It Needs To Be Said
Surprisingly, the move to 90 nm has not only shrunken the die size to 196 sqmm (square millimeters) but required Nvidia to use fewer transistors to make the jump. G70 has a transistor count of 302 million while G71 only needs 278 million.
"An important fact to keep in mind is that GeForce 7900 is 196 sqmm die size and X1900XTX is 352 sqmm. It is pretty amazing that a chip approximately one half the size of a competitive high-end chip can deliver overall winning performance for today's top 3D games, while consuming less power," Nick Stam, Nvidia's technical marketing director, said. "The 7900 is clearly more efficient architecturally, and this should also translate into lower street pricing."
We agree that the performance gain is amazing, considering this is mostly a die shrink with some optimizations. As the benchmark results show, G71 is another leap in performance. What we find ironic is the twist from last year's marketing message of the G70 as "the biggest chip" to "we have the smallest chip" for the G71.