At the rate things are going, Pascal may end up the most hyped graphics card release in recent memory. So far we’ve been treated to die shots of GP106, the low-end chip used in the Drive PX 2. The GP104, set to release a little over a month from now, has remained hidden from view, till today.
Coming out from Chinese forums, we can finally see what GP104 looks like. The SKU we have before us is the GP104-200, the one that is expected to bed used for the GTX 1070, the middle of the pack for GP104. The die size comes in at about 333 mm2 which is remarkably similar to the GM204. Around the die, we are able to see some Samsung 8Gbps 8Gb modules. This is what we have expected for the GTX 1070 and suitable for the GTX 1080 if it doesn’t use GDDRRX.
Overall, the leak today confirms what we already know about Nvidia’s plans. They will start off with the small GXx04 die as the “flagship” and follow it up with the bigger die later on. If the die size is correct, we maybe seeing a decently larger chip than the GM204 due to the die shrink. However, Pascal may bring back some of the compute cut out in Maxwell so it remains to be seen how the chip will truly perform.
With Computex just over a month away, leaks have been popping up daily about Nvidia’s upcoming Pascal graphics cards. So far, we’ve seen a lot of leak around the physical card but nothing yet on core specifications or pricing. Today, according to Taiwanese insiders, we are getting a look at how much GP104 will set buyers back. The GTX 1070 will reportedly sell for NT $ 19990 and the GTX1080 will sell for NT $ 27990.
Converting the prices, you get around $620 and $870 for the 1070 and 1080 respectively. That seems a bit high considering that you can find the 980 at about $500 and the 980Ti at $700. However, if you only consider NT prices, that’s exactly in line with what the GTX 980 and 980Ti cost in Taiwan respectively. This suggests to me that the GP104 cards would be priced where the GTX 980 and 980Ti are right now based on the market they are selling in
These prices are in line with what we’ve come to expect from Nvidia and mirror the GTX 670/680 and GTX 970/980 launches. The GTX 1070 will significantly less and offer competitive performance and the GTX 1080 will command the extra flagship premium. While high the prices are understandable given the new process and architecture. It’s just a shame that the top end GP100 won’t be the true flagship anymore at launch.
Earlier in the week, we got our first glimpse of what might be the GTX 1080 might look like. That was pretty much what we expected given what saw earlier of leaked GTX 1080/1070 cooler shrouds. Today, VideoCardz has found someone who has been able to tear down the cooler shroud of the 1080/1070 and show us just how they are made. The shroud reportedly comes in 4 separate parts that are put together to form the entire component.
In the case of this specific leak, the process used is die-sinking. The biggest part comes with the GTX 10_0 punched out, with the third spot left uncut. This will allow for easier reuse to turn it either in GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 shrouds as production needs dictate. The polygonal fan bracket itself is made of magnesium alloy and is the next largest piece. Finally, we have a Nvidia logo and a side panel that has GeForce GTX punched out.
More and more leaks are expected given the fact that GP104 has already entered mass production. There is no way for GP104 to arrive at Computex unless Nvidia already has everything being made. At this point, we should be seeing GP104 cards starting to be shipped to stores in preparation for the launch. All we need now is a leak confirming the GTX 1060Ti.
Winding down production of a soon to be discontinued product is industry standard practice. When you see production of current models cease, that’s when you know the next generation is just around to corner. Two weeks ago, we brought you news that Nvidia may have stopped GTX 980Ti production. Now it seems that Nvidia has also ceased production of 2 other Maxwell-based GPUs in preparation of Pascal.
According to HWBattle, both of the GM204 based GPUs are no longer being supplied to AiB partners. This means the GTX 970 and 980 will disappear off store shelves sometime between the next 2 months given a normal logistics situation. At the same time, this means the replacements for GM200 and GM204 are well on their way and may arrive within 2 months as well. This is perfect for the late May launch at Computex.
As we’ve reported before, the replacements will be the 3 GP104 chips that will be called GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060Ti. These are the GP104-400, GP104-200 and GP104-150 respectively. Furthermore, the usual practice of launching reference cards first followed by custom ones will not be followed by the GTX 1070. Instead, the custom cards will launch at the same time as the reference models. With Computex just around the corner, we’ll all find out soon what GeForce Pascal truly is like.
For those of you hoping for massive performance jump with the launch of Pascal, prepare to be disappointed. Every new generation tends to improve performance but some more than others. According to previous rumours, Nvidia is using their GP104 die to replace the GTX 980Ti with the GTX 1080 and 1070. Now, the latest reports are suggesting that Nvidia will launch 3 different Pascal SKUs, all based off of GP104, at Computex.
