Fudzilla is now reporting that the rumoured dual-GF100 card isn’t coming before end Q2 2010, at the earliest, contrary to their earlier reports. This comes as absolutely no surprise. In fact, the surprise will be if they could even manufacture such a card by Q3 2010!

Given GF100’s thermal characteristics (Geforce GTX 480 is rumoured to have a TDP of between 275 and 295W), a dual-GF100 card is simply impossible as a reference design.

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Fudzilla is now reporting that the rumoured dual-GF100 card isn’t coming
before end Q2 2010, at the earliest, contrary to their earlier reports.
This comes as absolutely no surprise. In fact, the surprise will be if
they could even manufacture such a card by Q3 2010!

Given GF100’s thermal characteristics (Geforce GTX 480 is rumoured to
have a TDP of between 275 and 295W), a dual-GF100 card is simply
impossible as a reference design.

However, Nvidia’s AIB partners can choose to make non-reference dual-GF100, which exceed PCI-SIG’s maximum TDP limit, i.e. 300W. However, clearly, a dual GTX 480 will still be impossible (600W TDP!?!?). A downclocked version of the GTX 470 is a possibility, but it is unlikely to beat the HD 5970, whose TDP is 294W.

A few ATI AIB partners are indeed preparing extreme HD 5870s, with TDPs nearing 400W. Clearly, Nvidia will be unable to offer any competition to these products, without requiring extreme power.

With the GTX 480 mildly surpassing the HD 5870 in most games, Nvidia simply have no competition to the HD 5970, which is retailing for $700 these days in rather limited quantities. What Nvidia has to do to get a dual-GPU and seize the performance crown is a major re-spin, if not a die shrink. This is reminiscent of the GTX 200 series, where the GTX 280 was simply too hot for a dual-GPU variant. And that was “only” 236W! In addition, a new process (55nm) was ready for a die shrink. Today, the near 300W GTX 480 has to wait at least till Q4 2010 till TSMC moves to 32nm, if not later, to go the die shrink route. Rumours of a B1 stepping has been circulating for quite some time, which might make it in Q3 2010. If an official <300W dual-GF100 will be possible then remains to be seen.

Of course, these are assuming ATI does not refresh their line-up.

At this stage, what the consumers can hope for is that the GTX 470 and GTX 480 products retail for a reasonable price – under $500, at most, hopefully in the $350-450 range. Rumours suggest otherwise, but we will wait and see. The official “release” is a bit over two weeks away – though very limited quantities are expected any time around the March 26th release.

Refence: Fudzilla