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Nvidia Corp. earlier this week unveiled impressive details about its next-generation Fermi architecture for graphics processing units (GPUs) and even demonstrated an add-in card powered by the new chip. But while the new GPU architecture impresses, the board that was shown-off does not seem to be a working sample. Nvidia itself claims that the card was an “engineering sample” and that the first commercial Fermi products will be released in Q4 2009.

“[The Fermi chip was] not on the prototype that was held up [at the keynote and press conference]. Modifications may be made in this before the product is released. There was a working Fermi chip used in the Fermi demo,” explained Luciano Alibrandi, a spokesman for Nvidia.


Nvidia graphics card powered by Fermi-G300 graphics processor. Image by PC Watch

The card that was shown by Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, at the GPU Technology Conference did not seem to be the final product from the start, as we mentioned in the news-story on the matter. Besides, many press outlets as well as technology forums (1, 2) over the Internet expressed doubts that the demonstrated Fermi-G300 card was real.


Nvidia graphics card powered by Fermi-G300 graphics processor. Image by PC Watch

There are numerous questionable facts about the card that Nvidia demonstrated during its GPU trade-show:

  • The location of PCI Express Graphics power connectors do not match actual layout of their soldering points. In fact, there are no soldering points for 6-pin connector and the 8-pin one is located incorrectly.
  • There are pieces of stickers left on the rear side of the print-circuit board (PCB), which implies that something was simply cut off from the back of the PCB.
  • The second MIO connector cannot be used because of heat-spreader.
  • There is a ROHS sticker on the card, which is not supposed to be on an early sample.

While Nvidia admits that the board on the public display was an “engineering sample” and did not feature its new Fermi-G300 graphics chip (also known as GT300, NV60), the company stresses that it did show actual performance numbers that the new GPU can achieve without using simulation as well as showcased a demo that was run by its new graphics processor.

“The Fermi demo that we showed was driven by a Fermi-based Tesla chip. The performance numbers that were displayed, which showed five-times the performance of the current generation Tesla chip, are proof of that. […] We are actually showing working sample to some of the press attending GTC,” said Mr. Alibrandi.

But while Nvidia does not want to demonstrate its new Fermi-G300 graphics card openly in early October, it does state that it will be able to ship the product commercially in late 2009 and denies the claim that the first Fermi products will only show up in Q1 2010.

“The first Fermi GPUs are expected to launch by year’s end,” stressed Mr. Alibrandi.

Perhaps, Nvidia is somewhat too optimistic. At the GTC, Nvidia demonstrated the A1 revision of the Fermi-G300 graphics chip made in late August, whereas usually the company uses only A2 or even A3 revisions on commercial products. It usually takes months to create a new revision.

For example, ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices and the arch-rival of Nvidia, demonstrated its latest RV870 “Cypress” processor in action back in early June ’09, but was only able to release the chip commercially in late September ’09, about four months later.

Tags: Nvidia, Geforce, Fermi, Tesla, Quadro, 40nm, GT300

Discussion

Comments currently: 19
Discussion started: 10/02/09 11:32:27 PM
Latest comment: 10/07/09 08:01:24 AM
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[1-15]

1. 
While Nvidia admits that the board on the public display was an “engineering sample” and did not feature its new Fermi-G300 graphics chip (also known as GT300, NV60), the company stresses that it did show actual performance numbers that the new GPU can achieve without using simulation as well as showcased a demo that was run by its new graphics processor.


The card on display wasn't even an engineering sample, that card has about as much chance of executing one computational instruction as I have bedding Megan Fox.
0 0 [Posted by: jumpingjack  | Date: 10/02/09 11:32:27 PM]
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Nvidia PR is sending a Megan Fox lookalike escort over to tide you over.
0 0 [Posted by: 457r4l  | Date: 10/03/09 11:15:28 AM]
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LMAO .. this guys self esteem must match his IQ
0 0 [Posted by: Atech66  | Date: 10/04/09 07:22:53 AM]
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What are you trying to say? Passive aggresive dork...
0 0 [Posted by: 457r4l  | Date: 10/04/09 01:31:38 PM]
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2. 
What a joke Jen-Hsun Huang is

The sooner that tool goes the better NV will be
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 10/03/09 12:28:08 AM]
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3. 
"Modifications may be made in this before the product is released"

Hope so, because when you saw an existing card with a dremel, going through lanes, connectors and what not, the resulting piece of garbage is probably only going to give you nice sparks when you plug it into a now ex-pc...

I would like to see you guys being a bit more critic on the stinking sh*t that these PR people are passing on to you. I appreciate the "Perhaps, Nvidia is somewhat too optimistic" comments on when the cards may come out, but really, this is no engineering sample
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 10/03/09 02:54:23 AM]
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4. 
Wow, the card is fake? Fake? No, not an engineering sample or prototype but a pure fake? This is completely unheard of for an unveiling event like this.

