Word is out that the nVidia 196.75 driver update has been suspended. Use of the driver reduces fan speed and can allow the card to overheat and fail. This can damage the card and other parts of the computer.
nVidia is suffering from serious mismanagement according to industry pundits. Several of the top of the line video cards, 260, 275, 280, etc. are being End of Life rated. This leaves the field open to ATI.
Rumors have run since last October that it is unclear whether nVidia is leaving the mid to high end computer graphics field or this is a management snafu combined with technical problems. While I don’t follow nVidia on a day to day basis, I have a hard time believing nVida would leave the mid to high end of the market.
However Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in a ZDNet article points out the market is changing. That along with a number of articles pointing out how MMO gaming is shifting to 2D flash based games… it may mean the support for nVidia is just not there. I’m sure the economy is not helping either. This would be a bad thing for gamers.
As of late February nVidia has announced the release of their DirectX11 GPU cards, 470 and 480. Earlier they announced their 300 series card… but those are really just the 200 series renamed and sold via OEM channels and not available via retail channels.
The nVidia GF100 is an advanced card nVidia has been talking about for some time. It has been delayed because of design and manufacturing problems. The GF100 is nVidia’s Fermi based card. While ATI has been working with 40nm manufacturing for a time nVidia has been catching up.
While some retail sites have been advertising the cards, I will be about a month before they are actually available and reviewers can began testing. Then we will see if nVidia is able to compete with ATI’s 5870 and 5970 cards.