WHEN IT COMES to the October 29th baby from Nvidia, everything is ready and partners are now getting boards from Flextro...Foxco... Nvidia, packing them in retail boxes and shipping them through all possible express shippers for the launch date. Thus, this first wave of cards is never a real money earner.
Yes, you can expect that scores start leaking from forums and not sporting unusual combinations like Core 2 processors with very unusual FSB clocks, just to invalidate any real comparison between the card and current line-up.
The company is launching the card in front of its 780i chipset launch, but more importantly the Nvidia lads want to have their 199 and 249 products ready for Hellgate: London.
Personally, I could not wait long enough to see latest product from Bill Roper and the gang over at Flagship Studios, formerly of Blizzard North fame (Diablo series). There is also Crysis coming out really soon, and we're waiting to see what AIBs (add in board vendors) are going to pick up these titles and bundle them with their 8800GT's.
But what is more interesting is the number of boards that is coming out in first wave. Nvidia usually has 20.000 boards in first wave, 20.000 in second and then either decreases the production - such as off-shot products with short life-spans 0 or increases.
Whatever happens, with the "flavour of the year" policy, you can expect that one partner will have enough products, while others will be happy to receive hundreds or thousands of boards, depending.
We managed to learn that for the very first launch day, Nvidia got Foxconn and Flextronics to push out a grand total of 50,000 512MB boards for first wave, followed by a smaller number for the week after, and a higher number for weeks after that.
Overall, there should be around 200-300,000 512MB boards in the mix before years' end, which does not look all that great when it comes to potential multi-million selling titles such as Hellgate: London, Crysis, Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3, all coming in the next five weeks.
When it comes to 256MB part, it will mostly depend on the number of available G92_200 series. In all reality, this is a mainstream G96 part, G92_300 is the real G92 and that is a high-end part with yes, 384-bit memory controller... or 768-bit, given by the amount of memory on prototype boards.
Demand for 512MB boards will be the key, since Nvidia earns most money off that part, manufactured by itself, of course. Also, 1GB part is in the works by several partners, so it will be interesting to see what will be the final line-up between ATI and Nvidia. Nvidia has all eyes set on 512MB board, with 256MB board belonging to lower volume, and 1GB in niche part of the market. According to key game developers, 1GB parts should be the key for Yuletide.
Quite a number of green partners are voicing out concern over the rumoured number of RV670 boards, which should have better results than 8800GT and come in higher numbers.
Whatever happens, it is never boring in this industry. µ
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