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Thoughts on the 8800GT in the marketplace

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October 30, 2007 10:17:13 PM

First, to the pricing of up to $300 on the 8800GT: this always happens with new hardware launches that receive lots of press, for the first week all the early adopters try and get one, so retailers will stagger the brands of products that all perform the same. One brand will be at the MSRP and sell out, another will be ten dollars more and then another and another. But by week two or midway into week three, the price will fall back to MSRP.

Now, the 8800GTS 320mb and 640mb will be phased out most likely. Considering only the 8800GTX outperforms the GT (and only by small margins) there is no reason to keep out the GTSs. Instead I bet we will see the 8800GTX re-released as a lower-priced unit, probably called the 8800GXT or 8900, and then a new $500 GPU called the 8900GTX afterwards.

But Nvidia had to know that every card that costs more than the 8800GT was going to see a steep plunge if not total stoppage of sales once it launched. ATI's market is now officially dead: with the exception of the fantastically less powerful 2400 cards (on price alone), nothing they have has any reason to sell against the 8800GT except for HDMI output with 5.1 channel surround support. And no reason especially to sell above the 8800GT's price.

ATI will probably begin killing off the 2900 cards, and refresh then drop the price on the 2600 cards (renamed 2700 most likely) to compete with the 8800GT. That card probably won't outperform an 8800GT by much, but it may offer a better value via a dedicated HDMI 1.3 output for home theater uses and people with HDTVs as monitors. Still, to match the 8800GT's performance then beat it by a little in some cases in order to be truly competitive. If ATI wants to really catch Nvidia, it will re-release the 2900XT under a different name at the 8800GTs price.

The new issue I think is the low-priced market (the high end will need work later I think): when an 8800GTS 640mb won't outpeform an 8800GT, what do you do? Here is a thought: have all the 8800 GTS cards returned from retailers then repackage them as the new 8600 and 8700 cards (call them the 8600GTX and 8700GXT). Maybe just do the 8800GTS 320mb version as a 8600GTX, a re-badged 8800GTS 640mb would be too close in comparison to an 8800GT, it wouldn't catch that card but it'd be close and maybe steal a few sales of people with monitors that cannot handle resolutions above 1280x1024 or 1440x1280. And those people may be disappointed with the performance of that card at those resolutions compared to an 8800GT.


Then high end work can begin with 8900 cards and such.
Here is what I think Nvidia's line-up needs to look like by this time next year:
8600GTX (rebadged 8800GTS 320 MB) in the $100-$150 range
Leave the $150-$200 range open, or include some 8700GT action as OC'ed 8600GTXs.
8800GT between $230 to its current max prices for an OCed unit at $280.
8900GTS at $350
8900GTX at $440-$500 range. Don't go lower than $440, because the realm of people who can afford a $350 card but not the top end card is a group that includes people with budgets that vary much more than those who would buy an 8800GT.

ATI is in deep crap. So deep that it would be a legendary moment in any market place to have two companies where one so clearly dominates the other. The 8800GT just took the legs out from under the 2600 and 2900 cards: the 2900 can barely keep up with 8800GT in some marks and barely beat it in others. The 2600? Forget about it, its a lost cause unless its price drops to $100. Here is my strategy for ATI:
Kill the 2400, its in the marketplace why? Re-release the 2600 as the 2500 so as it can remove Nvidia's lower priced units from the market. Price its lowest end unit at $100, its best unit at up to $160 (naming wise we can call them XT units for low end, XTX for best).
Re-release the 2900 as the 2700, so as to take on the 8800GT. It should do much better there, at the $230 price point, then it did at $400. It does take on the 8800GT in some places and beat it in others, and with its HDMI output supporting surround sound (with included DVI to HDMI adapter plug), many people will see good reason to buy it.

Just take all the old units off the shelves and re-label them. You do not have time to re-engineer anything with the 3xxx cards launching so soon, but this is the time in the year when early Christmas shoppers buy stuff, and if your cards do not seem better on the shelves, you will loose plenty of ground.