As the xx4 die, GP104 has traditionally been viewed as the smaller chip to the larger x10 or x00 dies that traditionally power flagships. Due to this, don’t expect Pascal to surpass the 980Ti by any large amount. Today’s news also furthers that impression. By splitting GP104 into 3 SKUs, we can expect performance between the 3 cards to be pretty close. It wouldn’t make sense to have so many close performing cards to the flagship which suggests that GP104 won’t be real flagship material.
By slipping GP104 into 3 SKUs, we will likely run into the same situation as the GTX 560Ti 448/570/580 and the 660Ti/670/680. If we take our past experience with those cards as the guideline, we can expect differentiation, not just on the core but the memory bandwidth as well. This makes the previous rumours about the GTX 1070 using GDDR5 while the GTX 1080 will use faster GDDR5X. The 1060Ti as I am calling it may feature either a gimped 192bit bus or the same situation faced by the GTX 970 with a section of VRAM being slower.
Right now, all we have to differentiate the 3 SKUs are the model numbers, the GTX 1080 will be GP104-400-A1, the GTX 1070 GP104-200-A1, and the 1060Ti will be using the GP104-150-A1. It will be interesting to see how Nvidia will differentiate the cards and how they compete against current Maxwell models. Computex can’t come soon enough!
If there is any doubt in our minds that real Pascal cards are coming soon, this latest report clears that all out. According to PCTuning, Nvidia has started sending out invites to select press outlets for a Pascal event. This suggests that Nvidia already has all of their Pascal chips that are launching at Computex ready for the press to review and test out. As of right now, we still don’t know the exact date of Pascal’s launch.
Right now, whether or not the event will be a private event for press only or a live webcast sort of affair remains to be seen. This may well be the event Nvidia sometimes holds with the press beforehand in order to brief them on the chip a bit before shipping out review samples.
What’s more, the leaker is suggesting that Nvidia is going to allow reviews and other information to be released in as soon as three weeks and four weeks at the latest. This would place it at least 2 weeks ahead of Computex which has been the suggested launch. The possibilities are that the leaker is wrong, Computex will be the hard launch with a soft launch before; either way, Pascal is coming soon.
With rumours pointing to a May/June launch at Computex, more information is coming about Nvidia’s upcoming GTX 1070 and 1080. At times taking on an x70 and x80 moniker, the two chips are slated to use the GP104 Pascal die and take up the role currently filled by the GTX 970 and 980. Today, another leak has come out detailing what the two cards will look like and it seems the GTX 1080 will have a lot more memory bandwidth than the GTX 1070.
According to the leak, both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 will be based on the GP104 die. This will slot into the Pascal lineup just like the GK104 and GM204. While previous cards have mostly differentiated in the core specifications, it looks like this time, memory bandwidth and a lot of it will be the difference. The GTX 1080 will reportedly use GDDR5X while the 1070 will use GDDR5. This should give potentially up to 100% more bandwidth for the GTX 1080 and better energy efficiency to boot. Due to the use of different memory, the 1080 will boast 20 more pins. The 1080 will use the GP104-400-A1 and the 1070 the GP104-200-A1.
For two similar cards based of off the same GP104, there seems little reason to split the memory between two different types since the required memory bandwidth should be similar. One possibility is that the GTX 1080 may be using relatively slower GDDR5X that isn’t much faster than the fastest GDDR5. This makes sense if GDDR5X is supply constrained for the top end models. Another possibility is that both were meant to get GDDR5X but supply meant only one of them could. Finally, it could also be a way to differentiate the GTX 1080 as it may remain the GeForce flagship for quite a while.
Last of all, we have also gotten information about the connectors, Both cards will feature 3x Displayport, 1 HDMI, and 1 DVI for display connectivity. Power will be provided by 2 x 8pin PCIe power connectors which is actually more than what the Titan X has. Given the efficiency from moving to 16nm, this points to either a monster chip or lots of dual precision hardware being left in. With only several weeks left, will be interesting to finally see what Nvidia has cooked up for us.
So far all of the rumours around the GP104 and GTX 1000 series have mostly been about release date and specifications. The closest we’ve gotten to physical evidence have been the shrouds for the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. For the first time, we’re getting a picture of the physical die and parts of the GPU board around it. According to ChipHell, the die shot you see below belongs to the GP104, the mainstream Pascal GPU.
From the die shot picture, GP104 appears to be about 15.35mm x 19.18mm for a total of about 290 to 300mm². This is the same as GK104 which was also a die shrink and came in at 294mm² and much smaller than GM204 which was a relatively massive 398mm². This shows that Nvidia is starting out with small dies first with the GTX 1070 and 1080 and releasing a GP100/102 Titan and 980Ti later on.
