Update: The GK104 GeForce GTX 680 has now been released and we have our review published.
There have been some rumors going around the web about an alleged NVIDIA GK110 chip that is to be the successor to the upcoming GK104, or GTX 600 series, graphics cards. Videocardz is the latest site to pick up on the rumors, and they were able to translate the German blog from which the GK110 chip rumors originated. The NVIDIA GTX 600 series is not yet out, but rumored specs put the top end GTX 680 at 1536 CUDA cores, 2 GB GDDR5 memory, 3.54 billion transistors and a die size of 294mm^2. Clockspeed wise, the GTX 680 will run at a 1.006 GHz core clock, 2.012 GHz shader clock, and effective memory clock of 6.008 GHz.
The rumored GK110 chip, on the other hand, will have 6 billion transistors, 2,304 CUDA cores, and a die size of 550mm^2. That die size figure is where many of the doubts about the rumors come from. Many people have expressed their doubts that NVIDIA would ever create a GPU using such a large die as it would be very cost prohibitive to manufacture. Further, at 550mm^2, that would mean a 87% jump versus the GTX 680, which to many seems too large to consider realistic. Even AMD’s 7970 Tahiti XT part only has a die size of 365mm^2. While the other reported figures seem to match up to what’s realistically possible, the jump in die size is taken by many to indicate the rumors are false.
|AMD HD 7970 Tahiti XT||NVIDIA GTX 680 GK104||NVIDIA GK110|
|Transistors||4.3 billion||3.54 billion||6 billion|
|Single Precision Computing Power||3.79 TFlops||3.09 TFlops||4.5 TFlops|
|Gaming Performance (relative)||85%||100%||150%|
|Power Consumption||211 Watts||185 Watts||250-300 Watts|
|Release Date||12-22-2011 (paper)||3-22-2012||August 2012|
Rumored GK110 Specs
The GK104 is likely going to be released today (be sure to stay tuned to PC Per Live for more information on the NVIDIA event today), and rumors suggest that the GK110 will be released sometime between August 2012 and January 2012. Performance is said to be 1.41 Teraflops more than the GTX 680 based on the GK104 chip.
It could be possible but it would be questionable for NVIDIA to release another big chip within five months of GK104’s release. Videocardz suggests that it may in face be a "GTX 685" type of card, but it is bigger and uses more power than the GTX 680 so I honestly don’t see NVIDIA doing such a thing. If anything, a refresh should use less power or provide the same performance at a lower price thanks to manufacturing advances. Should the 550mm^2 die hold true, it’s not looking likely even for a GTX 700 series card but who knows what NVIDIA has up their sleeves. For now, I am going to focus on the GTX 680 release (heh).