Forums Abuzz with Speculation of NVIDIA Kepler GPUs

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Rumors that NVIDIA is close to introducing a new generation of graphics cards that are based on cutting edge Kepler technology has been bouncing around for several months with reports most recently leaking out from the company’s Far East board partners.

Initial reports suggest NVIDIA is releasing Kepler technology on some of its mobile card products: the GTX 680M, GT 650M and GT 640M. The next step, however, is to unveil more cards with the ultra-fast performing core and perhaps a native 256-bit memory bus that will take higher-resolution game playing to the next level – at least those are the rumors within NotebookReview’s Discussion Forum community where details of the coming NVIDIA graphics cards have been posted by alert members.

There have been no official announcements from NVIDIA with exact details on the new chips, although introductions are expected within the coming week. In the meantime, there is some serious speculation and perhaps solid information on NotebookReview’s Discussion Forum related to this topic: HURRAY: Nvidia 600 series not just Fermi!!

There is definitely some controversy surrounding the leaked info, which seems to be originally in Chinese and has undergone more than a handful of translations as forum members search for clues hidden within the characters.  A number of forum members also question the reliability of the information and suggest that benchmark figures might have been inserted using photo editing software.  Specifically, the figures related to the GT 650M, which would seem to outperform a lot of previously more powerful NVIDIA cards.

Forum member CloudFire maintains the GT 650M benchmark figures shown in this image capture might be a fake, or at least a misinterpretation from the original information posted on a Chinese forum site.  However, if you look more closely at the figures, as well as other information from other sources (again, much of which has been translated) then there does seem to be basis for confusion.

“I just don`t see how it would be a fake, especially when we have the screenshots that match the early article where someone was looking at a Samsung (sic) laptop and it fits the specs he saw,” CloudFire notes.  “The 650M beats the 555M, even more since the guy who tested the 635M used an i5 processor while 650M was done with an i3.”

Forum member Too456 agrees, pointing to other sources, stating “Either way, they aren’t really suspecting that the screenies are fake and they’ve identified the following (my translation, not Google’s):

GT 650M has a 128bit memory bus, 384 shaders, core 405MHz memory 900MHz and shader 810MHz. GT610M, GT630M and GT635M are rebadged Fermis, the GTX670m is a rebadged GTX570m, and the GTX580m is a rebadged GTX675m. However, so far they’ve only identified the GT650m as having a Kepler core.”

A lot of the comments in this highly-active thread focused on GPU clock speeds, shaders, and memory – the stuff that collectively adds up to more performance in a chip.

But, benchmarks alone do not tell the whole story of GPU performance – especially when you through a turbo boost feature into the mix, notes forum member CloudFire.

“The GT555M score you found was an 35W i5 processors capable of turboing to 3.0GHz,” he says, replying to another comment. “The GT 555M score I linked to above had an 35W i3 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, without any turbo boost. The ULV processor tested @ CeBIT is a 17W clocked at 1.7GHz. The only CPU we know of that is clocked at that frequency at stock speed is Core i5-3317U, a 17-14W CPU, capable of turboing up to 2.4GHz. A pretty weak CPU, no where near the i5 tested that reached the 149 000 points.”

There is also some forum speculation that hints NVIDIA may be just re-branding some chips and keeping the new technology under wraps to release at a later date to provide a competitive answer to anything AMD introduces.

“Right now, it looks like only the absolute top-end cards are going to beat the 580m,” says forum member YodaGoneMad.  “This is probably why Nvidia went with a rebadge, they seem extremely confident that the 675m is going to beat anything AMD puts out soon, and by the time AMD has a 7990m type card Nvidia will have the 680m ready to beat it again.”

In the end, however, the potentially leaked information and rumors collected by forum members does seem to point to the coming of some very fast NVIDIA graphics processors for notebooks and desktops.

“The 640M seems to exhibit 65% performance boost over 540M,” says forum member Deks.  “That’s actually good (not 70% as the charts indicated, but 5% margin of error is acceptable and not really noticeable). If the 65% to 70% boost is retained on the new gpu’s over the older generation ones they are meant to replace, then it would really be good for people who are thinking on upgrading to wait until those gpu’s hit the market.”

Visit the NVIDIA 600M Series discussion thread for more potential leaks, information and speculation about the new NVIDIA 600M series notebook graphics.

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