I've heard rumors that Nvida and Ati both lock certan options on the hardware registry which limits the video cards full potential. Then they release the next series of cards with the registry unlocked therefore upping the same piece of hardwares performance.
No, Yes and all in between. We don't see all the things that are done to launch a first generation of video cards. Less time is taken to tweak the performance and more time is used to get things working smoothly. From time to time they might release a micro code update to tweak the performance, sort of like using a mod chip in a car, it's just tuned better. They also save money using the same GPU, the term for this is rebranding. Nvidia has done alot of rebranding of their cards in 2009 and now in 2010. I've seen issues of video card and video game makers pulling tricks with new video techniques that slow down games in older cards.
AMD and Nvidia are going at this tooth and nail, so if they have the power they will use all of it. As months go by they are never resting idle. Make sure of it their lab guys are hard at work tweaking even more power out of what they have. Little more volts, better cooling, cache tweaks, cleaner power, faster memory and anything else that runs those billions of transistors to the max. After all is said and done you could have a new card that is 25% faster in 6 months time.
There will always be those conspiracy nuts that think the evil empires are holding us back. If that was true you would have seen a mod on youtube by now unlocking cards to their full power. At best I've seen pots soldered to cards to adjust voltages or unlock pipelines or cores. People forget that they want to make money so they build the best of the best and in the processes they will discover some cards are poor performers. With enough hardcore testing they disable parts of it to make it work and then rebrand it and sell it for anything they can to make money.
It's possible, but unlikely. So I really don't think there's a conspiracy or another on restricting video cards.
What I do know is that my GTX 295 is still faster than just about anything out there, and that makes me feel good, even if it is somehow "curbed" and not maxed out 100%
Snag a GTX 285 or GTX 295 and that would take the sting out if it is true, I suppose.
Gotta help the economy after all. :)
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