Nvidia is stopping production of some of its flagship affordable GPUs, if we’re to believe it.
This is from a Chinese site IT home (opens in new tab) – not at the top of our list of reliable sources, it must be said, so add a little more than the usual amount of spice here – if WCftech (opens in new tab) spotted. It is rumored from supply chain sources that Nvidia is discontinuing production of all RTX 2060 and 1660 models.
That means the RTX 2060 and its Super version, and the GTX 1660 plus its Ti and Super variants, are theoretically no more (except for whatever stock is floating around there and left to resell).
As IT Home points out, in terms of more affordable graphics cards from Nvidia, that just leaves the GTX 1650 and 1630 holding the fortress at the cheap end of the GPU market (and of course the latter model is a shaky low-end offering to say the least).
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So, what gives here? Well, first of all, we should be skeptical about the truth of what is just noise from the rumor mill at the moment – this may not happen. That said, it’s not the first time we’ve heard this speculation from sources in Asia familiar with Nvidia’s supply chain, at least with regard to the RTX 2060, so that seems to increase the likelihood of this being true.
Thing is, these are some seriously popular cheap GPUs. In fact, the RTX 2060 is the second most used graphics card in gamers’ PCs on Steam (according to Valve’s monthly hardware survey). And the GTX 1660 ranks eighth, with its Super and Ti variants ranking tenth and eleventh in that survey; so these are undoubtedly some well-thought-out affordable graphics cards.
What seems to be happening is that Nvidia will have to pull the plug on these models to replace them with RTX 3000 cards, which have excess stock that needs to be sold before more affordable RTX 4000 GPUs (like the RTX 4060) come into play can be brought.
The concern, however, is that if we use current US prices as a general barometer, the RTX 3060 and shaky RTX 3050 cost around $350 and $300, respectively. While an RTX 2060 can be picked up for as low as $220 or thereabouts, the 1660 models go even lower – though the latter already seem to thin out GPUs in terms of their available ranks (at least when we searched Newegg).
If those RTX 3000 prices remain at that level for now, the budget GPU space will remain in an even weaker state – and Nvidia doesn’t seem concerned about effectively leaving this end of the spectrum to AMD and Intel. At least for now until cheaper RTX 4000 models arrive (and maybe then the lower end RTX 3000 cards will drop in price further).
However, Nvidia has shied away from its responsibilities on the budget side of the market for some time now, so is this a broader sign that Team Green is focusing on more expensive products? The company certainly seems keen to push big premium profit spinners, if the RTX 4080 is anything to go by. And at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is increasingly palpable, Nvidia’s stance seems unattainable and unfortunate for those gamers who aren’t swimming in extra cash for a GPU upgrade.