updated 12:00 pm EST, Fri January 4, 2008
GeForce 9800 GX2, 9600 GT
Nvidia has reportedly let slip information on two of its upcoming video cards. The most unique of the pair is the GeForce 9800 GX2, described as effectively being two 8800 GPU chips shrunk to the 65nm level, and placed in an SLI configuration on a single board. Rumored specifications include 256 stream processors, two PCBs, and a 1GB frame buffer; performance is said to be at least 30 percent faster than a single-GPU 8800 Ultra. It is also suggested that the 9800 GX2 will support "quad SLI," likely meaning two such cards operating in tandem rather than four. The card is expected to ship in late February or early March, and may temporarily become the fastest mainstream card sold by Nvidia.
Information has also come out regarding the GeForce 9600 GT, Nvidia's next mid-range card. A corporate roadmap indicates that the card will have a 650MHz core, with a 1.6GHz unified shader clock. The memory clock will operate at 900MHz, and combined with a 256-bit bus, total memory bandwidth should be 57.6GBs. The texture fill rate should be 20.8 billion pixels per second.
Nvidia claims that the performance of the 9600 should be "almost double" that of the 8600, and that it will support newer standards such as DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.0, and PCIe 2.0. This may come at some cost though, as ChileHardware claims that the card may require a 400W power supply, putting it closer to par with Nvidia's current high-end models.