Nvidia has released the first official hint of what buyers can expect from its upcoming GeForce GTX 560 - and while it has yet to confirm or deny the rumoured specifications, it is willing to discuss where the card will sit.
The GTX 560 was first launched as a 'Ti' variant featuring a Fermi GF114 GPU clocked at 820MHz, with 384 CUDA processing cores, and 1GB or more of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus. Although Nvidia hasn't detailed how the non-Ti version will differ, a slower clockspeed is a given - along with a possible decrease in the number of CUDA cores.
According to Nvidia's Jimmy Thang, the company is aiming firmly at the mainstream gaming market with its latest creation. "According to Valve's hardware survey results, the 2008-released GeForce 9800 GT is the most popular graphics card used on Steam," he pointed out in a blog post on the company's UK site. "While many gamers are still using three-year-old GPUs, interestingly enough, Valve's data also states that the most popular gaming resolution, by a vast majority, is 1920x1080.
"This discrepancy in what hardware the majority of people have versus what resolutions their displays support presents an interesting predicament," Thang mused. "Essentially, users running 9800 GTs and even older graphics cards would have to make compromises in performance, graphical settings, or both to play games at such a high resolution."
It's this mass-market of gamers with full HD monitors and slower graphics cards to which Nvidia is planning to pitch the GTX 560 - hoping to tempt users into an upgrade with the promise of full-fat visuals without the hefty price tag of the company's higher-end offerings.
Designed to sit between the last-generation GeForce GTX 460 and the recently-launched GeForce GTX 560 Ti in terms of price and performance - meaning, Thang claims, that gamers will be able to play the latest titles at 1920x1080 without having to turn off advanced features such as 3DVision and PhysX.
To prove Thang's claims, Nvidia has released a video of the GeForce GTX 560 playing as-yet unreleased titles: Duke Nukem Forever, Alice: Madness Returns, and Dungeon Siege III. Performance is crisp - but the success of the product will largely depend on the pricing relative to the company's high-performance cards.
Nvidia's all-too-brief demonstration of the GeForce GTX 560's capabilities is reproduced below. The card is due to officially launch on the 17th of May.