X-bit Labs notes NVIDIA stated that it will offer cut-down versions of its upcoming Fermi GPU, as some of the chip's capabilities don't offer benefits for the consumer right away.
“We are paying a bit of a compute tax in that we launched a part where a lot of the consumer compute applications haven’t really taken hold yet. But over time as more consumer computer applications are developed that take advantage of our compute (consumer) features, I think it's going to give us a big leg up,” William Dally, chief scientist at Nvidia, told Cnet News.com.
“We're not talking about other (chips) at this point in time but you can imagine that we can scale this part by having fewer than the 512 cores and by having these cores have fewer of the features, for example less double-precision,” said Mr. Dally, who did not explain how it is possible to reduce double-precision floating point performance without decreasing single-precision point speed, something which is needed by video games. In fact, Mr. Dally’s comment may imply that non-flagship Fermi derivatives will have not only be slower in terms of performance, but will be seriously different in terms of implementation.