G71 should be Nvidia's last Geforce 7 generation card, and after than it will move to G80, the eight generation powered with Unified Shaders. ATI, on the other hand, is preparing to move to 80 nanometres first.
It informed its partners that it has a R580+ card up at its corporate sleeves. It is nothing more than 80 nanometre R580 core, but this shrink will make the chip cooler, smaller and cheaper to produce. ATI will probably be able to get some higher clocks out of it as well.
Samples are scheduled for May, while production should start in Q3 between June and August. Such timing clearly indicates that ATI is not in a rush to release the R600 and we know that R600 is actually doing just fine. The R600 needs Vista to glow.
We heard about the R580+ before, but it was called R581. Obviously ATI changed its mind about the name. The card naturally supports all that R580 can bear, including Avivo, Crossfire and it is a native PCIe component. µ
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