Two years later, Nvidia is finally ready to unveil a new piece of graphics silicon aimed at consumers and the enthusiast crowd based on its latest Fermi architecture. The GeForce GTX 280 was the company's last big launch that comprised of innovative technology, at the time rewriting the record books as the fastest single-GPU graphics card.
Besides the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 that went on sale months later, anything after the GTX 280 has been a rehash of the same GT200b graphics core.
Nvidia battled it out against the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series, which had some good performers but was somewhat light on firepower. Long story short, last September ATI was already shipping brand new parts that were faster and more efficient, while Nvidia wasn't giving out any specific details on Fermi. These new Radeons became the first products to steal the performance crown away from Nvidia in a long time, and they did so in a very convincing fashion.
The Radeon HD 5870 took its place as the new fastest single-GPU graphics card, even matching the mighty GeForce GTX 295 at a fraction of the price, meanwhile the Radeon HD 5850 rubbed shoulders with the GeForce GTX 285. That's not to say AMD's execution was flawless as the release was plagued by shortages due to poor yields on TMSC's relatively new 40nm manufacturing process. On the other hand, aggressive pricing set at $400 for the Radeon HD 5870 and $300 for the Radeon HD 5850 made the issue a bit more forgivable, while dealing a serious blow to Nvidia's dominance.
It wasn't until late 2009 or early this year that most consumers could actually get their hands on a new Radeon HD 5000 graphics card and because of the lack of competition on the high-end spectrum, prices have remained higher than originally intended.
But back to Nvidia's launch, after a lengthy delay we are finally able to show you what Nvidia has been working on for the past few years. Their new Fermi architecture (code-named GF100) will debut with the GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 graphics cards. Designed to be the next evolution in GPU computing, we are excited to see what these new boards are capable of, and whether or not they'll be able to bring Nvidia back into the spotlight.