Just because you gave your GPU new clothes doesn't mean we won't notice it is the same inside

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 20, 2011 - 03:38 PM |
Tagged: gpu, amd, nvidia, turks, Caicos, graphics core next, GCN, cape verde, HD7770, kepler

Rebranding and rebadging is becoming a very bad habit for both major GPU manufacturers. It is fair to imply that NVIDIA was the first to start doing so on a regular basis but AMD has noticed that they have successfully managed it on several different chip families and has since joined in on crushing enthusiasts hopes in the holy name of the profit margin. On the other hand, with the financial difficulties that both companies are experiencing it is a viable strategy no matter how much enthusiasts dislike the practice.

Just two weeks ago we received information about the mobile chips from NVIDIA and AMD and the news was not good. From AMD we have rebranded Turks and Caicos chips with improved clock speeds but the same base technology already on the market. NVIDIA didn't even go that far and released the exact same chips as the previous generation, under new names.

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We have heard rumours that AMD will also be applying that marketing strategy to at least some of the upcoming HD 7xxx series cards but thanks to a link from VR-Zone we know where the new chips will start. The HD7770 will feature Graphics Core Next and a 128-bit memory interface, replacing the ageing Juniper chips. As far as power there seems to be only a single PCIe 6 pin connector needed, which should keep the power draw to around 100W. If you are planning on picking a new AMD card when they arrive on the market ensure you do not look lower in the family as you will be picking up a rebranded card.

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There was also a leak on the NVIDIA side today, with a single slide marked for internal use only appearing at a site called EXP Review. These types of slides and the benchmarks on them should always be taken with at least your daily allowance of sodium, if not more as the rules for what optimizations can be done to the benchmarks are very different for internal testing. They do show a nice performance difference, the GTX780 ranges from 190% to 230% of the performance of a GTX580. Astute readers will immediately start wondering what happened to the GTX6xx family, as according to this slide NVIDIA seems to be skipping an entire series with Kepler. Perhaps that is where rebranded Fermi chips could find a niche?

The coming year looks dangerous for GPU buyers, with older cards masquerading as newer models, thanks to AMD mixing VLIW4/5 cards with GCN cards and NVIDIA's suspicious naming scheme. While we have a bit of information about AMD's new cards, no indication of their performance has tipped up on the net. If NVIDIA's benchmarks are even close to reality a doubling of performance in a single generation would be a coup for them, as that type of increase in such a short time is almost unheard of. Then again, NVIDIA has been working on this architecture for a long while now. We will find out more over the coming months as both products come closer to their first appearance on the market, likely by the end of Q1.

Source: VR-Zone

December 20, 2011 | 07:48 PM - Posted by pdjblum

I thought the 7970 was due out any day now? If so, could this leak be a ploy by nvidia to get us to hold off buying the 7970?

December 20, 2011 | 10:01 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

If the slide is accurate then the GTX 780 could be the new 8800GTX.

December 21, 2011 | 02:42 AM - Posted by James (not verified)

If I remember the GeForce lan correctly, the NVidia guy made a big deal out of the super secret 600 series cards coming out soon. So one of two things could be happening. NVidia 600 series is not going to be a giant leap over the 500 series. More of just a tweeking to make it all run 10% faster. OR the 600 series was not turning out well/not meeting deadlines and they re-brand 500 series chips as 600 series till the next chip comes out.

December 21, 2011 | 02:02 PM - Posted by Bearded Frog (not verified)

man theyre not even getting up to 2.5 fps in those games! Those results are horrible! :P

January 4, 2012 | 07:12 AM - Posted by Swoosh (not verified)

Not a solid info to based opinions with. This is one
of those nVidia's "false hope" bad media publicity which
nVidia are so full of.

The inevitable is that once AMD's 7900 series video card gets
officially released, nVidia cant do nothing but see their
video card sales falls even more to worse and by the time
they get their "Kepler" 600 series video card out, too late
for them because a lot of gamers are now enjoying their new
Big Bad 7900 series Radeons and playing games like that WAY
IT REALLY SHOULD! Not like nVidia's hypocrite / bad publicity

January 4, 2012 | 10:51 AM - Posted by Chefbenito (not verified)

The 7900 takes a greater performance hit when switching from zero tessellation to extreme tessellation about 61% FWIW the 1.5G GTX 580 loose 48%, compare that to the 55% that a 2Win drops and there is still alot of work to be done for AMD. Sorry Swoosh but the GTX 580 still does tessellation better than any other single card out there, according to this site's (excellent) review of the Tahiti.

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