We got a chance on Monday to sit down with the boys from EVGA to talk a bit about what's coming up in the year ahead. The company is releasing a couple new things to market, and they definitely look promising.
First up is the release of the updated 8800 GTX and GTS cards. As you may recall, there was quite a delay between board partners releasing the stock models and the very recent overclocked editions.
EVGA is now following suit with its ACS3 line, which is "over-specced" out of the box. The guys at EVGA were careful to not use the term overclock, as they don't much like the stigma to it. Instead, they prefer the term overspecced - the cards come with a patented cooler system designed in-house, which affords for a considerably higher speed at the same temperatures.
At stock speeds, the board runs about 11 degrees centegrade cooler, which has given quite a bit more headroom. We put some pictures of the behemoths below, though we'll look forward to getting some in our labs to have a crack at. The boards are available for sale as of this week for $599 USD (GTX) and $449 USD (GTS).
Discussion then turned to the upcoming NVIDIA 650i based motherboard, which will hopefully be hitting stores soon. The board follows the NVIDIA 680 line, but with a few less features - it features only four SATA ports and does not have native support for 1333MHz bus speeds. This means it's not going to work for the upcoming refresh of the Core 2 Duo line. We'll have to see whether or not this will affect the sales of motherboards with this chipset, which are targeted at the mid-range gamer.
What was probably most on our minds, but unfortunately went unsaid in all of our meetings today (EVGA included) was the expected release date of the upcoming mid-range parts of the NVIDIA 8xxx series. Though we received some unofficial rumour that we could see them appearing as early as "shortly before CeBit" (which is in March), the only official answer from all board partners we've talked to so far (including the boys at EVGA) is "soon...ish."
We'll be looking forward to getting our hands on these new products in the near future. How about you? Tell us your thoughts in our forums