Then again, with just two weeks remaining, you could just leave all the 2xxx cards on the market to be picked up at heavy discounts later on. If retailers feel that the 2900XT is a lost cause in the face of the 8800GT, then retailers will just try to ship them as quick as possible, even at a loss to clear up space and make room for the new 3xxx cards. And you better have a card at the $230 price point that can stomp all over the 8800GT.

For over a year we have not had a real mid-market card. People who waited or bought older cards in the waiting or even bought an 8600 or 2400 card are now going to be trying like mad to get their hands on the 8800GT (hence the price rising above MSRP so quickly). Thats why I recommended the re-packaging: ATI cannot let any more people spend their money on Nvidia this year. If in the two weeks until the 3xxx people snap up an 8800GT, then no matter how good ATI's 3-series offerings are this year, it could be another bad quarter. And AMD as a whole cannot live with another really bad quarter from ATI. So if the 3 series does not have a card that bests the 8800GT at its price point, then its even worse: two consecutive offerings from ATI that do not beat Nvidia. At that point, all AMD can hope is that Phenom can gain a mid-market and low-market presence this year. That way when Intel releases Penryn in Q1 08, there won't be any buyers for it. I doubt that the Phenom will take out a Penryn Extreme.

So, ATI needs to have a 3 series that beats Nvidia's offerings on every level. I suggest the following:
A 3500XT that competes against any refreshed 8600 market. It better have better performance, not just DX10.1. No one needs DX10.1 right now, and you can bet DX10.1 will have backwards compatiblity with DX10 cards. Also, few software companies even have DX10.1 games on the docket right now: everything this holiday season is DX10.
A 3700XT to compete directly against the 8800GT.
3900XT. This better rock the market for enthusiast products like nothing else. HDMI1.3 support, built in sound chips (to give the 7.1 channel output via HDMI), and oh yeah, the ability to kill an 8900GT, which I cannot say enough, has to be right around the corner some place. The 8800GTX cannot sell at even its presently small volume for long with only a 3% performance difference.

More about : thoughts 8800gt marketplace

a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2007 10:25:51 PM

Quote:
The 8800GT just took the legs out from under the 2600 and 2900 cards

How did the 8800GT take the legs out from under the HD2600XT? The XT was selling for $100 shipped bundled with the Valve Black Box. Those cards bring in alot of money for AMD. While NV may own $250+, AMD isn't sitting too bad under $150.

Quote:
And you better have a card at the $230 price point that can stomp all over the 8800GT.

Also, AMD doesn't have to beat the 8800GT if they bring us a sub $200 card that isn't far behind. NV can drop their price, but if AMD's are cheaper to manufacture, then they can lower the price again. ATI(AMD)'s reputation among enthusiasts is hurt, but if they are selling alot of cards at the same or better margins, how bad off are they really?
October 30, 2007 10:32:07 PM

the 8800 gts 320/ 640 are not even close to low range! They will probably stop making them or lower the prices to around $200 or maybe a bit lower, but not $100 anytime soon. They usually only rebag units that failed at higher test so they can sell them as lower end cards. They wont do that, as 8800's don't use pixel shaders.
October 30, 2007 10:39:03 PM

too long, didnt read
October 30, 2007 10:43:01 PM

scryer_360 said:
First, to the pricing of up to $300 on the 8800GT: this always happens with new hardware launches that receive lots of press, for the first week all the early adopters try and get one, so retailers will stagger the brands of products that all perform the same. One brand will be at the MSRP and sell out, another will be ten dollars more and then another and another. But by week two or midway into week three, the price will fall back to MSRP.

Now, the 8800GTS 320mb and 640mb will be phased out most likely. Considering only the 8800GTX outperforms the GT (and only by small margins) there is no reason to keep out the GTSs. Instead I bet we will see the 8800GTX re-released as a lower-priced unit, probably called the 8800GXT or 8900, and then a new $500 GPU called the 8900GTX afterwards.

But Nvidia had to know that every card that costs more than the 8800GT was going to see a steep plunge if not total stoppage of sales once it launched. ATI's market is now officially dead: with the exception of the fantastically less powerful 2400 cards (on price alone), nothing they have has any reason to sell against the 8800GT except for HDMI output with 5.1 channel surround support. And no reason especially to sell above the 8800GT's price.

