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Discussion on Article:
Catch Me if You Can: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC 3 GB Graphics Card Review
Having said that, I would expect NV to come out with something competitive too. Comments such as Nvidia leaking slides on how much better its card will overclock are unnecessary when you analyze their launch history.
Think about it, it took AMD almost 15 months to release an HD7950 that's only 10% faster than a GTX580, but is manufactured not only on the more advanced 28nm process node, but also was designed on a new architecture. It took NV less than that to produce a simple refresh of GTX480 and in the process achieve a 15% more increase from the GTX580 (on the same 40nm process, using the same architecture).
Kepler will be an entirely new architecture and also benefit from all the advantages that a new 28nm node brings.
Looking back historically:
New Mid-Range vs. Previous High-end from NV:
GeForce 4 4200 > GeForce 3 Ti 500
GeForce FX 5700 Ultra > GeForce 4 4800
GeForce 6600GT > Geforce FX 5950 Ultra
GeForce 7600GT > GeForce 6800 Ultra (in modern games)
GeForce 8800GT/9600GT > 7900GTX
Geforce GTS250 512MB > 8800GTX 768mb/ 9800GTX+
GeForce GTX460 1GB > GTX280/285
It's logical to assume that if NV follows this path, GTX660 Ti will be nearly as fast as a GTX580, if not faster. Since that card will be mid-range, it will probably have a much lower price-point than the HD7950.
Also, don't forget that NV had a very advanced geometry/tessellation-capable architecture with Fermi. Kepler will only improve upon that while Tahiti barely surpasses the original Fermi, albeit ~2 years later.
I am not saying NV is 100% guaranteed to beat Tahiti since AMD can always release a faster HD7980 card, but you can't discount Nvidia's response just yet by implying they'd need to resort to overclocking to stay in the game.
How much is your overclock on 1.20V?
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