Rumour: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 to be 20% faster than GTX 480

According to Digitimes’ sources, Nvidia’s early 2011 refresh GF110 is expected to outperform the current flagship GeForce GTX 480 by about 20%. Rumoured to be branded the GeForce GTX 580, GF110 is not a next-gen product, but rather a tweak of the current GF100 chip. It is rumoured to be announced / previewed / paper-launched in November 2010 and released in Jan/Feb 2011.

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According to Digitimes’ sources, Nvidia’s early 2011 refresh GF110 is
expected to outperform the current flagship GeForce GTX 480 by about
20%. Rumoured to be branded the GeForce GTX 580, GF110 is not a next-gen
product, but rather a tweak of the current GF100 chip. It is rumoured
to be announced / previewed / paper-launched in November 2010 and released in Jan/Feb 2011.

20% is a realistic improvement. Indeed, if Nvidia meet the original target for GF100 – 512 SP @ 750 MHz, that is alone worth a 10%-12% increase. Combine this with an improved GDDR5 memory controller and faster speeds, some minor tweaks, perhaps an increased TMU count (following a similar ratio to GF104) and 20% improvement is achievable. The other possibility is an expansion of GF104 to 11 or 12 SM with a wider memory bus and ROPs – which gives 528 or 576 SP. (Though this would affect compute performance) Nvidia’s main challenge will be greatly improving power consumption – considering GTX 480 already uses upto 300W, which is the PCI-SIG limit. The GTX 460 is far superior than GTX 480 for gaming performance per watt, and perhaps GF110 will incorporate optimizations included in GF104.

While 20% is a decent increase, AMD is looking to offer larger improvements across the board with the HD 6000 series. Still, the GTX 580 has the potential to be a solid competitor for the HD 6900 series. Unfortunately, for a flagship GPU, it is likely to pale in comparison to Antilles / HD 6990 and AMD will retain the performance crown by a healthy margin.

In many ways, GF110 is shaping up to be “GF100 done right” rather than a next-gen part. AMD would have taken another step forward, however, come the GTX 580′s early Q1 2011 release. Nvidia will gradually release GF112, GF114 and GF119 which will succeed GF104, GF106 and GF108 in the same way GF110 succeeds GF100. We can expect similar improvements across the board. Nvidia’s true next-gen generation, Kepler, is expected in late-2011, around the same time as AMD’s Southern Islands, both at 28nm.

Reference: Digitimes

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