When I spoke to a few partners, they said that we should be able to achieve a 850MHz core and 4000MHz QDR memory clock. At the same time, if I got a good card I should be able to get 900MHz on the core. The good news is that we didn't seem to just get a good card but a great card.
The performance on this card is just nuts though. Looking at it compared to the GTX 465, which is an overclocking beast, the best we get on that card is around 860MHz on the core and the GTX 460 outperforms that with ease.
I said to someone recently when they mentioned about how everyone is talking about how fantastic NVIDIA is at the moment with these mid range cards, they said what about ATI and what they've been doing for six months. The thing is ATI has had praise for six months, they saw the GTX 470 and GTX 480 and felt like there was no threat from NVIDIA. In the past month and a bit though we've seen NVIDIA shake the video card world up.
One word you don't associate with NVIDIA cards is value. Let's be honest; it's always been one of the best features of ATI cards. NVIDIA was more known for just flat out power and features like PhysX and CUDA. With these models, they're really shaking up our value graphs.
No matter what all the NVIDIA partners are telling us this is an important model for NVIDIA. The $200 price bracket is the biggest selling area for video card companies; it's difficult to sell the mid range models though when you're not king of the mountain in the high end segment. Speed and power from the high end cards build faith around the mid range models that people buy. You feel confident that if a company can do the high end well, they can do the other models as well.
Confidence in NVIDIA with the release of the GTX 470 and GTX 480 wasn't high though; it was important that NVIDIA offered mid range cards so fantastic that people could ignore the launch of the hot and loud GTX 470 and GTX 480. It looks like they've managed to do that. The GTX 470 has also become better as partners have slapped on new coolers, and while the GTX 480 doesn't run any cooler then launch its price has come down a lot in certain countries.
NVIDIA won't be able to dominate with the GTX 400 series because it's just too late. What they're going to be able to do though is set the foundation for the next generation of cards. AMD have been here too long with the HD 5000 series and getting in on that market share is just going to be too hard. Come the next generation of cards though I think NVIDIA is going to be very strong as it's clear they've perfected the mid range lineup. Now all we need is those typical lower end cards that will come and a new high end card that can take top spot from ATI.