It'll be awhile if it's on a 65nm die shrink; good thing I just ordered my 8800GTX because it looks like ATI's going to take awhile, and Nvidia is in no rush to compete with themselves at the moment. :?
Right, it SHOULD decrease power and heat quite a bit, unless they really crank up the clocks. Seeing as ATI/AMD is still on 90nm and everyone is used to high power reqs and heat output, my guess is that they'll really push that clock up on their high end cards to create a bigger performance gap between themselves and ATI/AMD. Should be interesting.
Yes, the two companies have leapfrogged one another in the past, the last really big jump was the 9700pro, but Nvidia has more than made up for that with their G80, which will have dominated DX9 and had a monopoly on DX10 for nearly 9 months by the time AMD answers. AMD will definately be playing catch-up for a time now. Bad news for those who like close competition, AMD is certainly getting it on all fronts lately. I, for one, hope they pull something out, both in the GPU and CPU arenas. Won't do the consumer any good to let Nvidia and Intel rest on their laurels.
the 9700 pro definitely shocked everybody, but is far from the last big jump. Do you forget the performance increase of the nv40 over the 9x00 series? I about fell out of my chair when I first saw the difference, and the g80 numbers over the previous generation reminded me of that.
Yes, the nv40 was a big jump, but ATI was much quicker in answering and managed to regain the lead by most measures. The 9x00's ruled the roost for quite some time, and now the g80 class is doing the same.
I truly believe amd's (and by association ati's) financials will be in the toilet until they are able to clear the books of the post-merger expenses. We all know that mindshare and recognition is earned at the high end, but not real dollars. And it pains me to say it due to my ati preference but even when ati retakes the performance crown at the high end, they usually still lag in the mainstream arena and that's what really pays the bills. That and they merged with the evil empire, and are now sinking with that ship sadly.