At the Munich launch back in November, one of the Nvidia partners told us then that "such a card will be extremely hard to manufacture due its complexity". No wonder the first cards will be available in late February at the earliest but we would rather suggested a March for serious availability.
Magic date that all partners were claiming was 20th of February. This very day and still there are not even sample retail cards sent to benchmarketeers. We cannot imagine when and how this card will be available on retail shelves. Dates are postponing all the time but we are quite sure that Cebit, which starts on the 12th of March, will be flooded with this card.
From initial chip volumes we learned that 8000 chips will go to Dell while all other partners will get 2000 chips or should we say cards. This will change with time and with its price of 650 Euros in retail it's not going to be a big seller.
We also learned that Geforce FX will not be in the channel until March and that seems reasonable as there are only 8 days left in February.
Even with smart cooling systems, cards are going to be loud. We confirmed this with a couple of people that saw Geforce FX cards up and running. If you run the cards at full speed, you could compare the noise with early ones. That's not too quiet, as several people have experienced. Nvidia's main problem now is noise and, apart from there being no noise in 2D, in 3dgames noise remains unbearable.
Nvidia partner Gainward claims that its card will only be 7dBA while Nvidia ones are 65 Dba. How this is possible remains a mystery. µ
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