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Old 08-17-02, 06:52 PM   #31
Bigus Dickus
GF7 FX Ti 12800 SE Ultra
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 651

Originally posted by Matthyahuw
of course the clock will be higher...that's one of the advantages of moving to a smaller die, that and less heat...
I think it's more likely that the NV30 will be clocked higher (core) than the R300, but I don't think it's a certainty (I'd guesstimate something like 70% probability it's 325MHz or greater).

In fact, I think the 9700Pro's clock speed is probably at or slightly above the original target for the NV30.

Most people thought the R300 would never see speeds above 250MHz, and since it's a more complex chip than Matrox's Parhelia (which is stuck at 220Mhz), many thought it would be in the low 200's.

With that kind of expected clock speed, it was "a given" that the NV30 would be significantly faster. However, now that ATI has pulled a rabbit out of their ass with 325Mhz, it's not "a given" that NVIDIA will be able to do the same, and just arbitrarily raise the core speed to ~400Mhz.

In fact, part of the delays might simply be hand tweaking of the core design for improved frequencies... something ATI did to achieve 325Mhz, and something NVIDIA probably wasn't planning on having to do.

ATI is drawing over AGP spec, with a hand tweaked design, on a very mature and well refined process. Whether a better but immature .13u process will be a benefit or not remains questionable (I think it will be a benefit... but perhaps not initially). Has NVIDIA hand tweaked the NV30 in the same manner? Are they willing to go beyond AGP specs? (If the NV30 was purely digital logic, it should be able to run >400MHz and still be below the 40W maximum, but with RAMDACS and other components, that is still uncertain.)

My feeling is that NVIDIA will do whatever it takes... power connector, more time, whatever... to clock the NV30 above 325MHz, even if it only by 25Mhz or so. I think they have to, because that will be the NV30's most significant advantage.
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