Originally Posted by Redeemed
I have to be honest- the more I look at this new lineup the more I feel let down. Sure, the 7970 is great when compared to the 6970, the 7970 does very well at higher resolutions, and it is great in crossfire.
However it seems a little under whelming when compared to present-gen nVidia cards. Some posts up Shadow001 posted some numbers of the 7970 against a 580 and it for the most part just barely outpaces the 580. Crossfire of course is untouchable right now, unless compared to dual 580s.
I was expecting more to be honest. I was expecting a far greater lead over the 580 than what the 7970 offers. Honestly I hope this isn't the best AMD has to offer, it'd seem mighty surprising if Kepler doesn't destroy this GPU. From my experience nVidia typically comes close to doubling previous gen performance with every new GPU release. So Kepler I would expect to nearly double the performance of a 580. I'd say 50% - 75% increase over a 580 and there's no way a 7970 can match that even with mature drivers.
No, I'm hoping AMD has something up there sleeves. This just seems like they opted to release first instead of focus on having a more competitive product.
Anyhow, a lot of speculation still as Kepler is a ways off. I'm starting to think I won't be buying any new GPU this year. Maybe next year with the 8 series from AMD. Or who knows, maybe I'll find a Kepler that offers GTX 580 performance while be very conservative on the heat and power fronts, for a reasonable price. If so, and even with how much I've been pleased with my recent AMD cards, it'd be back to nVidia for me.
Keep in mind that the policies are different for both companies, as ATI does not want to make GPU's with very large die sizes like Nvidia does, and leaves the very highest end version of their product up to dual GPU cards like the upcoming HD7970 card, wich is due in march, and seeing how crossfire is already scaling with the initial driver, you know nothing with touch that for quite a while.
Part why Nvidia makes much larger dies is what keeps it ahead in terms of performance since for the last several generations, it's been that way as i don't remember a single of their GPU's beating ATI/AMD based ones when using the same transistor budget...If fact you'd have to go back to the DX8 days with the Geforce 4Ti 4600 versus the radeon 8500(60 million transistors in each one) to see it happen.
Now what finances it isn't really the gaming version of the chips, but rather the quadro/ tesla versions that sell for the professional market and sell for several times more than the gaming version, and it's basically the same chip, just different firmware on the GPU and different drivers that are more focused towards professional applications, and it's that balance that's increasingly more difficult to strike as time goes on, now that both companies are adding a lot of features or extra performance that have no use in gaming, but do in GP-GPU scenarios, like double precision floating point math or ECC memory support.
Basically it isn't about gaming performance anymore like the old days... We're well beyond that now.