Will NVIDIA's GTX780 Be Powered By A GK110 GPU?

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅17.10.2012 22:36:40

The ink is barely dry on the release PR for NVIDIA's final GTX600-series card, the GTX650Ti, yet news of the next series of cards is starting to leak out. German site 3DCenter.org have released information they believe to be credible which details some of the features of the upcoming 700-series, including a potential surprise at the top-end.

The details of the refresh seem to mirror that of the Fermi transition from 400-series to 500-series, including the nomenclature of GPUs. In that instance the GF10x GPUs were updated to GF11x's, which had better performance and TDP characteristics than the originals whilst still being manufactured on the same 40nm process. The 700-series card will in tern feature GK11x GPU cores at the heart, updates which (should according to early information) realise 10-15% improved performance vs their GK10x counterparts. That is not however to say that the GTX780 SKU will feature a GK114...

Of the leak/speculation the most eye-opening point is the identification of the high-end GTX780 GPU as a GK110, NVIDIA's 7bn transistor compute monster which never made it to the 600-series. The GK110 GPU powers the server-grade Tesla K20, and wasn't expected to see release as a desktop part in this generation or the next. Including the GK110 as the top-end GTX780 may indicate that yields on the full-fat beast aren't where they need to be, and slightly lesser salvaged parts are good enough to warrant filtering through to general consumer markets.

As per this Tom's Hardware article the GK110 has 2880 CUDA cores (almost double that of the GK104's 1536) and a 384-bit wide memory bus, backed up by 6 Raster Engines, 160 TMUs and 48 ​​ROPs. The GK110 is a compute core designed for double-precision operations, whereas the GK104 et al. were hobbled by comparison in GPU compute. Of course, a GTX780 may not have all CUDA cores active if the part has been salvaged as not suitable for higher-grade bins but good enough for the desktop; we can but dream. The projected performance of this part is 40-55% better than the GK104, though the GPU's TDP may be the first built on 28nm to breach 300W.

With the GK110 occupying the highest SKU, other refreshed cores will occupy lower SKUs in the 700-series. 3DCenter claim the GK114 - 10-15% faster than the GK104 remember - will form the basis for GTX760/760Ti cards and be expected to go head-to-head with AMD's 8970's. Similarly the GTX750's will be based around a GK116 GPU, offering best value for performance.

If the rumours are accurate this could pose quite a conundrum for AMD in terms of pricing for the 2nd-generation GCN cards the 700-series will be facing off against. They certainly won't be best pleased with their flagship HD8970 being compared to a 'mid-range' part, less so even than the last generation's HD6970 vs GTX570. Both camps are expected to release thier new cards this Spring, AMD first in Q1/Q2 and NVIDIA following fast in Q2/Q3.

Source: 3DCenter.org

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