For now, we still don’t know what GP104 will look like, but it seems that most of the FP64 units in GP100 will likely be stripped out and replaced by the more ‘useful’ FP32 ones. The leak also suggests that total FP32 CUDA core count will be around the same as the Titan X but the TMU and ROP count seems closer to the GTX 980. I expect that clock for clock, GP104 won’t be much faster than the Titan X but it will be ahead and much more efficient.
Finally, we can see what appears to be Samsung 2Ghz 1GB GDDR5 DRAM modules for 8GB total. This suggests that that GDDR5X isn’t ready in time or will be reserved for the GP100/102 consumer release. This follows the same trend set by the GTX 680 which was more powerful than the 580 but featured lower memory bus width but faster VRAM and more memory overall.
While the leak is promising, it is a leak after all and I would make sure to take all of this with a shipload of salt. Given the information we know though, this leak may very well reflect reality.
From the many leaks and rumours that have come out, the expected release of Pascal will come later this year at Computex. During the Taiwanese event, Nvidia will finally unveil the GTX 1000 lineup to the public. Today, we’re getting yet another report confirming this. In addition, Nvidia AiB partners like ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI will showcase their reference cards then as well. As revealed yesterday, mass shipments won’t begin till July.
As we’ve covered earlier, the sources appear to suggest that Nvidia will have a head start over AMD in launching Pascal ahead of Polaris. However, the lead might not amount to much. The report suggests that Nvidia will only ship large amounts till July. AMD on the other hand is also launching Polaris in June, the same month as Pascal. Given AMD’s previous history, we will probably see Polaris cards out by July as well. If Nvidia does have a lead, it won’t be for very long.
Right now, there is no word yet if GDDR5X will be utilized for top end Pascal chips. While there are some reports out that suggest GDDR5X, the timeline is very tight as GDDR5X probably won’t reach enough capacity till May/June at the earliest. Perhaps this is why we won’t be seeing Pascal or Polaris in numbers till July.
One of the inevitable signs of an imminent release of new products is when the old model starts becoming hard to find. A seamless transition to the new version is a mark of good logistics and something Nvidia is known for. In line with the expectations for Pascal, Nvidia has reportedly stopped shipping GTX 980Ti’s to their AiB partners, which indicates that Nvidia is winding down the supply chain for the high-end card.
A stop in GTX 980Ti production points to a Pascal chip to replace it coming soon down the line. Usually, shipments to stores are ahead by a month and production a month or so before that. If Nvidia stops supplies now, there will still be about 2-3months before supplies run low. This puts the timeframe smack dab during Computex where Pascal is expected to be launched. It seems like perfect timing for GTX 980Ti supply to dry up just as Pascal launches and becomes available.
Given the movement to 16nmFF+, we can expect the GTX 1080 to at the very least match the GTX 980Ti. With a replacement product, it makes sense for the GTX 980Ti to cease production now. For now, it seems that Nvidia hasn’t started supplying their partners with Pascal just yet but that should happen shortly if Pascal is to arrive at Computex. The leaked shrouds suggest that the AiB partners have already tooled up in expectation of Pascal. Of course, this is still an unconfirmed report, released on April 1st to boot, so take this with a fist full of salt.
Last month we received word that the first Pascal chips would be launching a bit sooner than expected. At that time, GP100 was expected to drop in April and GP104 in June. According to the latest rumors, it looks like that timetable was accurate, with the GP100 based Tesla chip coming in April around GTC. What’s more, we’re getting more details about when the rest of Nvidia’s Pascal lineup will launch.
As with the previous report, GP104 will arrive in June and it looks like the GTX lineup will be based off that, with both the GTX 1080 and 1070 being GP104 chips. Near the end of the year in Q4, we can expect GP106 and GP107. These will be longer end chips and likely power the GTX 1060 and 1050. Finally, we have the Titan which will use GP100 and a GP108 in early 2017. This follow’s Nvidia’s new trend of releasing a GTX x80 first, followed by the Titan, then finally a GTX x80Ti. While it’s good for Nvidia’s sales, it moves high-end users into a quicker upgrade schedule than if all the cards launched at the same time.
The Tesla launching first makes a whole lot of sense as enterprise users can pay the high premiums for early HBM2 and 16nm. A June launch for GP104 may point to them using HBM2 as the timeline is a bit tight for GDDR5X though it is doable. The biggest question is how well Pascal will perform as it is a stopgap architecture between Maxwell and Volta, like a Maxwellv2 though the die shrink to 16nm should make some great gains in and of itself.