Coming back to the original question, does the GF104 beat Cypress? The answer is “No”. Apart from being nearly a year late, GF104 still cannot attain the level of performance/watt/die size efficiency of Cypress. The GTX 460 1 GB, though a monumental improvement over the GTX 465, still consumes more power than the HD 5850, despite lower performance, and possibly a slightly smaller die. AMD can afford afford aggressive price cuts at this stage, which could steal the GTX 460′s glory.

Thanks to far superior peformance/watt efficiency over the GF100, GF104 also makes a dual-GPU a real possibility, and Nvidia will surely release a dual-GF104 at some stage. Whether it can beat the HD 5970, remains to be seen.

It seems like the victory is in AMD’s strategy. We also have to commend Nvidia for giving up their flawed “big die” strategy and adapt to the competitor’s more effective one. Clearly, the trend has been set. AMD put their faith in the strategy starting with the HD 3870 back in 2007, and now, even Nvidia, who firmly supported the big die policy at the time, are following in their footsteps.

While Nvidia have released a stellar product today, let’s not forget that it is competing with an AMD graphics card that has been around for nearly a generation. While Nvidia has been playing catch up, AMD haven’t stood still, with next-generation Southern Islands around the corner. GF104 is a big, big step in the right direction, but Nvidia have a long way to go.

Today is Geforce GTX 460 day, however. In the $200 market, you can simply not go wrong with the GTX 460 cards. If you have the extra $30, the 1 GB version is well worth it. If not, the 768 MB at $199 is a great product too. However, it is perhaps wise to wait a few days to see AMD’s immediate retaliation. The HD 5830 is already down to $199 – but it needs to go down a further $10. The HD 5850′s fate remains to be seen. Till then, GTX 460 remain the winners.

As a consumer, we are finally glad to see some real competition in the mainstream GPU market, after a long, long time!

Once again, our forum member adrianlee has compiled a comprehensive list of reviews for your perusal.

Update – It is worth noting that for some reason, AMD cards tend to be cheaper than Nvidia in some regions, like the UK or EU. The HD 5830 still makes for a good card if it can be had for cheaper than the GTX 460 768 MB.