ATI will probably begin killing off the 2900 cards, and refresh then drop the price on the 2600 cards (renamed 2700 most likely) to compete with the 8800GT. That card probably won't outperform an 8800GT by much, but it may offer a better value via a dedicated HDMI 1.3 output for home theater uses and people with HDTVs as monitors. Still, to match the 8800GT's performance then beat it by a little in some cases in order to be truly competitive. If ATI wants to really catch Nvidia, it will re-release the 2900XT under a different name at the 8800GTs price.

The new issue I think is the low-priced market (the high end will need work later I think): when an 8800GTS 640mb won't outpeform an 8800GT, what do you do? Here is a thought: have all the 8800 GTS cards returned from retailers then repackage them as the new 8600 and 8700 cards (call them the 8600GTX and 8700GXT). Maybe just do the 8800GTS 320mb version as a 8600GTX, a re-badged 8800GTS 640mb would be too close in comparison to an 8800GT, it wouldn't catch that card but it'd be close and maybe steal a few sales of people with monitors that cannot handle resolutions above 1280x1024 or 1440x1280. And those people may be disappointed with the performance of that card at those resolutions compared to an 8800GT.


Then high end work can begin with 8900 cards and such.
Here is what I think Nvidia's line-up needs to look like by this time next year:
8600GTX (rebadged 8800GTS 320 MB) in the $100-$150 range
Leave the $150-$200 range open, or include some 8700GT action as OC'ed 8600GTXs.
8800GT between $230 to its current max prices for an OCed unit at $280.
8900GTS at $350
8900GTX at $440-$500 range. Don't go lower than $440, because the realm of people who can afford a $350 card but not the top end card is a group that includes people with budgets that vary much more than those who would buy an 8800GT.

ATI is in deep crap. So deep that it would be a legendary moment in any market place to have two companies where one so clearly dominates the other. The 8800GT just took the legs out from under the 2600 and 2900 cards: the 2900 can barely keep up with 8800GT in some marks and barely beat it in others. The 2600? Forget about it, its a lost cause unless its price drops to $100. Here is my strategy for ATI:
Kill the 2400, its in the marketplace why? Re-release the 2600 as the 2500 so as it can remove Nvidia's lower priced units from the market. Price its lowest end unit at $100, its best unit at up to $160 (naming wise we can call them XT units for low end, XTX for best).
Re-release the 2900 as the 2700, so as to take on the 8800GT. It should do much better there, at the $230 price point, then it did at $400. It does take on the 8800GT in some places and beat it in others, and with its HDMI output supporting surround sound (with included DVI to HDMI adapter plug), many people will see good reason to buy it.

Just take all the old units off the shelves and re-label them. You do not have time to re-engineer anything with the 3xxx cards launching so soon, but this is the time in the year when early Christmas shoppers buy stuff, and if your cards do not seem better on the shelves, you will loose plenty of ground.

Then again, with just two weeks remaining, you could just leave all the 2xxx cards on the market to be picked up at heavy discounts later on. If retailers feel that the 2900XT is a lost cause in the face of the 8800GT, then retailers will just try to ship them as quick as possible, even at a loss to clear up space and make room for the new 3xxx cards. And you better have a card at the $230 price point that can stomp all over the 8800GT.

For over a year we have not had a real mid-market card. People who waited or bought older cards in the waiting or even bought an 8600 or 2400 card are now going to be trying like mad to get their hands on the 8800GT (hence the price rising above MSRP so quickly). Thats why I recommended the re-packaging: ATI cannot let any more people spend their money on Nvidia this year. If in the two weeks until the 3xxx people snap up an 8800GT, then no matter how good ATI's 3-series offerings are this year, it could be another bad quarter. And AMD as a whole cannot live with another really bad quarter from ATI. So if the 3 series does not have a card that bests the 8800GT at its price point, then its even worse: two consecutive offerings from ATI that do not beat Nvidia. At that point, all AMD can hope is that Phenom can gain a mid-market and low-market presence this year. That way when Intel releases Penryn in Q1 08, there won't be any buyers for it. I doubt that the Phenom will take out a Penryn Extreme.

