The Maxwell graphics processing unit generation was supposed to be marketed under the GeForce 800 series, or GeForce 800M for laptops, but it appears NVIDIA has now decided otherwise.
It would have made sense for the Maxwell graphics processing unit collection to power GeForce 800 video boards, after the Kepler was used in GeForce 700 series video adapters.
However, it is not the first time when the company changed branding monikers just before the marketing of the products themselves.
Indeed, it's not just GPUs but all sorts of products that were introduced under a certain name in the past, only for the branding to be changed just before release.
Then again, while there have been some reports about the GeForce GTX 870 and 880 graphics cards, NVIDIA did always reserve the right to modify the specifications and all other information.
So despite how strange it is for this to occur just two weeks before the release of the products, it's still a forewarning if nothing else. This assuming that the latest report on the matter is valid.
The GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 will be powered by the NVIDIA GM204 Maxwell-based graphics processing unit architecture.
The chip is already up for sale as part of the GeForce GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti, but it won't be crippled in the new video cards.
We don't know the specifications, but maybe the name update means a larger performance benefit compared to Kepler than previously implied.
Even without some extra performance advantage, the jump in generation name from GTX 700 to GTX 900 may lure more people into upgrading their graphics adapter than the 800 Series name would have managed.
After all, there's nothing like being “two” generations behind to provide an incentive to upgrade, or cause some peer pressure as a result of every one of your friends getting something new.
The GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 should be formally launched on September 9 or September 10, and it unfortunately won't happen at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Still, we'll make sure to cover the event when it does happen. Availability won't ramp up right away though, but on September 19, 2014.
We'll try to keep an eye out for some information reports on the specifications, but we can't promise anything, even though the days leading up to a big release event usually do bring along some serious leaks.