After taunting us with minimal specs lists, fake mock-up cards and plenty of delays, the wait for Nvidia’s first Fermi cards could soon come to an end, as Nvidia has hinted that more information will turn up later today.
A post on Nvidia’s Twitter feed tells its followers to “Check back here on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. PST for a major announcement!” That’s 5pm in the UK, so there are still a good few hours to count down yet. The post also asks “ARE YOU READY?,” complete with capital letters, so Nvidia clearly has something to shout about.
We’re guessing that this “major announcement” has to be something to do with Nvidia’s forthcoming Fermi GPUs. Fermi is Nvidia’s first DirectX 11 GPU architecture, featuring a whopping count of three billion transistors in the top-end chips. We also know that the high-end Fermi chips will have 512 stream processors and native support for C++.
Nvidia has already announced that the first GF100-based cards to be doing the rounds will be the GeForce GTX 480 and 470. However, there’s still a lot we don’t know about these cards, including their clock speeds and when they’ll be available. We also don't have any official pricing information from Nvidia yet, although XFX GTX 480 cards have already started popping up for pre-order. SabrePC currently has 2GB card listed for $679.99 US, (£439.82) and there are also some humorous customer reviews on the site.
Nvidia could finish off its silicon strip tease by revealing all the final details later today, presumably with cards appearing in the shops later on in March. Either that, or Nvidia’s going to go full steam ahead with a paper launch of Fermi today. Last week, the company’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, said that Fermi production wouldn’t hit “full stride” until at least May, so it’s unlikely that there will be many actual cards in the shops soon.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Nvidia’s hype machine has previously built up excitement for big events that have ended in disappointment. As an example, the company had a count-down for a mysterious new launch called the “Power of Three” back in 2005, which just turned out to be a marketing campaign to tell everyone about how great Nvidia is. Hopefully, this announcement will have some more meat on it, even if we can’t necessarily get hold of the cards.