To see just how confusing Nvidia’s product diversification can be, just take a glance at the GeForce 8800 lineup. Nvidia started with the 8800 GTS 640MB and 8800 GTX, later adding the 8800 GTS 320MB and 8800 Ultra. Then, late last year, we got to meet the new, G92-based 8800 GT 512MB, 8800 GT 256MB, 8800 GTS 512MB, 8800 GS 384MB, and 8800 GS 768MB. That’s not counting the 9800 GTX, which is essentially a souped-up 8800 GTS 512MB, and the 9600 GSO, which is a re-branded 8800 GS.
This alphabet soup may soon come to an end, though. GamesIndustry.biz quotes Nvidia Content Business Development VP Roy Taylor as saying Nvidia’s current product line is "over complicated and too confusing for many customers." Taylor added, "It is a challenge that we’re looking at right now. There is a need to simplify it for consumers, there’s no question." According to Taylor, Nvidia must solve that problem if it wants to broaden its appeal. Indeed, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated last month that he wants Nvidia GPUs in more consumer PCs.
If Nvidia comes up with a simpler product line and naming scheme, it will be following in the footsteps of AMD. With its new Radeon HD 3000 series of graphics cards, AMD’s graphics division has largely shed two- and three-letter suffices and started using model numbers to denote performance in a (relatively) consistent way. One notable exception is the Radeon HD 3870 X2, whose "X2" suffix denotes its two GPUs.