Nvidia's first affordable DirectX 10 card, the G86 is almost done. Production is scheduled for March time but it may yet slip into April. We are talking about volume production, as a limited number samples are already done.
Meanwhile, ATI expects to be in full-scale production of its RV610 chips in April. Cards based on the chip are therefore unlikely to be launched at Cebit.
But we are talking about ATI's first 65 nanometre product, which it will put up against Nvidia's 80 nanometre-based G86.
The A12 silicon samples of RV610 are expected in March so there might be some cards that DAAMIT can show behind closed doors around the Cebit messe. But the Rev90, board production samples and the production of ASICs is scheduled for April.
RV610 will come out with both Windows XP and Vista drivers and both of them are expected to have the WHQL certificate by then. Best of all, this card should cost just around $100.
It is scheduled for a May launch.
Nvidia's competitive chip, the G86, is now big for a low-end chip. It takes up as much as 122 square millimetres and it's significantly bigger than expected. The chip supports the 128-bit memory interface and is fully DirectX 10 compliant - it just needs a WHQL driver.
This card covers the value segment and should also cost around 100 bucks. At first, it will go up against DAAMIT's X1650PRO and RV550 cards.
The real competition comes with the RV610. And there is still some dispute as to which will end up faster. For now, we can confirm that the RV610 will definitely end up smaller. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