IMO they are simply in no position to compete with AMD at this time. But instead of just keeping quiet (working hard trying to bring their product line up to snuff) they do this? Wow, talk about opening a can of lalalala on themselves. I won't be surprise if there is an update for G4saurus Defectus video LOL.
0 0 [Posted by: CPUGuy  | Date: 10/03/09 12:19:34 PM]
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5. 
Terrible is what Nvidia do ,they also produce mental degeneracy.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 10/04/09 01:22:26 AM]
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6. 
They should've used bricks instead of this.
0 0 [Posted by: zaratustra06  | Date: 10/04/09 04:22:44 AM]
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7. 
Many companies use "Mock ups" when a product is not ready by a certain show etc. to show what a product will look like.
This is not unheard of by any means.
I am not a Nvidia nor am I a ATI fan.. depends on who has what I need at the time.
But for 6 games in late 09 early 2010 I am not enthusiast enough to run out and buy a DX11 card anyway yet.
I cannot rationalize "Tes" as worth the money as of now.
0 0 [Posted by: Atech66  | Date: 10/04/09 07:09:18 AM]
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8. 
And the age old Fan boy debate goes on....
Nvidia kicked ATI's azz for a good long run.. ATI has kicked Nvidia's azz before.. this next round may go to ATI down the road may be Nvidia.. Intel makes a core i7 I buy it but long ago when the Athlon64 came out AMD won so I baught that.
you guys seem kind of immature to be honest.
DX11 is going to take awhile to get up and running.. what like 6 games that maybe a few are decent will even use it are comming out anytime soon?
You going to drop all that cash for a card just so you can be the first to post "I GOT MY DX11 CARD NANANANA!!!"
how simple minded of you. I love this its like watching reality TV just to see how stupid people act.
( this post is not directed at anyone with synapsis at this time)
0 0 [Posted by: Atech66  | Date: 10/04/09 07:19:57 AM]
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9. 
Atech is missing the point, this isn't a case of fanboyism, it's misleading PR. It's OK to use props as long as people know they aren't real.

This is outright fraud, the intent was to deceive, not us, but the stock owners and potential investors, that they had a working prototype board.

All they had to do was 1) a better job making a fake Fermi board, and i mean come on, they can't even make authentic looking FAKE video cards?! How much credibility do they have now for making a real one? 2) just tell everyone this is a model and not a real board, and it might have this look. Simple stuff, but their overpaid PR/Marketing group has a bigger problem now.
0 0 [Posted by: Dr_b_  | Date: 10/04/09 08:34:15 AM]
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10. 
Huang: "This puppy here, is Fermi" (From Nvidia Fermi presentation)

Reality: No, it was not, stupid liar.


Alibrandi: “The Fermi demo that we showed was driven by a Fermi-based Tesla chip. The performance numbers that were displayed, which showed five-times the performance of the current generation Tesla chip, are proof of that..."

Reality: What freaking "proof"?? A "test" ran behind closed door with no witnesses??? LoL In science, proof are presented to all to PEER REVIEW THEM!! You flat lied about the embarrassingly bad mockup, you play with words calling it "an engineering sample" that imply a WORKING beta unit when clearly it was not and on top, you have the audacity to ask us to blindly swallow another lie about tesla numbers? You have the god syndrome or what, idiot?


Xbitlabs's note under 2 X pictures of a false Tesla card: "Nvidia graphics card powered by Fermi-G300 graphics processor"

Reality: You are talking out of both sides of mouth here, do you realize that? The article is about the fact the "unit" is cut and glued together and non operational when Nvidia implied and is still implying it is operational. Then what certainty you have that this picture show a card with an actual "Fermi-G300" chip under the heatsink? Nvidia has show it to you? You had access to the card and you removed the heatsink? Do you have a picture of this tesla board without the heatsink showing a Fermi-G300 chip on it to support your "claim"? No, no and no? That's what I thought...

Conclusion:

Don't f**k around with semantic and poorly phrased truth twisting bullshit. That's a f*****g insult to my intelligence. That PR stunt was pure deception and lies, period. The goal was to "try" to shift attention from ATI to Nvidia in the hope it would somehow reduce ATI incredible current momentum with the 5000 series and cover the fact Nvidia is desperately behind the DX11 game. 6 to 8 months behind, that is. The shit is now hitting the fan, hard. Nvidia FAILED to buy time, they are in fact living on borrowed time as we can learn for many sources all around the web.

Xbitlabs should be REVOLTED at this kind of unacceptable corporate behavior. Instead, they sit on the fence by merely reporting fact without taking position just to contradict those fact by implying the fake was real with those picture comments. Mixing true and false is called disinformation. The point is: If you don't clearly denounce it, then you are OK with it.

Nvidia just dropped from notoriously bad to public enemy and xbitlabs shares took a sharp nose dive with this one.


Ramon Zarat
0 0 [Posted by: Ramon Zarat  | Date: 10/05/09 12:15:23 AM]
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11. 
Engineering sample eh? I had an Engineering sample of a rocket at home when I was 5
0 0 [Posted by: tdevinda  | Date: 10/05/09 12:21:16 AM]
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12. 
+1 to zarat, +1 to tdevinda

then again, it's true that xbitlabs should have sent a more hawkish response to nvidia for lying to them and making them look like uninformed fools who can't recognize a videocard when they see it, BUT at least they run the "it was a mock-up story": what the hell is going on at the big sites? (anandtech, tomshardware) my guess so far can only be that they are not able to run the story because they would somehow suffer some adverse effects inside their pockets...
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 10/05/09 01:02:14 AM]
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13. 
OMG, how pathetic!
ATI starts selling their next gen DX11 hardware, and that results in NVIDIA making a joke of itself.
0 0 [Posted by: eltoro200  | Date: 10/05/09 02:23:00 AM]
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14. 
I remember when Nvidia sed, they work on the DX10 cards, because they dont feel like useing the new techs, like DX11.
The last company who sad that was 3dfx. And they have been bought by nvidia.
0 0 [Posted by: Battlehealer  | Date: 10/06/09 03:51:15 AM]
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15. 
Well their claim of Q4 2009 is just so some people would wait for their card instead of getting ATI's GPU now. Their marketing PR's been like that for ages. Shame on us if we'd still believe that. When Q4 comes and not a sight of Fermi comes, they'll just say it will just be a few more weeks... which is Q1 2010...
0 0 [Posted by: goury  | Date: 10/06/09 07:20:44 PM]
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I'll wait for NVIDIA's DX11 product line to be released just to get a new 5870/5890 at a bargain price.
0 0 [Posted by: eltoro200  | Date: 10/07/09 08:01:24 AM]
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