Nvidia's Kepler suffers wobbly perturbations

Today’s AMD Radeon 7950 release saw the embargo lifted on a funny little saga which you can read about here. But another hell-on-earth yarn from the rumour mill is even more interesting. TechEye has heard Nvidia has been asking hacks why the reviews have been so good.

Nvidia absolutely denies the rumour which suggests representatives have been asking journalists to file a short report on what is exactly so great about the 7950. Whether or not Nvidia is canvassing reviewers, there may be reasons the Green Goblin would like hacks to do its homework for it.

More industry whispers suggest the reason Nvidia’s upcoming hope, the GK104, is late to the table is all the redesigns it has had to go through. Parts on the 32nm had to be redesigned for 28nm, but along the way there were challenges with packaging and interconnects. Some industry watchers suggest that Nvidia gave up a lot of space on its chip, trying to buff up Kepler by bringing Ageia to the hardware.

But the murmurs suggest Nvidia has been dedicating a lot of resources to get physics and fluid dynamics operating properly, which has so far, allegedly, taken half of its gaming engineers and six months to get right.

One industry watcher said to TechEye the company is in “holy s**t” mode – having been confident that the GK104 would fight off and trounce the competition, but the timing is out of whack. When Nvidia does get its high-end Kepler chip out in the second half of the year, the competition is going to be ready with something else.

There are no doubts that full fluid dynamics is going to wow the crowds – on demos specifically catering to fluid dynamics. Writing code for games to get the performance right, though, is trickier. While Nvidia’s team is working overtime, its rivals just may be able to clean up.

“Their SDK is great,” someone familiar with the matter said to TechEye. “But it was foolish of them to try putting Ageia hardware onto a GPU. The amount of engineering work you have to do to make that useful in games – you get one game every six months that gives you the benefits of that.”