Intel, NVIDIA and AMD; all are having new GPU spring fling
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2012 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, NVIDA, HD7950, kepler, Ivy Bridge, Intel
The arrival of the HD 7970 caused a bit of disappointment to some, not because of the performance of the card, instead it was the price that depressed many would be owners of the fastest GPU on the planet. That price is fair, currently the competition sells their top card, the GTX 580 for about $500 and as the HD7970 is faster charging a ~10% premium makes perfect sense ... now if only they could do something about the stock problems.
All is not lost GPU fans, DigiTimes has confirmed AMD's HD7950 should be here by the end of the month and will offer the same next generation architecture at a lower price. If it emulates the style of the HD6950 it will be a very popular card and will mean AMD beat NVIDIA to market with both enthusiast level cards. It will likely be sometime in April before we start to see Kepler based cards from NVIDIA, of which they are being fairly closed mouth about. We do know that they will be leading with mobile and mid-range chips, not the enthusiast level cards as AMD did, the reasons for that are widely debated.
Intel is also going to offer competition in the spring as they release Ivy Bridge with its integrated graphics. That may take a chunk of AMD's Llano market share but their high end discrete GPUs should be safe. NVIDIA on the other hand is vulnerable, if their mobile chips do not offer a significant advantage over Ivy Bridge's capabilities or cannot work in tandem with the chip then NVIDA's products will not be that attractive. Even worse, if their mid-range cards do not live up to expectations, they may find AMD's previous generation of cards and Intel's iGPU dominating the market segment NVIDIA hoped to keep share in.
2011 market shares from Jon Peddie Research
"AMD, after announcing 28nm high-end Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, is set to add a new 28nm member Radeon HD 7950 by the end of January, while Nvidia, considering the yield rates of the 28nm process and its inventory levels, plans to officially release its 28nm Kepler in April, at the latest, according to sources from graphics card makers.
The sources noted that Nvidia wishes to make sure that the power consumption and the manufacturing process of the graphics chip all reach perfection before entering the 28nm generation. Since Nvidia is set to release its 28nm graphics card around the same time as Intel's upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, the sources believe Kepler series GPUs may have a chance to catch up with the demand for Intel's new CPUs."
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