updated 01:10 pm EDT, Fri June 18, 2010
GF104 could replace most NVIDIA hardware
NVIDIA's upcoming GF104 architecture, once targeted at just the mainstream, could soon take over virtually all of the company's GeForce graphics chipsets. The GTX 460 and now GTS 455 were the primary targets, but it's now thought that every other mid-range and low-end GeForce 400 card will use the same architecture, which uses about 25 percent less power and should work better for low-end hardware.
The 460 and 455 don't have full specs but would be largely cut down versions. One leak gives the GTX 460 a total of 336 prcessing cores, a 675MHz core clock, 1.8GHz memory and just 13W of power draw for the main chip. It could be about as fast as the GTX 465 but would cost just $230.
NVIDIA is now said to be pleased enough with GF104's performance that it may produce a card finally hitting the original 512-core target promised late last year. Its other details are a mystery, but it's predicted to ship in either late summer or early fall. Using the new architecture could keep its power requirements as good as or better than the existing 448-core GTX 480 but with noticeably better performance.
All of the chips may be instrumental to future computer releases, as companies like Apple, Dell and HP still depend heavily on NVIDIA hardware for some of their desktop lineups, particularly higher-end computers.