NVIDIA’s Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October – GeForce GTX 860 Hits Market In Late October

Hassan Mujtaba

NVIDIA's next generation Maxwell core architecture based GeForce GTX 880, GeForce GTX 870 and GeForce GTX 860 will launch in October this year, as reported by GDM.OR.JP. The site which is part of one of the most major hardware retailers in Japan have been pretty accurate with their earlier leaks so we will assume that the October launch time-frame is quite accurate considering the launch was planned for Q4 2014 was narrowed down to October / November a few weeks ago and now we have a much more accurate schedule of NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU launches.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880

NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October

The first two Maxwell cards to launch in the consumer market would be the high-performance GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870. These cards will feature the GM204 core architecture which is the successor of the GK104/GK114 core from the Kepler generation. From little things we know thanks to the leaked PCB shot of NVIDIA's alleged GeForce GTX 880 graphics card, we come to know that the core being used for the sample variant was GM204-INT41684-A1 however there has been a little variation in the codename and it is now called GM204-CS0-A1 (note that the CS stands for Consumer Sample) which means that final testing is under way and the chip will soon end up in the consumer market as the GeForce GTX 880. The chip is also the first of four variants which will make their way to the rest of the lineup including the GeForce GTX 870.

The GeForce GTX 870 on the other hand will be a cut down variant of the GK204 core featured on GeForce GTX 880 with some disabled SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) units. Its not know what specifications does the GM204 hold in general but it does feature a die size larger than its predecessor which is due to the existing 28nm process technology and the card will make use of high-frequency SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5G clocked at 7 GHz. We will most probably be looking at a 256-bit since the memory arrangement as seen on the ES board is similar to the GeForce GTX 680 ES board and the final consumer variant. The card was shown with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which is a lot of VRAM for a reference card but we believe that the cards will ship in 4 GB variants. Aside from that, the total power consumption would be similar to Kepler around 195W but it will deliver performance on scale with some of the overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti's we have seen. If the recent GeForce GTX 880 benchmark is taken for reference, we might be looking at a 20-30% performance uplift from Maxwell over GK110 which is insane and makes us wonder the performance uplift with the GM200 core which won't ship to consumers till next year.

The GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 will launch close to each other in early October as was the case with GeForce GTX 780 and GeForce GTX 770 which were introduced in a week's difference of each other. The prices expected for these cards would be $499 for GeForce GTX 880 and $399 for GeForce GTX 870.

The one thing that disappoints me the most is that we may not see the upcoming cards on the new 20nm node but rather the existing 28nm node. Now I am not saying that the cards won't perform well and NVIDIA has already demonstrated that Maxwell, even on 28nm could be a major deal breaker in power efficiency as seen with their sub-70W GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 cards. But it would have been really nice to see new 20nm cards in 2014 by AMD and NVIDIA. But now, we can expect a quick replacement for the current cards in 2015 as indicated by several sources on the 20nm process.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860 Hits Market In Late October

Soon after launch, NVIDIA is expected to launch a third Maxwell graphics card aiming the more budget and gaming crowd, known as the GeForce GTX 860. The spiritual successor of NVIDIA's most sold GeForce GTX 660 and GTX 760 graphics cards is said to enter the market in late October at a price point of around $299 US. Specifications and details are not known about this part but if the SKUs rumor is taken into consideration, then the GeForce GTX 860 might also end up with the GM204 core rather the GM206 core which is believed to end up with GTX 850 Ti and such parts. The rest of the lineup would be a mix of GM107 and GK208 chips. NVIDIA will not introduce a new low-end chip for a long time and hence they have chosen to rename their entry-level GK108 chip, GK208.

For cooling, NVIDIA recently patented the so called Turbofan which is a Axial-Radial Hybrid fan design similar to what MSI’s currently offering on their current Mini-ITX cards. So we might see a new cooling design on the card and details on the new axial-radial cooling fan are given below:

“The present invention provides a turbofan and a graphics card with the turbofan. The turbofan comprises: a turbofan assembly which admits air in an axial direction and dispenses air in a radial direction; an inlet fan assembly disposed at an inlet of the turbofan assembly and disposed coaxially with the turbofan assembly: and a driving means for driving the turbofan assembly and the inlet fan assembly to rotate. The turbofan provided by the invention gathers the ambient air to the inlet through the inlet fan assembly disposed at the inlet of the turbofan assembly, so as to change a negative pressure state at the inlet. Consequently, the cooling efficiency of the turbofan is improved effectively and the noise of the turbofan is reduced.” via BitsnChips

  • NVIDIA GM200.GM210 (Maxwell Architecture, High-Performance for Telsa/Quadro Arrives later for Cosnumers, Successor of GK110)
  • NVIDIA GM204 (Maxwell Architecture, High-End Consumer, Successor of GK104, First GeForce 800 Series Products likely to feature)
  • NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell Architecture, Performance Minded, Successor of GK206, Mid-Range GeForce 800 Series products to feature)
  • NVIDIA GM107/207 (Maxwell Architecture, Entry Level, Successor of GK107, Entry Level GeForce 800/700 Series To feature, Already introduced on GTX 750 Ti / GTX 750)

Do tell us if we missed out anything in the Disqus comments section below!

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880 Specifications (Speculated):

GeForce GTX 480 GeForce GTX 580 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 780 GeForce GTX 780 Ti GeForce GTX 880
Codename GF100 GF110 GK104 GK110 GK110 GM204
Process 40nm 40nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm?
GPU Core Fermi Fermi Kepler Kepler Kepler Maxwell
CUDA Cores 480 512 1536 2304 2880 TBA
ROPS 48 48 32 48 48 TBA
TMUs 60 64 128 192 240 TBA
Core Clock 700 MHz 772 MHz 1006 MHz 863 MHz 875 MHz TBA
Boost Clock 1401 MHz (Shader Clock) 1544 MHz (Shader Clock) 1058 MHz 900 MHz 928 MHz TBA
Memory 1.5 GB 1.5 GB 2 GB 3 GB 3 GB 8 GB
Memory Bus 384-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit 384-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit
Memory Clock 3.69 GB/s 4.0 GB/s 6.0 GHz 6.0 GHz 7.0 GHz 7.0 GHz (ES)
Memory Bandwidth 177.4 GB/s 192.4 GB/s 192.0 GB/s 288.6 GB/s 336.0 GB/s 224.5 GB/s (ES)
TDP 250W 244W 192W 250W 250W ~190W
Power Connectors 8+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 6+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 6+6 Pin?
DirectX 12 Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Launch March 26th 2010 November 09 2010 March 22nd 2012 May 23rd 2013 December 2013 October 2014
Price $499 US $499 US $499 US $499 US $699 US $499 US?


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