So, ATI needs to have a 3 series that beats Nvidia's offerings on every level. I suggest the following:
A 3500XT that competes against any refreshed 8600 market. It better have better performance, not just DX10.1. No one needs DX10.1 right now, and you can bet DX10.1 will have backwards compatiblity with DX10 cards. Also, few software companies even have DX10.1 games on the docket right now: everything this holiday season is DX10.
A 3700XT to compete directly against the 8800GT.
3900XT. This better rock the market for enthusiast products like nothing else. HDMI1.3 support, built in sound chips (to give the 7.1 channel output via HDMI), and oh yeah, the ability to kill an 8900GT, which I cannot say enough, has to be right around the corner some place. The 8800GTX cannot sell at even its presently small volume for long with only a 3% performance difference.

LOL what a bunch of speculation. Like somebody else said, ATi is making great money with 2600xt series and when the 3800 series come out, they will have a better price/performance ratio i bet. Also the 8800gt was pretty much just a paper launch. even though some cards were released they were sold out in the first day. And also Nvidias partners won't have any more chipsets untill 2 more weeks when the flextronics start to kick in the production. So thats when the 3800 comes out so no ATI is not screwed yet. Its more like Nvidia is if ATI gets some good products in 2008.
October 30, 2007 10:51:45 PM

vip3569 said:
too long, didnt read


No sh!t lol. :lol: 
October 30, 2007 11:03:57 PM

scryer_360 said:
First, to the pricing of up to $300 on the 8800GT: this always happens with new hardware launches that receive lots of press, for the first week all the early adopters try and get one, so retailers will stagger the brands of products that all perform the same. One brand will be at the MSRP and sell out, another will be ten dollars more and then another and another. But by week two or midway into week three, the price will fall back to MSRP.

Now, the 8800GTS 320mb and 640mb will be phased out most likely. Considering only the 8800GTX outperforms the GT (and only by small margins) there is no reason to keep out the GTSs. Instead I bet we will see the 8800GTX re-released as a lower-priced unit, probably called the 8800GXT or 8900, and then a new $500 GPU called the 8900GTX afterwards.

But Nvidia had to know that every card that costs more than the 8800GT was going to see a steep plunge if not total stoppage of sales once it launched. ATI's market is now officially dead: with the exception of the fantastically less powerful 2400 cards (on price alone), nothing they have has any reason to sell against the 8800GT except for HDMI output with 5.1 channel surround support. And no reason especially to sell above the 8800GT's price.

ATI will probably begin killing off the 2900 cards, and refresh then drop the price on the 2600 cards (renamed 2700 most likely) to compete with the 8800GT. That card probably won't outperform an 8800GT by much, but it may offer a better value via a dedicated HDMI 1.3 output for home theater uses and people with HDTVs as monitors. Still, to match the 8800GT's performance then beat it by a little in some cases in order to be truly competitive. If ATI wants to really catch Nvidia, it will re-release the 2900XT under a different name at the 8800GTs price.

The new issue I think is the low-priced market (the high end will need work later I think): when an 8800GTS 640mb won't outpeform an 8800GT, what do you do? Here is a thought: have all the 8800 GTS cards returned from retailers then repackage them as the new 8600 and 8700 cards (call them the 8600GTX and 8700GXT). Maybe just do the 8800GTS 320mb version as a 8600GTX, a re-badged 8800GTS 640mb would be too close in comparison to an 8800GT, it wouldn't catch that card but it'd be close and maybe steal a few sales of people with monitors that cannot handle resolutions above 1280x1024 or 1440x1280. And those people may be disappointed with the performance of that card at those resolutions compared to an 8800GT.


Then high end work can begin with 8900 cards and such.
Here is what I think Nvidia's line-up needs to look like by this time next year:
8600GTX (rebadged 8800GTS 320 MB) in the $100-$150 range
Leave the $150-$200 range open, or include some 8700GT action as OC'ed 8600GTXs.
8800GT between $230 to its current max prices for an OCed unit at $280.
8900GTS at $350
8900GTX at $440-$500 range. Don't go lower than $440, because the realm of people who can afford a $350 card but not the top end card is a group that includes people with budgets that vary much more than those who would buy an 8800GT.

