Between a Rock and a Hard Launch

In the wake of the recent, very successful hard launch of the X1900 series by ATI, NVIDIA has had quite a bit of pressure placed on them to make up for the stumbles that they have had with 7800 GTX 512 availability and the limited regional availability of the 7300 series at launch. We have certainly been putting a lot of pressure on these companies to deliver tangible product on the day of a launch. Doing so helps reviewers and consumers alike. We are able to report on a product that we know exists, and we are better able to make a solid recommendation about what to buy. Those interested in the cards don't have to wait for some far off date in the future to get their hands on hardware. Hard launches are a good thing and we want to keep seeing them happen.

And, as is usually the case, we would love to see even more: more parts, more stores with parts, and more countries included at launch. But these kinds of things tend to get a little complicated, and sometimes we end up in situations like what we see today.

We have full retail boxes from both BFG and EVGA. NVIDIA is calling this a hard launch, and we know that they have product out there. Only, no one can buy it until Sunday and Monday. The reason for this is that Best Buy is working with NVIDIA on this launch, and they will start selling their stock on Sunday. NVIDIA has informed us that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are poor days to launch new products, and in order to get the word out before Best Buy started selling cards, the most logical choice is to launch today. Right?

So, we are left with an odd situation where NVIDIA is launching a product that will be available in a brick and mortar store before it is available online, but without immediate availability at launch. This time, we're asking what you think. Is this a good thing? Certainly, getting parts out to physical locations anywhere near a launch is a great thing, but what do we need to see from a company in order to call something a hard launch?

This time around, we will adopt a wait-and-see attitude. We will base future reaction to and analysis of launches like this on what actually happens with this launch (when we go to Best Buy Sunday, there had better be some parts on the shelf) and the feedback that we get from our readers. The power is in your hands; let us know what you think in the comments.

UPDATE: We stand corrected. It has been brought to our attention that CompUSA has 7800 GS boards and is selling them. With that, we are quite impressed with the level of hardness that NVIDIA has brought forth: it's right off the end of the Mohs' scale.

Index The Card and The Test
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  • spinportal - Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - link

    Whats very strange here is that looking around on another ANAND article, for FEAR 16x12 4xAA (this vs. newer article):

    the X1900XTX got 51 fps vs. 43 (wow, ATi got downgraded in the future? hmm)
    the 7800GTX512 got 31 vs. 40 (hmm it later got a boost? odd)
    the 7800GT got 22 vs. 28 (wow, nVidia keeps getting much better all of a sudden)
    the 7800GS got 13 vs. 27 (NOW THATS IMPRESSIVE!)

    Seems this article was garbage as it really downplays nvidia h/w and is on the verge of craptastic fantasy for ATi.
    Reply
  • boa49 - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We will take a further look into performance with the BFG and EVGA versions of the 7800 GS if there is any interest


    There is definitely interest!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - link

    For those who wanted a review that shows how the stock-overclocked 7800GS compares both to a stock-clocked 7800GS and all the other AGP cards out there, check out this review:
    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/evga_e-geforce...">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/evg...00_gs_co...

    Very comprehensive and what I think a lot of us were looking for.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - link

    thanks, that's EXACTLY what i was after.

    i haven't been to firingsquad in ages, i guess i better start going there more often now.
    Reply
  • Scarceas - Saturday, February 04, 2006 - link

    I disagree with those who said it was pointless to compare to the x850xtpe. This let's me know which card I can top out the AGP slot with.

    I would have liked this a bit better if the benchmark results included something using the Source engine.

    Why no overclocking results? Heck, we didn't really even get to see mfgr defaults... I'd like to see how 460 MHz scales.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    comparing a middle of the line card against high end cards is pointless and quite frankly a waste of time.

    this card is meant for those of us that are running middle of the line systems and aren't quite ready to put down the change to scrap the whole system.

    i.e. compare this to the 6800 agp line (and ati's equivalent if you want).

    AND, use a realistic processor for this graphics card range, i.e. intel 2.4's to 3.2's (and AMD's equivalents).

    haven't been visiting as much lately and i'm seeing the quality going down...give me a reason to come back guys.
    Reply
  • jzander - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    I can not stand Best Buy, and the fact that Nvidia is getting into 'bed' with them brings them down a notch in my book. As for the card, does not look like a reason to upgrade from my 6800 GT AGP, card. Reply
  • Alphafox78 - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    50+ people have complained and the article STILL hasnt been updated with more cards! what gives?! Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    --[50+ people have complained and the article STILL hasnt been updated with more cards! what gives?!]--

    Hey, I guess if you offered them some money they might do it. :)
    Reply
  • puffpio - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    It's only been a day...if they do update it, it may take a few days

    I think the general concensus is
    1) Add some benches of AGP cards to show it's true competitors as well as give an indication of what end AGP users currently have
    2) Overclock the 7800GS and show that benchmark
    3) Discuss the potential of softmodding the card, unlocking pixel pipelines, shader units, ROPs
    Reply

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