GeForce FX and R350 news
According to The Inquirer, GeForce FX cards won't hit the street until after February 20th, but should be widely available in March. When the cards finally do become available, it looks like they'll run a little quieter, especially when used in 2D mode. Here's HardOCP's take on the new cooling:
This new GFFX cooling system does not run in 2D operation, making it quieter than any other 3D cards in this current generation while not being used in a gaming capacity. When the GFFX Ultra is utilized in a 3D application, the fan system spins up and is still about as loud as it was before. NVIDIA reports it to be around 5dBa quieter than the models we saw Web reviews based on last week.
Because NVIDIA is controlling the production of all GeForce FX cards, all third-party boards should at least have the capacity to deactivate the Dustbuster when the 3D core isn't active. I guess manufacturers can drop the headphones and ear muffs from their bundles now.
ATI's answer to the GeForce FX, the R350, is apparently already in production and on track to be announced in March. With a rumored 375MHz core clock speed, the ability to lay down two textures per clock, and DDR-I memory clocked at 750MHz, the R350 certainly has the potential to re-establish ATI as the undisputed high-end graphics leader.