Rumours Surface Of A Gigabyte GTX 1060 With GDDR5X Memory

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅20.10.2018 01:03:33

NVIDIA RTX 20-series graphics cards are now available in the wild, and the tech world collectively breathed a sigh of relief as that particular set of major product launches concluded. And with these launches it had been assumed that the 10-series had effectively been placed in maintenance mode - servicing the needs of gamers below the 500 price point. It appears, however, that it's not quite over for Pascal as far as new SKUs go.

Via comes the rumour that board partner Gigabyte are speccing out a new variant of the GTX 1060 that will diverge substantially from existing models. This new card will apparently be based around a GP104 GPU equipped with GDDR5X memory, set to go head-to-head with a rumoured refresh of AMD's Polaris 20 as the RX 590.

You may recall that up to this point GTX 1060 graphics cards have utilised the GP106, whereas the GP104 has primarily featured in the GTX 1070 and 1080. Furthermore GDDR5X memory has been exclusive to the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti; RTX 20-series cards meanwhile transitioned to GDDR6 VRAM.

GDDR5X on GP106 would make little sense. A lack of raw performance from the GPU would mean that it can't really cope with the higher resolutions and image quality settings where greater memory bandwidth really shines. A cut-down GP104 similar to the GTX 1070 or 1070 Ti makes more sense, but why not simply re-purpose those SKUs rather than further confuse the GTX 1060 naming scheme?

For confused it is. There are currently four distinct GTX 1060 SKUs that differ on frame buffer size, memory bandwidth and CUDA cores. Less than scrupulous retailers have also used this weakness to obfuscate the GPU sold, generally to the detriment to the consumer. Adding another is surely unacceptable, even for NVIDIA.

What might make more sense is a realignment of Pascal into the 20-series, perhaps as the GTX 2060 (differentiating it from the range with RTX technology supported in hardware). It's not clear what the Turing architecture can offer below the RTX 2070, and with sufficient surplus of both GP104 GPUs and GDDR5X memory this might be the ideal way of bringing a major performance boost to the mid-range.

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