Nvidia Launching Pascal Based Geforce Lineup At Editors’ Event – Reviews Expected to Go Live By Mid-May
It looks like Nvidia is planning to launch its next generation Geforce, pascal based lineup a few weeks before Computex 2016. We have known for a long time that the flagship Pascal GPU would be revealed at the GTC event, but while Nvidia revealed the chip itself, the Geforce launch did not happen. The reason for this appears to be a dedicated event just short of Computex 2016. Nvidia has prepared three different SKUs to replace its current lineup of Geforce Graphic Cards.
Nvidia launching Pascal Geforce lineup at editor's event before Computex 2016
We received independent confirmation of the invites and they were actually handed out at the time before the GTC Keynote. The Nvidia Editor's event will be the official press launch of for the new lineup of 16nm Geforce GPUs by Nvidia. It is not yet known at this point whether Nvidia will allow the event to be covered live or it will have an NDA to be revoked at the time the reviews hit. At any rate, we expect reviews of the new GPUs to be here by mid-May.
It is not yet known what Nvidia will decide to call its brand new Geforce series. Although we have been using the placeholder naming scheme of the Geforce 1000 series (Geforce GTX 1080 Ti, Geforce GTX 1080 and Geforce GTX 1070) it goes without saying that there is zero confirmation whether this will be the naming scheme Nvidia ends up using. In fact, I would be pretty surprised if green decides to go with the potentially misleading '1080' branding.
Die shots of the GP104 GPU have leaked out and the full uncut die is supposedly around the 300mm² mark with around 8 Billion transistors. This number would approximately put it at slightly more power than the Maxwell GM200 die clock for clock, accounting only the process jump. Add in architectural gains and it could easily give performance faster than the 980 Ti in the double digits. Nvidia has prepared three different SKUs to replace their 900 series counterparts:
NVIDIA Pascal GP104 SKUs:
|Maxwell Graphics Card||Maxwell GPU SKU||Pascal GPU SKU||Boards||Availability|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GM200-310-A1||GP104-400-A1||Reference and AIB||Early June|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980||GM204-400-A1||GP104-200-A1||Reference and AIB||Early June|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970||GM204-200-A1||GP104-150-A1||AIB Only||Mid June|
The full uncut GP104 die (GP104-400-A1) will constitute the GTX 980 Ti successor.
A cut down variant of the GP104 die (GP104-200-A1) will constitute the GTX 980 successor.
Another cut down variant of the GP104 die (GP104-150-A1) will constitute the GTX 970 successor.
The GP104 ES (Engineering Sample) board was recently spotted and was running faster GDDR5 memory modules. The board used latest Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25 chips (8 Gb DRAM dies) running at 8 Gbps speeds. This allows for a decent bw boost over the current 7 Gbps memory which GPU makers are currently using. The higher density chips should also allow Nvidia to offer much larger vRAM on its consumer lineup - so 8GB of memory is definitely on the table.
The price range of the cards depends entirely on how Nvidia is positioning its lineup. If the GP104-400-A1 die is actually meant to replace the GTX 980 and not the GTX 980 Ti, then it should be priced somewhere around its $549 price point. On the other hand, if it is positioned (officially) to replace the 980 Ti, the price range can be similar to the MSRP of the Ti: $649. In my opinion however, it is more likely that Nvidia will officially position the card against the GTX 980.
This would also mean that the GP104-200-A1 die is meant for the successor of the GTX 970 (and priced accordingly) and surprisingly, the GP104-150-A1 die is meant for a third iteration of product. There has existed a gap in Nvidia's lineup of GPUs which this card could very well fill. VR is the next frontier for GPU manufacturers to concur. With a high attach rate, and a relatively small Total Addressable Market, the race is on to see who can put the most VR capable GPUs out there. AMD has recently vowed to lower the price of the "minimum VR spec" and this could be Nvidia's attempt to do the same, which would put the price point anywhere between $249 to $329.