by Anton Shilov
02/16/2011 | 11:56 PM
Although Nvidia Corp. has never confirmed plans to release a new dual-chip flagship graphics card, it looks like the one is nearing. Apparently, a graphics card called "GeForce GTX 590" is listed in one of beta builds of Nvidia ForceWare drivers.
Nvidia ForceWare driver version 266.7x beta supports GeForce GTX 590 (NVIDIA_DEV.1083.01) and GeForce 550 Ti (NVIDIA_DEV.1244.01) graphics cards, revealed VR-Zone web-site. Both graphics cards have not yet been announced, but their listing in drivers points to the fact that the graphics solutions will be released shortly.
The PCI identifier of the GeForce GTX 590 implies that the graphics board is based on a GF110 graphics processing unit (GPU) which has 1080 PCI ID, naturally, the id does not show how many chips are onboard. The identifier of the GeForce 550 Ti may indicate that the solution is powered by yet unknown GF116 GPU, which will likely be a successor of the GF106 with enhanced performance and lowered power consumption.
Little is known about the graphics card that is said to be called GeForce GTX 590. The board is presumably set to be based on two GF110 graphics chips and will therefore have 1024 stream processing units, 128 texture units and 96 raster operation units in total. In order to simplify the design of the board, the GF110 chips will rely on two 384-bit memory buses to connect to 3072MB of GDDR5 memory (each chip will have 1536MB frame-buffer). Based on images published by several web-sites, the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590 will have two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors, thus, will consume between 300W and 375W.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 will compete against dual-chip AMD Radeon HD 6990. Given the fact that Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 graphics card is significantly faster ATI Radeon HD 6870, the dual-chip GeForce GTX 590 will have all chances to outperform the Radeon HD 6990 code-named Antilles. Although the flagship graphics cards do not represent a substantial share of AMD's or Nvidia's revenues, they attract attention to the "GeForce" and "Radeon" brands and therefore advertize mainstream products and prove technological leadership of their developers.
Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.