ATI is in deep crap. So deep that it would be a legendary moment in any market place to have two companies where one so clearly dominates the other. The 8800GT just took the legs out from under the 2600 and 2900 cards: the 2900 can barely keep up with 8800GT in some marks and barely beat it in others. The 2600? Forget about it, its a lost cause unless its price drops to $100. Here is my strategy for ATI:
Kill the 2400, its in the marketplace why? Re-release the 2600 as the 2500 so as it can remove Nvidia's lower priced units from the market. Price its lowest end unit at $100, its best unit at up to $160 (naming wise we can call them XT units for low end, XTX for best).
Re-release the 2900 as the 2700, so as to take on the 8800GT. It should do much better there, at the $230 price point, then it did at $400. It does take on the 8800GT in some places and beat it in others, and with its HDMI output supporting surround sound (with included DVI to HDMI adapter plug), many people will see good reason to buy it.

Just take all the old units off the shelves and re-label them. You do not have time to re-engineer anything with the 3xxx cards launching so soon, but this is the time in the year when early Christmas shoppers buy stuff, and if your cards do not seem better on the shelves, you will loose plenty of ground.

Then again, with just two weeks remaining, you could just leave all the 2xxx cards on the market to be picked up at heavy discounts later on. If retailers feel that the 2900XT is a lost cause in the face of the 8800GT, then retailers will just try to ship them as quick as possible, even at a loss to clear up space and make room for the new 3xxx cards. And you better have a card at the $230 price point that can stomp all over the 8800GT.

For over a year we have not had a real mid-market card. People who waited or bought older cards in the waiting or even bought an 8600 or 2400 card are now going to be trying like mad to get their hands on the 8800GT (hence the price rising above MSRP so quickly). Thats why I recommended the re-packaging: ATI cannot let any more people spend their money on Nvidia this year. If in the two weeks until the 3xxx people snap up an 8800GT, then no matter how good ATI's 3-series offerings are this year, it could be another bad quarter. And AMD as a whole cannot live with another really bad quarter from ATI. So if the 3 series does not have a card that bests the 8800GT at its price point, then its even worse: two consecutive offerings from ATI that do not beat Nvidia. At that point, all AMD can hope is that Phenom can gain a mid-market and low-market presence this year. That way when Intel releases Penryn in Q1 08, there won't be any buyers for it. I doubt that the Phenom will take out a Penryn Extreme.

So, ATI needs to have a 3 series that beats Nvidia's offerings on every level. I suggest the following:
A 3500XT that competes against any refreshed 8600 market. It better have better performance, not just DX10.1. No one needs DX10.1 right now, and you can bet DX10.1 will have backwards compatiblity with DX10 cards. Also, few software companies even have DX10.1 games on the docket right now: everything this holiday season is DX10.
A 3700XT to compete directly against the 8800GT.
3900XT. This better rock the market for enthusiast products like nothing else. HDMI1.3 support, built in sound chips (to give the 7.1 channel output via HDMI), and oh yeah, the ability to kill an 8900GT, which I cannot say enough, has to be right around the corner some place. The 8800GTX cannot sell at even its presently small volume for long with only a 3% performance difference.


:sleep: 

Huh,..wha...
You were saying?

Sorry, you lost me at "first".

;) 



I think you think too much.
Almost everything there is speculation, unless you have facts to back it up of course.

Ummm, I know. Make a graph or chart. Lots of colors.
No one can disagree with a graph. The more colors the better.

;)  :D 
October 30, 2007 11:22:50 PM

Lol exactly what I was going to say. You thinking to hard about it. Just forget about it, go outside and take deep breath. You are not getting paid for this, you are not part of nvidia or ati.
October 30, 2007 11:24:00 PM

vip3569, I understand. Re-reading it, I agree.

