It's no secret that Nvidia isn't selling as many RTX graphics cards as it hoped. The company revised its revenue guidance in January in response to weaker-than-expected sales that were at least partly blamed on how much Turing architecture GPUs cost. Enter rumor, after rumor, after rumor about Nvidia planning a 1660 Ti product that would allow Turing to reach bargain hunters. Today's rumor arrives courtesy of VideoCardz, which shared images of what it said were an MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS and the TU116 GPU around which it was built. We haven't confirmed the veracity of these images, but at this point, it's harder to imagine a future in which Nvidia doesn't release a (relatively) low-price Turing GPU than one where it does.
VideoCardz said there are two versions of the Ventus coming, the XS and the not-XS, with the former sharing a PCB with MSI's GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X. The publication didn't share other details about these particular cards, so it's not clear when the MSI cards are expected to debut or at what price.
Album credit: VideoCardz
Yet, VideoCardz did offer some alleged information about the GTX 1660 Ti itself, as well as some images of what it said is its TU116 GPU (above). The GTX 1660 Ti is reportedly set to debut on February 22 with a non-Ti version arriving "probably next month." That lines up with previous reports indicating that Nvidia planned to reveal the GTX 1660 Ti in mid-February, as does the claim that these cards will feature 1,536 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR6 memory. VideoCardz also claimed the 1660 Ti will lack ray tracing support.
Is the GTX 1660 Ti Real?
All of these factors could allow Nvidia to release a mid-price Turing product to appeal to all those people who can't afford the RTX cards that debuted in late 2018. With fewer people upgrading their systems at the moment, especially amid the drought of Intel processors, having a lower-priced offering could help Nvidia persuade hesitant buyers.
Still, the company has yet to officially confirm that it's even making the GTX 1660 Ti. But over the last few months we've gone from "this might exist" to "we might have the specs" to "we're pretty sure we have the specs" to "yeah, it'd really be a surprise if these weren't the specs." At this point, alleged products from EVGA, Palit and MSI have reportedly leaked, as have have plans for a 3GB variant.
Meanwhile, the company's financials already don't look as good as shareholders would like--even before the realization that Nvidia might actually be underplaying its reliance on cryptocurrency miners--and its biggest investor recently sold its entire stake.
Releasing the GTX 1660 Ti could help, though, especially if people start buying more parts for their PCs again. At the very least it would allow Nvidia to compete in the lower-end of the market instead of letting AMD dominate with its RX 400 and 500-series cards. Combine that with all the leaks, and it's not hard to imagine there's something to these rumors.