NVIDIA just posted a video demo of their upcoming flagship card running some benchmarks to YouTube. The results? It seems, with reservations, to be about a match for ATI and their Radeon HD5870.
What can we take away from this? First of all, let’s remember that this is a video designed to show off the strengths of a card from the company that designed it, so points made have to be taken with a few grains of salt. That being said, things are looking better for big green. At the base, NVIDIA seems to think they have a solid contender with the HD5870, and they probably do. The problem with that? ATI has had their card out for months, now; NVIDIA doesn’t need to match its performance—they need to exceed it.
Remember the Red Queen, from Through the Looking-Glass? She makes a great deal of the following statement: “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” In fact, it’s become a well-known principle of evolutionary biology. Similarly, in order for companies to get ahead in the market, they need to do more than just stand still. No doubt the new GTX cards will have their strengths–in fact, NVIDIA really looks to be focusing on their detail-enhancing tessellation features–but will that be enough to pull customers away from ATI?
With recent driver updates causing very real problems, NVIDIA hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to some of their discrete graphics products. They need a strong GPU, compbined with a creative marketing strategy, to maintain their significant brand loyalty. Whether they can manage to do that is another issue—either way, we’ll find out by the end of the month.