The silicon lottery isn't exclusive to CPU buyers. Those buying a GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 graphics card could also end up with some surprises if they don't look closely at the the manufacturer's specifications.
First, a little history. The original GeForce GTX 1650 debuted last year with Nvidia's TU117 silicon and GDDR5 memory. Almost a year later, Nvidia upgraded the GeForce GTX 1650 to GDDR6 memory while preserving the same TU117 silicon.
Recent evidence pointed to the GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 undergoing further surgery, with Nvidia repurposing its TU116 and TU106 dies for the graphics card. Today, hardware detective @momomo_us discovered that Nvidia has updated the GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6's product page to reflect the new variants. While the specifications remain unchanged and performance should too, the die dictate the version of Nvidia's NVENC encoder.
One of the biggest gripes about the GeForce GTX 1650 is that, despite being a Turing graphics card, it came with the old Volta encoder. The GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6's product page details that the TU117 model still comes with the Volta encoder, and the TU106 and TU116 variants use the more recent Turing encoder. Therefore, concerned buyers should consult with the manufacturer for information on which die their graphics card is using.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Specifications
|Header Cell - Column 0||GeForce GTX 1650 TU106||GeForce GTX 1650 TU116||GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6||GeForce GTX 1650|
|GPU Architecture||Turing (TU106)||Turing (TU116)||Turing (TU117)||Turing (TU117)|
|Base Clock Rate||1,410 MHz||1,410 MHz||1,410 MHz||1,485 MHz|
|Boost Clock Rate||1,590 MHz||1,590 MHz||1,590 MHz||1,665 MHz|
|Memory Clock||12 Gbps||12 Gbps||12 Gbps||8 Gbps|
|Memory Capacity||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||192 GBps||192 GBps||192 GBps||128 GBps|
|Transistor Count||10.8 billion||6.6 billion||4.7 billion||4.7 billion|
|Die Size||445 mm²||284 mm²||200 mm²||200 mm²|
Nvidia said via Twitter that the Volta encoder performs similarly to the Pascal encoder, so quality is comparable. The Turing encoder, however, is up to 15% more efficient and comes with features that aren't present in the previous encoder.
Graphics card vendors don't typically specify the die that's employed in the graphics card. However, they should indicate if the GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 has the Turing encoder. For example, Gigabyte does so with the GeForce GTX 1650 D6 WindForce OC 4G (rev. 2.0).
So, there you have it. Not every GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 is cut from the same cloth. If you're about to buy a new graphics card and the Turing encoder is important to you, make sure to drop by the graphic card's product page.