Nvidia Pascal graphics cards due between May and June; AMD Polaris GPUs expected Q3

Nvidia’s new range of graphics cards, codenamed Pascal, will ‘most likely’ launch this summer.

That’s according to a senior source from within the UK tech channel, who said that although rumours suggest the first high-end GP100 Pascal GPU will arrive as early as April, it will most likely launch in May or June.

The source told PCR anonymously: "You can maybe expect to see something new from Nvidia as early as late April, but most likely in the May or June period – it may even be a month earlier or later. Then something from AMD will be following afterwards.

"A high-end Pascal card will launch first, but not a flagship Pascal."

The rest of the Pascal cards are expected to arrive shortly after the initial high-end GPU.

UK distributor Entatech expects both Nvidia’s Pascal and AMD’s Polaris cards to launch around Q3 this year, and is excited about how they can grow the PC gaming market as a whole.

Entatech gaming product manager Adam Whitworth said: "I am expecting to see vast growth within the gaming segment over the next few years. VR is going to be massive this year with product releases coming from several major brands including HTC and Oculus.

"HBM2 will also be a major release this year with cards expected from both Nvidia and AMD around Q3. Combined with this, we expect to see several major AAA game release titles to go with this hardware to enhance the experience even more.

"I look forward to seeing the additional growth in the likes of Nvidia and AMD, and [other Enta partners] Corsair, Gigabyte, MSI and Mad Catz."

AMD, meanwhile, has previously said that "GPU products based on the Polaris architecture are planned for shipment in mid-2016".

Regarding the aforementioned potential release windows around the new graphics cards, system builder Yoyotech says it has heard similar speculation. The firm’s MD CK says that both AMD and Nvidia must get their respective launches right, regardless of specific dates.

CK commented: "Whatever they launch, they need to back it up with physical stock – we don’t want a repeat of the Nvidia 970/980 stock shortages.

"We’re hearing Nvidia will launch their cards first and AMD’s will likely be a soft launch afterwards. Typical AMD!

"But the important thing is we want a launch, not an announcement. PCs need to be available to buy with a range of graphics cards from day one.

"There’s no point announcing a new graphics card launch if consumers can’t buy the products. It seems to be becoming a PR stunt between AMD and Nvidia over who can announce a ‘launch’ first."

Regarding the technology, CK says he is impressed with the specs, but hasn’t received any test prototype units just yet. He did make the point that AMD has to come out fighting to claw back market share from Nvidia and help boost the market as a whole.

"I want AMD to do well, because we need some competition in the market and the consumer needs that choice," he added. "So for the industry’s sake and the consumer’s sake, I hope AMD does well. 

"Come on AMD – let’s make it a more level playing field."

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