Nvidia Unveils New GeForce 7900- and 7600- Series Products
Nvidia Corp. used the world’s largest trade-show to unveil the refreshes to its already successful high-end and performance-mainstream product line. The new GeForce 7900-series is developed to substitute the well-known GeForce 7800-series graphics cards, whereas the GeForce 7600 family will eventually replace the GeForce 6600 breed of graphics cards.
The GeForce 7900 is a redesign of the GeForce 7800 graphics processing unit (GPU) that is manufactured using TSMC’s 90nm process technology with no significant architectural changes. The new GPUs have 24 pixel processors with 24 texture units, 16 render back ends (ROPs) and 8 vertex shader processors, just like the predecessors. However, unlike the 7800-series, the new chips have built-in dual dual-link DVI interfaces, which allows users to drive large liquid crystal displays (LCDs) without using specially designed graphics cards.
The new process technology as well as a redesign of the pixel processors allowed Nvidia to increase clock-speeds of the GeForce 7900-series substantially compared to the GeForce 7800 breed: the GeForce 7900 GT is clocked at 450MHz (comes equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1320MHz), whereas the 7900 GTX version operates at 650MHz (and has 512MB of 1600MHz memory onboard). The new chips code-named G71 utilize 279 million transistors, less than in the G70, something which decreases manufacturing costs and allows Nvidia to have very flexible pricing on the 7900-series.
Some makers of graphics cards have already announced pre-overclocked boards featuring the GeForce 7900 GTX. The cards should be available shortly from now.
The GeForce 7600 GT product is brand-new design code-named G73 and expected to compete against ATI’s offerings in $200-range. The G73 is also made using 90nm process technology and has 178-million transistors, just insignificantly more compared to the GeForce 6600.
Nvidia hopes that the GeForce 7600 GT will become astonishingly successful: the new part has 12 pixel processors 5 vertex shader units and is clocked at 560MHz. Nvidia recommends its graphics cards partners to equip the 7600 GT models with 256MB of 1400MHz GDDR3 memory with 128-bit access. Given that Nvidia new product has 12 texture units compared to 4 in the Radeon X1600-series, the new part promises to substantially outpace the latter in today’s games and even without sacrificing performance in future titles, as both parts feature the equal number of pixel shader processors.
Nvidia Corp. has been pretty successful in the last couple of years with its products for enthusiasts. The new GPUs will probably maintain the success and will allow Nvidia to manufacture its chips at lower costs, which should improve profit margins for the company provided that the yield levels of the new chips are similar compared to the previous generation products.