Nvidia's Maxwell GPU on its way, but no GTX 800s yet

Dave James

Nvidia is launching a couple of brand new graphics cards in the entry-level arena. Normally that wouldn't be a particularly exciting event, but this is going to be our first taste of Nvidia's new Maxwell GPU architecture. It'll be the first time Nvidia have launched new graphics architecture without housing it in a top-end graphics card. You could argue that's because they simply don't need to with the likes of the GTX 780 Ti delivering the goods against the hot and hungry Radeon 290X.

But there's another possibility - the proper Maxwell GPUs aren't ready to be manufactured.

Maxwell was meant to appear on the new 20nm production process, a drop in scale from Nvidia's current 28nm node. But the silicon manufacturer, TSMC, reportedly isn't yet ready to start production. Until they are it's unlikely we'll see proper GTX 800 series cards backed up by Maxwell tech.

These entry-level GeForce cards still look interesting though, especially as they're going to be purely bus-powered - needing no extra power aside from what they get from the motherboard's PCIe slot. Some pictures of the new GPUs have tipped up over at VideoCardz.

The GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti look like direct replacements for the GTX 650 and GTX 650 Ti, but the fact Nvidia has stuck with a lowly 128-bit memory interface is a bit of a shame. If the GTX 750 Ti was rocking a 192-bit bus, like the impressive GTX 650 Ti Boost, I'd be very excited indeed. As it is, I'm just intrigued. Okay, maybe a bit excited. We'll know more very soon as all the rumours point to a February release./p>

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