The 8800GTS 320 is DEFINITELY a low end card now, smokedyou911. Seriously, cards that are $200 more than the 8800GT are either barely keeping up with it (2900XT) or barely surpassing it (8800GTX). And considering our current low range of 8600 cards performs so poorly compared to cards of even the last generation, why keep them around? Hell a Radeon 1950XTX can compete with an 8800 GTS 320 easily. Why keep its price above an 8800GT? And I don't think that name will survive if it was priced under an 8800GT. The "S" in a numerical name usually means "sport" or "special," but if an 8800GT spanks the 8800GTS, the "Special" would be the same as saying the card is retarded.

To Pauldh: hmmm, am I old if I remember a time the 2600 was above $200? Or just not keeping up on prices to well. Regardless, you are right, the 2600 does make a decent $100-$150 card. I stand corrected from my previous post: the 2600 does make a good $100 card as is. All they need to do is get the 2900XT down into the 8800GT's price point and they are good for the next two week until the 3 series drops.
October 30, 2007 11:28:34 PM

To boreddatcanon: thats thinking to hard? Damn.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
I did that while playing Halo 3 too.

As far as speculation: it is, but can anyone here think of a more logical step for the hardware market? The Thread Title is "Thoughts on 8800GT in the Marketplace." "Thoughts" does not translate to "facts." OR, does it? Sense when? Why didn't I get the memo? I've been playing to much Halo 3 recently I agree, but still, really?
a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2007 11:35:41 PM

yeah, the GDDR4 HD2600XT(like the 8600GTS) was higher priced at launch. Most of them now are GDDR3 models, not much slower really, and have been selling well in that $100 range. The MSI overclocked GDDR4 version was recently $115 AR with the Black Box.

I agree with you the very important $150-250 range has been pretty much empty ever since the 256MB X1950XT's ($170) disappeared. Having nothing good(for the buck) between the X1950 pro/8600GTS and the 8800GTS 320MB sux. The HD2900GT never hit the shelves, 256MB 8800GT's will probably take a while to hit, making the HD3850 a possible great buy if it can bring alot of performance to a $179 or below price.
October 30, 2007 11:59:21 PM

Wow I agree with most of the people saying you wrote TOO much man. MSRP on 8800GT is 199-249 according to NVDA. This is the first week prices are always jacked up. I hope ATI gets something going in the high end market place to stop the NVDA monoploy.

If things continue, and ATI doesnt put top-end card out NVDA will be slower and slower to release better cards. Saving tons of money on R&D.
October 31, 2007 12:01:42 AM

WAY too long. I read about 2 lines and scrolled down to see the comments.
October 31, 2007 12:09:44 AM

You assume ALL consumers read THG.

People, remember all those mail-in-rebates? Well, as always, that signals everyone is ditching a product, for a better one. Not to be nice to the consumer or anything. Just to GET RID OF OLD JUNK.

Enter the 8800GT. A 250$ card. If you could wait 3-4 months extra, you'd have it. How much is 4 months of gaming worth to you to "wait it out"?

Remember, the 8800GT is still a BABY card. Nobody is geting 75 FPS 1080P with the thing on Very High settings.
October 31, 2007 1:04:11 AM

aznstriker92 said:
Also the 8800gt was pretty much just a paper launch. even though some cards were released they were sold out in the first day.


Paper launch?!?! No. Product available to consumers? Yes. Very popular (and anticipated)? Yes
Could it be that it was just that popular that every online retailer was cleared day 1? Absolutely.

AMD invented reinvented revolutionized the paper launch, don't go throwing that word around against nVidia.
a b U Graphics card
October 31, 2007 2:42:42 AM

I like, all the thoughts, Unlike some people I managed to read the entire article. Although the numbers are annoying. I think if ATI has any chance at all it should do this: Absolutely focus all attention on their high end offering, do everything you can to create the TOP card on the market. If they can get it out, and it creams the 8800gtx/ultra, everyone is going to buy it. As we see all the low end/mid range buyers nabbing the 8800GT, all the people with GTX"s and Ultras have been waiting for a replacement for their cards, therefore anyone with a GTX/Ultra will buy ATI's high end card. Forget mid range and low end, go for it all! it seems like they are almost done for anyways.....
October 31, 2007 5:19:59 AM

Hmmm tapered off quick huh? Anyway, Anandtech called the 8800GT the only card that matters right now, so I guess I may be right to say that the 8800 GTS is irrelevant.

