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<p><span style="font-size: small;">As the GPU company who&rsquo;s arguably more transparent about their long-term product plans, NVIDIA still manages to surprise us time and time again. Case in point, we have known since 2012 that NVIDIA&rsquo;s follow-up architecture to Kepler would be Maxwell, but it&rsquo;s only more recently that we&rsquo;ve begun to understand the complete significance of Maxwell to the company&rsquo;s plans. Each and every generation of GPUs brings with it an important mix of improvements, new features, and enhanced performance; but fundamental shifts are fewer and far between. So when we found out Maxwell would be one of those fundamental shifts, it changed our perspective and expectations significantly.</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: small;">What is that fundamental shift? As we found out back at NVIDIA&rsquo;s CES 2014 press conference, Maxwell is the first NVIDIA GPU that started out as a &ldquo;mobile first&rdquo; design, marking a significant change in NVIDIA&rsquo;s product design philosophy. The days of designing a flagship GPU and scaling down already came to an end with Kepler, when NVIDIA designed GK104 before GK110. But NVIDIA still designed a desktop GPU first, with mobile and SoC-class designs following. However beginning with Maxwell that entire philosophy has come to an end, and as NVIDIA has chosen to embrace power efficiency and mobile-friendly designs as the foundation of their GPU architectures, this has led to them going mobile first on Maxwell. With Maxwell NVIDIA has made the complete transition from top to bottom, and are now designing GPUs bottom-up instead of top-down.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Nevertheless, a mobile first design is not the same as a mobile first build strategy. NVIDIA has yet to ship a Kepler based SoC, let alone putting a Maxwell based SoC on their roadmaps. At least for the foreseeable future discrete GPUs are going to remain as the first products on any new architecture. So while the underlying architecture may be more mobile-friendly than what we&rsquo;ve seen in the past, what hasn&rsquo;t changed is that NVIDIA is still getting the ball rolling for a new architecture with relatively big and powerful GPUs.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">This brings us to the present, and the world of desktop video cards. Just less than 2 years since the launch of the first Kepler part, the GK104 based GeForce GTX 680, NVIDIA is back and ready to launch their next generation of GPUs as based on the Maxwell architecture.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><a href="http://anandtech.com/show/7764/the-nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-and-gtx-750-review-maxwell" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: small;">Read more...</span></a></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div>

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