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Why do NVIDIA and ATI lock cores?

post #1 of 21
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I mean, it takes the same amount of money to produce a GTX 580 and a GTX 570 chip right?
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post #2 of 21
I think they lock the cores, so that they can sell the card for less money and less performance, to get to every niche of the market.

But not all gpu cores a locked down from the flagship, so are made like that.
Edited by Erick - 8/8/11 at 9:56am
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryceo View Post
I mean, it takes the same amount of money to produce a GTX 580 and a GTX 570 chip right?
580 chip is different than a 570 chip..... (i think unless i'm completly wrong)

6950 and 6970 have same chip
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4 Mike View Post
580 chip is different than a 570 chip..... (i think unless i'm completly wrong)

6950 and 6970 have same chip
GTX 580 and 570 got the same chip also. the 570 has locked or laser cut cuda cores
post #5 of 21
Marketing. Same reason Porsche limited the performance of the Cayman, so that it wouldn't compete with the 911.
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post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryceo View Post
I mean, it takes the same amount of money to produce a GTX 580 and a GTX 570 chip right?
The 570 is the same chip as the 580, except with a non/under performing sector that is laser cut out in order to have a stable chip. Saves money since they are throwing less of the wafer away, while still producing a perfectly capable gpu.

AMD does the same thing with their gpus, except they seem to lock them instead of cutting them out. Which is why you can unlock them in some cases.
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post #7 of 21
Salvaging chips with defective units is one reason.

Another, likely bigger, reason is that there is not enough of a market for the highest-end cards, and it's not economical to design and produce a different chip for a slightly lower segment, so they take high-end chips, disable some parts, and put them in cheaper cards. That way both markets are satisfied without the lower end parts really being able to eat into the sales of the high-end parts.

The GPUs on the 580 and 570 are identical just as they were on the 465, 470, and 480; or the 260 and 280; or the revised 260, 275, and 285; or the 9800GT, 9800GTX+, and GTS 250; or the Radeon 6950 and 6970...

They are not originally manufactured any differently. The dies are built the same, on the same wafers.

Nothing stupid about these facts.
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post #8 of 21
They do it because its cheaper to produce one silicon and disable some of the cores / shaders / etc. than to produce them on a different silicon
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post #9 of 21
Generally the higher end cards do cost a little more to make but not much. The majority of the money goes into research and development and not the components themselves. I am sure binning also has something to do with them just like a phenom II X4 955 compared to an X4 970. 970 is binned higher, therefore its worth more.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pangeltveit View Post
GTX 580 and 570 got the same chip also. the 570 has locked or laser cut cuda cores
Well if one is laser cut to prevent the use of extra cuda cores then wouldn't the be different...

They started as the same chip then the 570 was laser cut, which technically makes it a diff chip
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