Man the cranks, it’s time to spin up the rumor mill again. This time it’s about Computex, where we are expecting to see the very first gamer-orientated graphics cards from both Nvidia and AMD’s next-generations. Although we’ve had a sneak peak at an enterprise focused Pascal graphics processing unit (GPU) from Nvidia, nothing consumer grade has shown up so far – so this year’s Computex could be an exciting time.
Both Polaris and Pascal, AMD and Nvidia’s new, respective GPU technologies, are expected to offer vastly improved performance and much higher efficiency per watt, thanks to a die shrink to 16nm and implementation of new memory standards.
Just how much in either respect, is anyone’s guess, but there has been talk of AMD’s cards being vastly more efficient than previous generations of Nvidia’s GPUs, which in itself would be a news worthy story.
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The latest rumors about these new cards come from HardwareBattle and Digitimes. While they agree on both graphics card firms showing off their new generations of GPUs at Computex, the latter suggests that AMD won’t have its Polaris cards available quite as early as Nvidia’s Pascal units.
Pascal, it says, will begin shipping out in July, with the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 leading the charge. AMD’s Polaris though, will come later it claims – which if true, might be the reason that AMD held off on showing off its Radeon Pro Duo, the dual-core Fiji XT card which it debuted just a few weeks ago and should be available at some point in Q2.
All of these rumors and hearsays point to a slightly rocky next few months for both Nvidia and AMD. Projections suggest hype for the next-generation could cannibalize sales of both companies’ graphics cards, as consumers hold off on buying anything new in the hope that the new cards will be powerful and affordable.
And gamers have waited a long time already. Nvidia’s last major new architecture, Maxwell, first appeared in early 2014. AMD has used an architecture called Graphics Core Next (GCN) since 2011, with small but frequent updates over time, the last of which was in the summer of 2015. Polaris will continue the tradition, as it too will be based on GCN.
The near-simultaneous debut of Polaris and Pascal will make for an interesting holiday season. It’s been a long time since we’ve new architectures from each released within the span of a couple months, and the competition is sure to be intense.