NVIDIA's GTX 260 Getting New PCB To Save Costs
At the close of 2008, this card became the first in the GTX 200 series to use 55 nanometer processing technology, and it featured the P654 reference design -- a design that cost less to produce than the original P651. With that change, the number of PCB layers was reduced from 14 to 10, and the pricey Volterra chip was abandoned in order to further shave costs. If all goes to plan, the next iteration -- codenamed P897/D10U-20 -- will surface for gamers on a budget.
Reportedly, the P897 design plan will utilize a 4/6 phase NVVDD power solution and the MOSFET package will be swapped from LFPAK to DPAK in order to (you guessed it) save cost. Moreover, the PCB layers will decrease further from 10 to 8, while the length of the PCB will remain unchanged. Finally, the height of the PCB will be lowered ever so slightly, and the DVI connector will also see some sort of tweak. It's noted that to undiscerning eyes, the new GTX 260 will actually look a lot like the GeForce 9800GTX+, but we're certain the vivid packaging won't allow you to mistake it.
Prospective buyers can anticipate $10 to $15 drop in production costs, which may or may not lead to a $10 to $15 price drop in stores. At any rate, we'd suggest holding off if you were planning to pick up a new GTX 260 this weekend -- your patience just might pay off.