Published in Graphics
9600GT shrunk to 55nm
No re-brand expected
The guys over at expreview.com got their hands on a Galaxy 9600GT card with a twist, it's the first 55nm 9600GT we've seen thus far.
Apparently it's identical to the 65nm card in most respects. The clocks are the same, 650MHz/1625MHz/900MHz, and the only way of telling them apart is the designation on the GPU itself. The new 55nm GPU is designated G94-300-B1, while the 65nm ones are G94-300-A1. The 65nm has a die size of 240mm², and judging by the images, the new die is about 20% smaller, similar in size to ATI's RV670, which has a die size of 192mm².
Although the new 55nm 9600GT will probably feature the same reference clocks as the 65nm model, this is still good news. First of all it should help Nvidia drop prices and hold its ground against ATI's affordable HD3800 series in this very attractive price segment. Furthermore, even the old 65nm parts were pretty good overclockers. EVGA and XFX are currently offering OCed 9600GT cards running at 740MHz and the 55nm GPU should allow vendors to take the clocks up a notch.
And believe it or not, this time around Nvidia didn't even rebrand the "new" card. This might be exclusive to the Chinese market but we will ask around if this new card will be available globally.