While I've been out in Taiwan, I've been talking with a number of manufacturers about what is coming over the next few months.
One of the hottest topics being discussed at the moment is AMD's upcoming R600 family of graphics processing units. Up until Tuesday though, most of the talk was about how R600 was looking; nobody was really willing to talk about AMD's mid-range and low-end chips with any kind of authority.
There was obviously a reason for that though, because Nvidia hadn't unveiled its mid-range. That obviously happened on Tuesday, and now AMD's partners can talk with a little bit more confidence about RV630's prospects in the mid-range.
At the moment, feelings are somewhat mixed in Taiwan. At least, amongst the various sources that were willing to talk to us about the upcoming parts. So, while our various sources in Taiwan weren't willing to disclose specific performance numbers, they did indicate that we can expect it to be a similar story to GeForce 8600 GTS
Neither G84 or RV630 are (going to be) massively under-performing products -- they're just not very compelling if the IHVs and their partners don't get the pricing dead on. Pricing is incredibly important in the mid-range, as £10-20 can make a massive difference to a product's value for money prospects when it's retailing for somewhere between £100 and £150. G84 is just a little over-priced at the moment, especially when you have to remember there is no DirectX 10 content out there -- one of the chip's big selling points over current mid-range offerings.
Right now, many of the GeForce 8600 GTS cards are sitting at the top end of that price bracket, whilst the Radeon X1950 Pro, Radeon X1950 XT, GeForce 7900 GS and GeForce 7950 GT are sitting closer to the bottom end of the price bracket. The previous generation cards generally perform pretty well across the board at the resolutions you're likely to use them at, so it's tough for new hardware to come in and not only match that, but surpass it (given the higher pricing). GeForce 8600 GTS doesn't manage to do that, for one reason or another, so that's why it's having an incredibly tough time at the moment.
Hopefully, by the time RV630 launches, mid-range DX10 products from both companies will make more sense to buy because the biggest question (DirectX 10 performance) will hopefully be well on the way to being answered.
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