G80, G84: nVidia solutions for 2007

The year 2007 will be DirectX 10 graphics solution year. It will be significant because of the arrival of new video games arriving in Spring 07 that will be compatible with this new standard (don’t forget that Vista is only requiring Direct X 9 compatibility to support its spiffy new 3D graphics interface, Aero). Most gamers are expecting new titles like Crysis (3D FPS game following in the footsteps of FarCry or Doom) that will use the newest Shader Model v4.0.

For nVidia, it’s time for news: G80 is the code name of the high-end chipset. It will have dozens of identical processors (up to 128 GPU, but without splitting them between pixel and vertex shaders; This should allow an optimized use in all real-life cases).

While the first G80 graphics cards should arrive with prices around 600€ (the first buyers always have to pay a high price for new technology), we learn that nVidia will also prepare a low-cost entry point named G84. It should have a more limited number of GPU processors (64 or 96 only) and receive a lighter memory interface.

This is critical for nVidia because they left most of the entry-level market to AMD-ATI (sometimes Intel for the integrated graphic chipsets): They want to use this technology shift to grab again this segment of the market (nVidia is already well recognized in the high-end market segment).

Important reminder: For the time being (December 2006), nVidia does not have any Vista drivers ready yet. We’ll have to wait a little more.