Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fermis and Ghosts

Back in December, I said, "Don't expect GPU prices to drop significantly until the summer season."  The reasons for this were that we still had a while to wait for NVIDIA's GTX 4XX series, and it would take a while for them to ramp up production, produce midrange cards, and offer competitive prices against AMD.

Well, not only did NVIDIA drag their feet with Fermi, but it was also quite unimpressive when launched.  The GTX 480 and 470 were expensive and inefficient, so AMD had no reason to lower their prices.  However, NVIDIA has finally come out with something worth considering: the GeForce GTX 460.

The GTX 460 comes in two flavors - a 768 MB and a 1GB version.  The 768 is going for $200, and the 1GB is around $230.  The 1GB model also has a few other hardware tweaks that give it an average 10% better performance over the 768 model.  Due to a significant redesign, both models consume much less power and generate much less heat than the bigger GTX parts.

The 460 cards are already forcing AMD's prices down, especially the 5830 and 5850.  If you wait until next month, you'll probably see prices across the board hit very tempting ranges.  Of course, the GTX 460 is already quite tempting as it is.

In other news, I just purchased a GIGABYTE GM-M8000 from Newegg.  They had it on sale for $25 (after $20 rebate) with free shipping.  It feels great so far, but I have yet to use it for any extended game time.  This thing is loaded with features that normally cost at least $60.  They've discontinued this model in favor of the GM-M8000X which costs exactly that, but the feature set is almost exactly the same.

This beautiful piece of hardware is a great complement to my Microsoft Sidewinder X6 that I am absolutely loving.  Now, if I can just get ahold of a Belkin n52te SpeedPad, my dream peripheral collection will be complete!