Nvidia has reportedly decided to phase out some of the last remnants of the Turing graphics card era, according to rumors shared on China's Bobantang tech forums. This means it has decided to "completely discontinue" the GeForce RTX 2060, the 2060 Super, as well as the GTX 1660 and 1660 Super. Removing these popular options will leave quite a void in Nvidia's budget to midrange offerings, a high volume segment.
This comes as we're seeing a few final gasps of life in the way of Turing-based graphics card deals. Amazon has the RTX 2060 for $179 right now (opens in new tab), an all-time low. You can also find the Zotac GTX 1660 for $179 (opens in new tab) and the Zotac GTX 1660 Super for $199 (opens in new tab)... but why would you buy those slower cards for the same or higher prices?
Earlier this month we reported about whispers from supply chain sources, stating that the GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super were about to be discontinued. Now that appears to have happened, if the latest rumors are to be believed.
All the above mentioned Nvidia Turing graphics cards remain available at US-based online retailers, but that could change quickly once the situation filters through to retailers looking to replenish stocks.
On the topic of stocks and inventories, the source also indicates that there remains a "small amount of inventory," of the GTX 1660/Super TU116 GPUs. However, Nvidia hasn't wielded the knife on the GTX1650 and 1630 TU117 GPUs, notes the forum poster. These continue to be supplied to graphics card makers.
If you check out our GPU hierarchy feature, you will see that all Nvidia has left to address a significant and popular consumer segment, in the wake of the alleged Turing cull, is the Ampere generation GeForce RTX 3050. Sadly for the RTX 3050, it lived in the value and performance shadow of the RTX 2060 cards and, even with this removed, it is roundly beaten by AMD's Radeon RX 6600 / XT cards.
Recently we wrote about how AMD's graphics cards offer the best value across the full gamut of performance segments, except for the very top halo graphics cards. Some Cyber Monday price probing reveals that the best RTX 3050 (opens in new tab) is still priced on a par with the RX 6650 XT (opens in new tab) (both in the $250–$270 range), but is completely crushed by the RX 6600 (opens in new tab) which can be found for $209.
There are signs of Nvidia shuffling around some GeForce RTX 30-series SKUs with the new RTX 3060 8GB and the new RTX 3060 Ti with GDDR6X. However, with the phasing out of so many midrange Turning cards, Nvidia needs to widen the appeal of the RTX 3050. Perhaps it can make a desktop RTX 3050 Ti and reduce the price of the current RTX 3050 to better suit its performance level.
Nvidia may be priming the supply chain ahead of some new Ampere choices for the rather neglected entry-level to midrange market segment. This appears to be logical, but please add salt to the Bobantang sourced news about it happening right now. We look forward to some compelling new options from Nvidia, in this supposedly vacated space, to fight back against AMD and the new competition from Intel.