The latest update to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card may reveal that the company may not have a budget price option when it introduces its next-generation graphics architecture to be introduced with the RTX 3000 graphics cards. Galax's recently launched GeForce GTX 1650 Ultra suggests that Nvidia may be trying to remove excess RTX silicon before launching an RTX 3080 later this year.
While previous versions of the modest GTX 1650 variant used the TU116 silicon, the new Galax card uses the TU106 chip, the same chip that Nvidia uses on its high-end RTX 2070 silicon. The new Galax card also has a higher TDP of 90 W due to the improved silicon inside. Despite using the Turing-based cores, the Galax GTX 1650 Ultra does not work like an RTX 2070. In this case, the ray tracing and CUDA seem Cores that are standard on the RTX 2070 have been intentionally turned off According to PC Gamer, the silicon must meet the specifications of the GTX 1650 line from Nvidia.
Nvidia's practice of reusing premium silicon for use in lower-priced GPUs is not uncommon and is consistent with the broader chip industry. Intel is known to turn off cores on high-end processors and sell these parts in low-end models when inventory is exceeded.
Here it is unclear whether Nvidia is overcrowded due to overproduction or lack of demand, or whether only cores on chips are turned off that have not passed the company's rigorous test for use in the RTX 2070 cards. In the latter case, the company could actually recycle the parts by disabling irrelevant features and using them in the GTX 1650 series. This will help Nvidia eliminate excess inventory without having to cut prices in the current range.
This news can be disappointing for Nvidia RTX gamers looking for an affordable option after the Ampere GPU architecture debut. This approach – which could mean that an inexpensive RTX 3000 series card won't be available this year – shouldn't get too big of a surprise. In the past, Nvidia has wavered the introduction of its graphics card. With the introduction of the RTX 2000 series, for example, premium cards from Nvidia such as the RTX 2080 series were first available. Only after the launch of RTX 2080 did Nvidia offer the midrange cards 2070 and 2060.
We expect a similar cadence once Ampere debuts on consumer graphics, which is expected to happen later this year. This means that a budget-friendly RTX 3000 model may not be released until 2021.