Nordic Hardware had a chat with NVIDIA at CES 2012 and learned that the company was positively surprised by AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series because the cards didn't deliver the performance boosts that NVIDIA anticipated. The site heard NVIDIA is now even more confident that Kepler will have no problem taking down the Radeon HD 7900 series.
In talks with spokesperson we had it confirmed that NVIDIA could not specify a launch schedule more precise than "first half of 2012". They insinuated that Kepler - the new architecture - will launch by the end of March, but could slide into Q2, which would still give AMD a headstart of a quarter of a year.
Even if this is hardly the optimum for NVIDIA they said they were positively surprised by AMD's launch - for its own account. A high up representative revealed that NVIDIA before the launch had a likely performance estimate of Radeon HD 7900, an estimate that it has been preparing to beat.
After AMD's launch it is even more confident that Kepler and its own performance circuits will have no problem taking down Radeon HD 7900.