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Nvidia could launch Kepler in February

Nvidia could be set to debut its Kepler graphics processing units (GPU) as soon as February, in an effort to counter AMD's pre-emptive launch of its own 28nm chips.

AMD once again beat Nvidia to launch its next-generation graphics cards, debuting the 7950; which instantly became the most powerful single chip card available. Nvidia was initially expected to bring the Kepler line up last year, before it was pushed back till April 2012, but now it's all changed again.

The February release date is so far just a rumour circulating on a few forums and news sites, with the mill suggesting the GTX 680 will be landing in the first few days of the month. Performance wise it's expected to be comparable to the AMD 7970, with a clock speed of 780MHZ. Memory wise however, it'll be lacking a little compared to the AMD offering. The 7970 comes with 3GB of GDDR5, whereas Nvidia's new card will 'only' pack 2GB on board.

This latest generation of graphics cards from both companies will run cooler and quieter than previous ones thanks to the die shrink. Up until now the best we've had access to was 40nm. The new chips are cut down to 28nm.

Both lines of GPUs will also support DX11.1 under Windows 8, along with PCI Express 3.0, offering up extra graphical bandwidth.