On 18 February, Nvidia introduced the GeForce GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti, two affordable new video cards. What makes this introduction particularly interesting is that both GTX 750 variants are the first to feature a chip from the new Maxwell generation. This made us especially curious about their performance.
Nvidia promises that Maxwell will deliver an enormous increase in efficiency and claims that the GM107 chip, on which the new cards are based, is a particularly good fit for modern PCs, such as laptops and small Mini-ITX systems. In this review, we will discuss the new Maxwell architecture and extensively study the performance of these two new video cards.
That a new generation called Maxwell was going to succeed the Fermi generation (GTX 400/500 series) and the Kepler generation (GTX 600/700) will not have been news to those who have been following Nvidia's roadmaps for the last few years.
However, the fact that Maxwell makes its first appearance in two affordable cards such as the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti is surprising, since Nvidia typically releases each new generation as a high-end GPU, initially. Only later would the new technology also become available to smaller, less complex chips for more affordable cards.
Nvidia's change of plans is almost certainly caused by TSMC, the Taiwanese company which produces Nvidia's chips.
TSMC has been producing Nvidia's chips for years, and new generations of chips are typically introduced together with a new process node from TSMC: Fermi was 40nm, Kepler was 28nm, and it's hardly a secret that Maxwell chips were meant to be produced on a 20nm node.
However, TSMC's 20nm process node has seen substantial delays. According to the original planning, it should have been ready a long time ago, but the opposite is true. Nvidia, being one of TSMC's largest customers, probably knows more about what's going on at TSMC than we do, but to us it isn't clear when the new 20nm process node will be ready for production.
You can read the rest of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 / 750 Ti review at Hardware.info.