Nvidia’s Partners Reluctant to Adopt New Flavour of a High-End Chip

Graphics Card Makers Hesitant to Produce GeForce GTX 260-216

by Anton Shilov
10/08/2008 | 04:39 PM

Nvidia Corp. recently released an improved version of its high-end graphics processing unit (GPU) in an attempt to offer a product that would be indisputably better compared to an offer from the arch-rival ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices. While the new core does have advantages over the previous one, many leading-edge manufacturers of graphics cards have decided to stick with the old one for a while.


The world’s most influential supplier of discrete graphics chips recently released an improved version of its GeForce GTX 260 graphics card that features 216 stream processing units, a substantial increase compared to the GeForce GTX 260 with 192 stream processors available earlier. The attempt was made in order to stop invasion of ATI Radeon 4870 graphics cards into the higher-end market. Nvidia has even maintained the price of the model 260 at the same level as less powerful model 260: $299 a card.

But the attempt was not successful, it seems: many of the largest suppliers of Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards, including, but not limited to, Asustek Computer, Gainward, MicroStar International as well as Leadtek Research, still do not sell graphics cards powered by the so-called GeForce GTX 260-216.

According to market sources, many companies “just have too many” GeForce GTX 260-192 graphics cards available in stock. This seems to be correct, as Nvidia has been aggressively advertising the GeForce brand along with the new GeForce GTX 200-series graphics cards in the recent weeks and also pushing the older graphics cards into the hands of its partners and into the channel.

But graphics cards makers have another arguments regarding low popularity of the novelty: while the new model GTX 260-216 has higher computing power over the predecessor, it still has the same amount of other fixed-function execution units (e.g. texture processors and render back ends) and the same 448-bit memory bus as the predecessor. According to suppliers of graphics cards, the actual performance “improvement is just not large enough” to drive a huge demand towards the new GeForce GTX 260-216.

Despite of the fact that Nvidia revealed an improved version of the GeForce GTX 260, many graphics cards vendors still see that ATI Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 graphics cards are still very popular, which is why the transition to improved flavours of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 cards is likely to be slow. But, obviously, inevitable, which is a reason for ATI to worry.

No comments from the companies mentioned were made for the news-story.