Nvidia could debut Kepler in February

Rumours are circulating that Nvidia could be set to launch Kepler GPUs in just over two weeks time, with the Geforce maker looking to catch up with AMD’s pre-emptive release of its Tahiti 7000 series cards.

Nvidia was initially planning to release the 600 series graphics cards last year, before pushing it to April 2012. Now though, with AMD pushing mobile 7 series chips into notebooks pre-Christmas 2011, and the 7950/70 cards launching in January, it needs to catch up.

AMD’s first to market cards took a big leap in performance from last generations 6000 and 500 series cards, as well as bringing all the benefits of a die shrink. Dropping to 28nm allowed the cards to run cooler and quieter, with a reduced power draw.

The card Nvidia is expected to lead with is the GTX 680 which will have a core clock of 780MHZ. It’s thought likely to be comparable in performance to the AMD 7970, though it will be missing out in terms of memory. AMD’s flagship graphics card comes prepacked with 3GB of GDDR5, whereas Nvidia’s offering will only sport 2GB. This could make a big difference in games with large texture resolutions, though perhaps there’s a specific reason the Geforce maker didn’t go the whole hog there.

For now though of course, the release date is all rumour, but either way you shouldn’t be buying a brand new graphics card right now. Give it a few weeks to see how strong Nvidia’s offerings are. AMD will bring the price down soon enough as well as clearing old 6000 series stock. Give it 4 weeks and you’ll see much better GPU deals out there.

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