Something just crossed my mind though: this is called the G92 core. If you look at Nvidias naming scheme, the 8800GTX was G80, the GTS G82, the 8600GTS became G84, the 8500 was called G86. Then comes this shrink to 65 nm which for some reason is called G92.

Remember the 7 series? It was the G70, then G72, then G74, then G76, and I don't remember if there was a G78 or not.

So wait, when every other card out there from Nvidia started at x0 for the latest processor, followed by crippled or reduced powered successors called 2, 4, and 6, why did we get a G92 this time around?

Then it hit me: there is a G90 out there somewhere. This is a 65nm processor this time: its a new core, not just a off-shoot of an old one. And when its cheaper and more effective to make a 65 nm than a 90 nm processor, why wouldn't Nvidia of kept its old naming scheme?

Answer: there is a G90 65nm processes someplace, probably already working and ready for market.

It makes sense even. The 8800GTX is still the dominate force in the market, but ATI's new 3 series offerings had people wondering about new hardware. And whats more, the Crysis demo came out and no one but those with an 8800GTX were running it with any kind of gusto. The mid range market was full of people who wanted something that could play that game with some power, but only $200 or so to buy a card with. And ATI had people getting excited about the 3 series launch. If Nvidia waited until the 3 series hit to unleash the 8800GT, then chances are people may buy the 3 series over the 8800GT. Nvidia also probably had these 8800GT's stockpiling for some time, knowing that anything that was a mid-market card with 8800GTX performance levels was going to sell fast once it hit. So whats the difference between releasing that now and later? The sales that ATI might get. Thats what.

Now even ATI fans might fork over for a mid-range card, and when the 8800GT gets off its initial price-surge in two weeks, ATI will be experiencing its initial price hike. Making the 8800GT look even better then to normal gamers.

And the G90 core could still be released later because those who wanted the peak of performance and could afford it probably still have their 8800GTX systems (and won't trade those in for an 8800GT), but whenever the 8900GT (my name for the G90 core) comes out, they'll upgrade anyway.

In other words we are getting this now because Nvidia wanted to undercut ATI (because it could) at the mid-market, even if ATI launches a great 8800GT competitor the GT will be down to MSRP by then perhaps and the ATI card will be experiencing some price pain, and more than likely (given that the Gx0 cards have always been the flagship of a processor line for Nvidia) there is a G90 core with even more power than the G92 out there someplace, waiting to take over the reins from the G80's 8800GTX. With a 65nm card running as G92, and 65nm being cheaper per wafer, there is no reason for Nvidia to keep the more expensive G80 as its power-leader anymore. And no reason to release a refresh with weaker flagship cards is a good reason.

Also, this card comes with HDMI support (or so says the packaging according to Toms), which leads me to ask if there is an integrated audio controller. In which case, what we currently are calling the GeForce 9 series , is this G92. That could be another reason the G90 has not surfaced yet: it will be the card receiving DX10.1 support, not the rest of the cards. I cannot think of a good reason for this other than that Nvidia wants to actually have DX10.1 in the market before they release a DX10.1 card, so they can evaluate their driver stability and avoid another fiasco for driver stability like they had with the G80 when Vista launched.

I just cannot think of a reason Nvidia would release this to have a 9 series come out in November. Wouldn't that mean that they release a product just to undercut it later? But since no one needs DX10.1 yet, this would allow the G90 to come out once Nvidia is absolutely positively sure there is a stable driver for it to launch with, the the G92 could just get a Rev 2 as a G9800GT that supports DX10.1.

Overrall, there are plenty of good reasons to jump on this card, but seeing as my major purchase for November is SimCity Societies, i think I'll pass on the 8800GT right now. If a G90 is in the wings waiting to come to market, then its going to push down prices of the ATI cards unless the ATI cards are better this time around, in which case it'd hold the G90 card down lower. Either way a card with more performance than the G92 is only either two weeks or maybe a month away. And by then, considering DX10.1 support is supposed to be with the 9 series from Nvidia and 3 series for ATI, I'd rather just get those.
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