What to do, what to do...
With AMD's Radeon 6000-series set to drop in the next few days, there's a fair bit of speculation as to what NVIDIA will do to try and soften the blow. We've already heard rumours of a full-fat 512 core GF100-based GPU masquerading as a GTX 580, but the latest buzz suggests that the company may have a few other tricks up its sleeve as well.
First off, HardOCP is reporting that price of the GTX 470 and GTX 460 cards could take a serious dive in the next few days. Though a source isn't given, the piece suggests that prices will tumble on Friday, significantly boosting the value of the cards. The site is - as far as we know - based in the US, where pricing on the GTX 470 cards is actually a little higher than in the UK. While factory overclocked cards can be found online for under £200, a quick check of NewEgg shows stock variants starting at a hair under $300 (around £235 inc VAT). Pricing on the GTX 460 tells a similar story. While this means that the price drop could be limited to North America, or that Europe has already seen prices decreased, it's possible that MSRP's could be further reduced, enhancing the bang-for-buck of these cards and providing serious opposition to the new Radeons.
Interestingly, a price drop would tie in nicely with our next rumour. Fudzilla is citing sources in the know as suggesting that a GTX 475 will soon be released to replace the ageing GTX 470. Based on a full-power version of the GF104 die that powers the GTX 460, the new card would have eight 48-core streaming multiprocessors (SMs) for a total of 384 Cuda cores paired with 64 texture units.
However, we're understandably a little sceptical. The GTX 475's GPU has 14 32-core SMs for a total of 448 Cuda cores and 56 texture units. Even though the GF104 is likely to clock much higher than the very hot GF100, we think it would still struggle to outperform the older GPU. The fact that the GF104 is limited to a 256-bit memory bus - compared to the GTX 470's 320-bit bus - doesn't help either.
It's clear that NVIDIA will need to do something to stave off AMD's updated cards, but at this point it's tough to tell what. Any suggestions or wild guesses are always welcome in the HEXUS.community.