NVIDIA 9 series details

Unofficial NVIDIA 9 series roadmap includes upcoming parts from the GeForce 9800GX2 down to the 9500GS.

Nordic Hardware published a fairly complete roadmap for NVIDIA’s upcoming GeForce 9 series. The roadmap details cards from the ultra high-end GeForce 9800GX2, all the way down to the mainstream GeForce 9500GS. Some information is missing from the graphs, but most of the specifications given fall in line with what we have seen and heard from other sources, including NVIDIA representatives.

The site claims that the GeForce 9800GX2, NVIDIA’s first dual-GPU graphics card since the 7950GX2, will launch on March 11th. This date comes just after the 2008 CeBIT that runs March 4-9 in Hannover, Germany, which leads us to believe the card will have a large presence at the event.

The unofficial roadmap reveals that the GeForce 9800GX2 will carry a core clock speed of 600MHz and a memory clock of 100MHz (2000MHz DDR), both of which numbers we can confirm. The site also details information for some interesting products like the GeForce 9800GTX which at this point seems like it will be quite a powerful card. The GTX will double the amount of stream processors from the recently-launched 9600GT, bringing the amount up to 128. This is the same number of stream processors found in fully-enabled G80 and G92 cores. At this point the 9800GTX looks very similar to the recent GeForce 8800GTS 512MB, which has the same number of stream processors and similar clock speeds. The memory bus width is also the same, at 256-bit, which brings up the question of what is really different between the two cards. With the 9600GT, NVIDIA implemented a new form of data compression that speeds up communications between the graphics memory and the GPU. As a result, the 9600GT performs almost near the same level as the 8800GT, which has 112 stream processors and similar clock speeds. If the same sort of scaling applies when the GeForce 9800GTX bumps the SP count to 128, then we should see some stellar performance from the card.

The 9800GTX will be the third card in NVIDIA’s 9 series, with a launch date sometime in late March. After that will be the 9800GT on April 3rd, followed by lower-end 9600GS, 9500GT, and 9500GS in May, June, and July, respectively. The information relayed in these unofficial roadmaps should obviously not be considered as the absolute truth, but as stated before, everything seems pretty accurate based on discussions we have had with various sources.

The only thing the roadmap is not very clear on at all is pricing. This is admittedly the toughest thing to predict for any launch, as actual retail price may vary significantly from the initial MSRP. We have been hearing that the 9800GX2 will go for $469 at launch, while the roadmap suggests somewhere under $500. Given the recent trouble NVIDIA has been having with getting parts on the shelves, we wouldn’t be surprised if the price of the 9800GX2 climbs up to the $500+ range after the first week.

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