Our colleague Igor Wallossek over at Tom's Hardware Germany has received some breaking news from various sale channel representatives and Nvidia partners. Those partners claim that Nvidia will no longer offer A and non-A Turing dies for the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 graphics cards after May.
Credit: Tom's Hardware
As with any new manufacturing process, it requires time for the process to fully mature to maximize the yields. So, did it came as a surprise when Nvidia was caught selling its partners two variants of the same die for the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2070? Not really. It's just business. In any case, here's a quick recap if you haven't been following the scandal.
A few months ago, the creators behind GPU-Z, a popular diagnostic and monitoring utility for graphics cards, discovered that there were indeed two different device IDs per Turing graphics card. Take the GeForce RTX 2080 for instance. While the graphics card employs the TU104 die, there were two variants of the silicon out in the wild: TU104-400-A1 and TU104-400A-A1. To cut the story short, the A variant is essentially a higher-binned die with better overclocking potential while the non-A variant is of lower quality and forbidden by Nvidia for overclocking.
By delivering two variants of the same product, Nvidia paved the way for the chipmaker's partners to use the A variants in the top models and the cheaper non-A variants for the more austere models. In a way, it gave manufacturers certain flexibility to bring different flavors of the same graphics card to the market at different price points. Unfortunately, it also meant that the consumer, who purchased a graphics card with the non-A die, is essentially paying for an inferior product. While Nvidia forbids partners to overclock non-A dies, you, as a consumer, could still overclock the graphics card yourself. However, the chances of you matching the operating speeds of an A die part is pretty slim.
After this month, Nvidia will only offer a single Turing silicon, which is already reportedly in production, for the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2070. That would be the TU104-400 and TU106-400 dies, respectively. Nvidia's latest move could indicate that Turing yields are improving, which is great news for consumers since this theoretically means that faster graphics cards will be arriving on the market at the same price point. For the time being, there is no clue if Nvidia will continue offering the TU102 die, which is used in the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, in A and non-A variants. Wallossek's sources only mentioned the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2070.
As a last note, Wallossek's information confirms that Nvidia will be rolling out a new vBIOS for the non-A Turing dies so board partners can flash the existing graphics card before sending them off to retailers.