Nvidia may be pulling the RTX 2060 out of retirement to combat PC gaming’s price problem

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Nvidia is rumored to be reviving the GeForce RTX 2060 with 12GB of memory, which appears to be the answer to today’s ongoing graphics card shortage.

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Speaking according to unnamed sources videocardzOf course, Nvidia is planning to roll out a graphics card built around the same TU106-300 GPU found in the original RTX 2060, which was first released in January 2019.

This follows rumors in January of this year indicating a similar re-run of Turing graphics cards, which included both the RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super.

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This ‘new’ RTX 2060 will come with a new ‘KX’ suffix and will be paired with 12GB of GDDR6 memory, which is twice as much as the 2019 model. Otherwise, the ‘new’ RTX 2060 is said to be a match for the older card, which will almost certainly mean it is made using TSMC’s 12nm process.

The 12nm process is a few generations behind state-of-the-art nodes from TSMC or Nvidia’s new manufacturing buddy, Samsung. However, it is likely to be higher yielding, cheaper and less in demand than the others, which will help Nvidia produce chips in greater quantities and, ideally, at a lower cost.

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Similarly, the TU106 GPU within the RTX 2060 was not a full chip. This was found in the RTX 2070, which means Nvidia doesn’t need to use the correct GPU for the RTX 2060.

That said, there are still potential supply constraints for other components needed to make a modern GPU, such as for power distribution or memory chips. The RTX 2060 may have a relatively sparse PCB compared to the RTX 3080 Ti, but it will still require a lot of in-demand parts.

Nvidia is said to have told partners on board that the card is expected to be ready to roll out by the end of the year, perhaps January, Videocard also mentioned.

There’s no word on a price for the rumored card. The RTX 2060 launched at $349, though that was later dropped to $299, and you’d expect that kind of pricing to live with a card that’s a little long in the tooth nowadays. Likewise, the RTX 3060 with 12GB starts at $329 (if you can find one at MSRP), so the RTX 2060 has to offer a much more affordable proposition to tempt gamers.

And the reason for this rumored re-release would be in response to the ongoing graphics card shortage. It’s almost a year since the launch of the RTX 30-series graphics cards and we have yet to see a steady supply of these cards on the shelves.

The RTX 3060 is the cheapest desktop graphics card in Nvidia’s Ampere generation, with prices starting at $329. (image credit: future)

The Ampere generation is selling very well, Nvidia confirmed, but demand exceeds supply.

Resurrecting the RTX 2060 will be very important in how Nvidia sees the coming year in terms of GPU availability. And this is not good news. Taking the RTX 2060 out of retirement would suggest that the Green team is not expecting a drop in demand anytime soon, nor a sudden influx of supply.

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Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side-by-side on a colorful background

(image credit: future)

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This is in line with most knowledgeable CEOs, including Intel’s Pat Gelsinger, who has repeatedly said that supplies will not normalize until 2022/23, if not later. Nvidia’s own forecast for supply has also become increasingly worrying as the year progresses.

However, Nvidia will remain cautious for higher demand. This was cut in 2018 by meeting a sudden influx of crypto-mining demand, which ended almost overnight, causing the company’s stock value to collapse.

Still, I’m cautiously optimistic about the potential for graphics cards to address the entry-level market. I’d really like a cheap and cheerful RTX 3050 Ti or RX 6000-series GPU to come to the desktop—but with the right price, enough volume to make an MSRP stick, and liberal use of upscaling technologies and cryptocurrency mining frontiers, perhaps. Rewiring the RTX 2060 could keep the wolves out of the door a little longer.

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