to
emulate Cypress. Perhaps, it is also the end of Nvidia’s “big die,
maximum performance” policy, as it has clearly failed two generations
running, though none as much as GF100. GF104 consists 1.95 billion
transistors and is likely to be of a similar size to Cypress, around 350
mm2 (Nvidia do not release exact die sizes officially). It
is clear that the GF100 was gunning for the HD 5970 – having fallen
miserably short. Now, we are back on similar strategies for both Nvidia
and AMD, with the “maximum efficiency” approach. Can the GF104 beat
Cypress?

The Geforce GTX 460 768 MB has turned out to be a great product, and perhaps Nvidia’s best since 2007’s 8800 GT. In terms of performance, the 460 768 MB trades blows with the HD 5830, often edging it. The difference is minimal, but the important thing is the GTX 460 768 MB is priced very aggressively at $199. AMD has been quick to retaliate, with many HD 5830s already available for $199. Gone are Nvidia’s GF100 woes of extreme heat and power consumption. The GTX 460 768 MB has similar power characteristics to the HD 5830, and thanks to the massive fan, runs cooler and quieter. It is a stellar overclocker as well. All in all, even with the HD 5830’s price cuts to $199, the GTX 460 768 MB is the clear winner.

However, it is the Geforce GTX 460 1GB that is the best value. Priced at just $30 over the 768 MB version, the additional memory bandwidth, combined with the extra frame buffer, make for at least a 10% performance increase across the board, which widens with higher IQ / resolutions. If you are in the $200-$250 market – the GTX 460 1GB remains the best graphics card out there.

Sadly, the Geforce GTX 465 is gobbled up by not only the 1GB version, but also the 768 MB variant at times! There is absolutely no reason to buy a GTX 465 – and with barely 45 days on the shelves – the GTX 465 seems destined to an untimely death.

Nvidia have fought back admirably, exceeding all expectations following the GF100 disaster not a long while ago. It is now time to turn to AMD. Surely, the HD 5850 finally has to fall in price. It was released at $259 in September/October 2009. A fantastic product with large demand, aided by a lack of competition, has meant the HD 5850 is STILL hovering around the $300 mark! With the GTX 460 1 GB getting close enough to the HD 5850 at $229, surely, AMD has to respond. We anticipate the HD 5850 will drop down to $250.

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