The title says it all, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 will retail at an official MSRP of just $299 US. While we earlier speculated a price point of around $349 US, it seems like NVIDIA is going to surprise everyone by selling the GTX 970 for just $299 US which is quite the sweet spot for gamers aiming for 1080P and 1440P resolutions.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Official MSRP Will Be $299 US
The news was broke by one of our most trusted sources who revealed that NVIDIA's second best Maxwell offering in the GeForce 900 series will retail for just $299 US. The source didn't reveal the exact MSRP for the GTX 980 but told that it could be anywhere around $449 up to $499 US. But the pricing for the GeForce GTX 970 is more or les confirmed and that's really good news for the entire PC gaming community. I am pretty sure NVIDIA will have a deal or two on their upcoming cards which might add even more value such as a bundle for Borderlands: The Pre Sequel or Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt which will entice users even more to migrate towards the green team.
That's all that was confirmed however it also makes me wonder, how will NVIDIA fill the massive gap between the GTX 980 and GTX. Suppose the GeForce GTX 980 does end up with a $499 US price which seems likely then there's a good $200 difference between the two cards and NVIDIA needs something in between to fill the gap. Now here's what I think (do note that every word posted after this line is speculation), the GeForce GTX 970 has three SMM units disabled so we see two chip variants of the GM204 SKU. The GM204-200 fused on the GeForce GTX 970 has 13 SMM units with 1664 cores while the GeForce GTX 980 has 16 SMM units with 2048 CUDA Cores. We haven't seen such a large amount of units disabled in a generational switch. The GeForce GTX 680 and 670 had 1 SMX difference while the GeForce GTX 580 and 570 also had 1 SM difference. The GeForce 700 series did change a few things but even those cards had 2 SMX units difference between the GTX 780 and 1 SMX unit difference between the Titan and Titan Black / GTX 780 Ti.
NVIDIA has a launch of their budget friendly GeForce GTX 960 planned for October next month and the card may hit the market at a price point of $199 - $249. Now the pricing of the GTX 960 make sense but that's most probably because it is based on a GM206 chip which is reportedly a cut down variant of the GM204. So the GM 204 chip has three SMM units which are left to be enabled. Could NVIDIA probably launch a Ti variant for the GTX 970 with a SMM or two enabled in the long run at $399? I can't confirm nor deny this but that sounds very interesting. Nevertheless, whether that happens or not, the $299 US price for reference and $329-$349 US price for custom GeForce GTX 970s sounds really nice especially when they'll be available to grab this weekend from retailers around the globe.
Update: The source has now pointed to the GeForce GTX 980's MSRP which should be set at $549 US. The $549 US brings it closer to the original pricing of the Radeon R9 290X. It makes sense since retailers have already cut prices on the GeForce GTX 780 Ti and can now be seen in the market for $499 US. The card is just around 10 to 15% (This is just a guess, actual numbers can be higher) slower than the GeForce GTX 980 hence why the $549 US makes the Maxwell based card a valid option. However, as earlier pointed out, this leaves a huge gap in between the GTX 970 and GTX 980. The GTX 980 is around $200-250 US more expensive and NVIDIA may launch a few more GM204 SKUs in the future to fill this section since their GM204 still has three SMM units left to be enabled later on.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 Specifications:
|GeForce GTX 570||GeForce GTX 580||GeForce GTX 670||GeForce GTX 680||GeForce GTX 770||GeForce GTX 780||GeForce GTX 780 Ti||GeForce GTX 970||GeForce GTX 980|
|SM Units||15 x 32||16 x 32||7 x 192||8 x 192||8 x 192||12 x 192||15 x 192||13 x 128||16 x 128|
|Core Clock||732 MHz||772 MHz||915 MHz||1006 MHz||1046 MHz||863 MHz||875 MHz||1051 MHz||1126 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1464 MHz||1544 MHz (Shader Clock)||980 MHz||1058 MHz||1085 MHz||900 MHz||928 MHz||1178 MHz||1216 MHz|
|Memory||1.2 GB GDDR5||1.5 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||3 GB GDDR5||3 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clock||3.80 GB/s||4.0 GB/s||6.0 GHz||6.0 GHz||7.0 GHz||6.0 GHz||7.0 GHz||7.0 GHz||7.0 GHz|
|Memory Bandwidth||152.00 GB/s||192.4 GB/s||192.0 GB/s||192.0 GB/s||224.5 GB/s||288.6 GB/s||336.0 GB/s||224.5 GB/s||224.5 GB/s|
|Texture Fill Rate GT/s||43.92||49.41||102.5||128.8||134||166||210||145.0||TBC|
|Power Connectors||6+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||6+6 Pin||6+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||6+6 Pin||6+6 Pin|
|DirectX 12 Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Launch||December 7th 2010||November 09 2010||May 10th 2012||March 22nd 2012||May 30th 2013||May 23rd 2013||December 2013||18th September 2014||18th September 2014|
|Price||$349 US||$499 US||$349 US||$499 US||$349 US||$499 US||$699 US||$299 Reference