We managed to learn that the yield of Samsung's GDDR-4 memory at 1 GHz DDR (marketing number: 2 GHz) is almost perfect and the yields of higher clocked parts are good as well.
And when yield is perfect, you have a domino effect of price going down enough even to fit the $200 mark for the graphics boards. In short, this means that at least 1GHz GDDR-4 will be placed on major performing mainstream and on all high-end parts in 2007.
This means the bandwidth of the mainstream parts will go from 16 to 18GB/s - which is the default bandwidth of GDDR-3 memory clocked at 500-600 MHz DDR (6600GT, 7600GT, X1600...) will go to 32GB/s free of charge in the eternal 200 dollar range.
High-end boards, however speak a different story even today. R600 and G80 will come with GDDR-4 memory clocked in excess of 1GHz DDR clock, and current prediction is floating around Samsung's 0.73ns chips instead of 0.9ns. Expect the Taiwanese marketing boys to fit the retail boxes with bombastic figures of hundred of gigabytes of bandwidth.
The refreshments of G80 and R600, chips under codename G85 and R680 will come in fall of 2007 with GDDR-4 memory clocked in a range of two to two point four gigahurtz in DDR mode. In short, we're talking about the clock speed of memory from 4-5 (Five!) marketing GHz, yielding a memory bandwidth of 160GB/s when 256-bit memory bus is used. And graphics are going 384-bit and 512-bit sooner that most of the people imagine.
In the end, with higher bandwidth everybody will have a nice opportunity to play with free 4x FSAA and anisotropic filtering, because the graphics chips will be bound only by the number of shading units and the amount of system memory.
Can anyone say... console specs suck so badly right now? For playing games in 1080p, you'll pretty much have to shell out a $200 for a graphics card and forget about expensive 720p running, DRM-burdened crap named Xbox 360 w/HD-DVD and upcoming PlayStation 3 (I expect at least 200 hate mails in my inbox over this statement). µ
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