As AMD continues to have trouble meeting demand for Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards, Nvidia is hard at work on a competing product based on the Fermi architecture. Fudzilla has now learned from its sources that Nvidia has started taking pre-orders for that product (code-named GF100) and it's aiming for a launch in a little over a month.
Reportedly, Nvidia is "taking pre-orders like there is no tomorrow" despite providing no guarantee of an availability date. Even so, Fudzilla says "everyone" is bracing for shortages after the official launch, and Nvidia could choose to prioritize the more lucrative high-performance computing market with early batches of Fermi-based GPUs. Nvidia has certainly pitched Fermi as a formidable solution for HPC applications.
High-end DirectX 11 GPUs may remain a rarity for a while longer yet, though, unless AMD manages to ramp up Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 production before Fermi sees the light of day. This holiday season's desktop GPU battle royale might end up taking place chiefly in the sub-$200 arena, with Radeon HD 5700-series cards pitted against Nvidia's existing 55-nm and 40-nm GeForces.