Market Prospects of the Newcomer
NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GTX product became available quickly and widely, which conditioned that in online stores its price right now is lower than MSRP or $599. While demand and supply definitely do affect real pricing, it is pretty clear that NVIDIA does its best to make the GeForce 7800 GTX more affordable. The GeForce 7800 GT comes with reduced amount of functional logic inside the GPU and also on seriously simplified print-circuit board, which may imply that the product has substantial headroom for cost reduction.
In addition to the launch of the GeForce 7800 GT at $449 price-point NVIDIA has reduced the recommended prices for the GeForce 6800 Ultra, GeForce 6800 GT and GeForce 6800 to $399, $299 and $199 respectively. It is not yet clear whether NVIDIA wants to quickly phase-out its older-generation products in order to release new products with similar or a bit higher performance based on the GeForce 7 architecture.
On the one hand, GeForce 6 chips made using 0.11 micron at TSMC offer enough performance for the markets they are aimed at and they are less complex than the GeForce 7800 GT/GTX (G70). On the other hand, at some point in future NVIDIA will have a lot of GeForce 7800 chips that can enable 16 pixel and 6 vertex processors and offer speed higher than that of the GeForce 6800 GT, but a bit lower compared to the GeForce 6800 Ultra. Once NVIDIA has enough G70 chips with cut-down specs, it would launch “vanilla” version of the GeForce 7800 that is likely to reduce attraction the GeForce 6800 Ultra and force its phase out; the GeForce 6800 is likely to survive on the market for longer, but is also likely to be discontinued by early 2006. All in all, it is obvious that the days of the GeForce 6800 Ultra and GT on the market are counted, but it is unclear, when NVIDIA may decide to cease the supplies.
While the roadmap of NVIDIA is not currently known, it is clear that with headroom for price reduction of the GeForce 7800 GT and clock-speed improvement of the GeForce 7800 GTX, NVIDIA is ready for ATI’s launch of its new family of visual processing units.