As always, there are going to be a plethora of rumors about the next GPUs coming from AMD and Nvidia, so it comes as no surprise that new details are leaking about Nvidia’s next generation of GPUs based on Maxwell. Nvidia has already launched the Maxwell architecture with the incredibly efficient and modular GTX 750 Ti. However, this is their one and only Maxwell part and there are lots of people wondering when we’ll see the mid and high-end parts.
So, today’s rumor, about the GeForce GTX 880 and GTX 870 are clearly feeding off of this desire for information and likely enlighten when and what we can expect to see from Nvidia. The first and foremost important detail is that their sources claim that the GeForce GTX 880 and GTX 870 will be launching in the fourth quarter of 2014, most likely in October or November. This would give Nvidia ample time to prepare for the fall/winter game release rush and to have a new and exciting product for the holiday season.
Also, as expected this part will still be based upon the 28nm process from TSMC as the countless rumors of TSMC’s 20nm delays seem to never end. While we all believe that both AMD and Nvidia would love to manufacture their latest generation of high-end GPUs on TSMC’s 20nm process, it simply does not appear to be ready for their multi-billion transistor chips. Let’s remember that Nvidia’s GK-110 is actually a 7.1 billion transistor chip and there is a very strong liklihood that a Maxwell part like what we would expect to be the GM-110 is very likely going to be a GTX 9 series part and not a GeForce GTX 880.
As we saw from Nvidia in the past, they generally launch a cut-down version of the architecture first like the GTX 680 (GK104) and then once their process is more mature and their thermals/yields are manageable, then you’ll see a GTX 780 Ti (GK110) that fully follows the ‘full-blown’ architecture design without any compromises. A lot of sites are referring to the Maxwell batch of GPUs as GM204 and GM-210 however there is no reason to believe that Nvidia would do this, especially since the GTX 750 Ti is a GM107 chip. If the process hasn’t changed and the architecture is the same, I don’t see any reason why the GeForce GTX 880 could not be a GM-104 with its full-blown successor being a GM110 or GM210 if they decide to go with the 20nm die shrink (very likely).
However, some of the rumors continually refer to the high-end GPUs as GM204, which leads some people to believe that we may see more than just higher performance out of a GeForce GTX 880 or GTX 870 part. Realistically, though, I don’t really see this being possible and those parts may be reserved for professional or HPC applications that will get released shortly after the GeForce GTX 880.