NVIDIA's next-generation Fermi-based graphics chipset, the GeForce GTX 580, was said today to be shipping in late November or early December. The design is estimated to be about 20 percent faster than a GTX 480. It would be followed by 2011 releases of mainstream cards using the GF112, GF114 and GF119 architectures, which would mostly pare back the GF110 architecture the GTX 580 will use.
Contacts for Digitimes added that NVIDIA's Kepler design, built on a 28nm process, would start replacing Fermi only towards the end of 2011, with its Maxwell replacement due in 2012. The rumors correlate to a recently leaked roadmap from 4Gamer.
Most of the performance difference has been leaked on its own and is mostly attributed to a huge leap in the number of texture units: it would go from 60 in the GTX 480 to 128 in the GTX 580, letting it handle more simultaneous textures and related effects at once. It would further go to the originally promised 512 shader (visual effect) cores from the current 448. A 512-bit memory bus and GDDR5 memory would supply extra bandwidth.
NVIDIA usually releases its highest-end graphics first as stand-alone cards and later moves to models that will ship through pre-assembled PCs. Mobile versions often trail their desktop equivalents by a few months.