@ Tremolo, from what I've seen the EVGA cards are about a week away in the UK so I would imagine something similar in Ireland.
I'm still on a HD4870 and been waiting for this generation, from both contenders, to decide what to upgrade to. Having now seen the 680 I'm left a little surpirsed over all with this generation as a whole. I think firstly - price, for the performance increase, which should be a given, the prices seem to be far more than previous generations - rather than a faster card replacing the price spot of the previous generation it seems to be that the mid-range cards are on par with the top tiers of last generation in both price and performance and the top tier are now at a whole new set of prices.
Interestly, there was a lot of talk about this 680 actually being a rebranded 670 design, if so where is the true 680 card?
I'm also left thinking what exactly it is about the 7900 series that is limiting its performance??? I'm not a technical expert but on paper it has a larger die, greater TDP, a wider memory bus, more VRAM... yet it still falls behind - where is the bottleneck??? Obviously, from a pricing standpoint this doesn't give them the same margin for aggresive pricing, as they already have all these additional expensive components to account for which have not translated into a performance lead. I wonder if they are actually unlocking the full potential of the extra VRAM and wider memory bus and if so is the rumoured 6GB version of the 7970 going to be a waste of time. On the other hand, if we see more memory intensive games and in multi-monitor setups will the 680 begin to fall behind.
As such, in somewhat of a dramatic turn of events, Nvidia is the one that has produced a card with a lower TDP and smaller die which eeks the performance crown! And as a customer I'm left a little baffled as to what product to consider, at least perhaps until the products align into more favourable price brackets!
Edited by martianaphid - 3/22/12 at 2:53pm