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Are AMD’s RX 5600 GPUs so dangerous Nvidia has to release a GTX 1660 Super?

Is Nvidia reacting to a specific threat from team Radeon's Navi skunkworks?

Nvidia GTX 1660 Super

Wait, what? There’s going to be an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super now? At least that is the new rumour. Fresh from noises of a GTX 1650 Ti being in the works, there now seems to be a new GeForce Turing-powered GPU set to hit our desktops sitting somewhere between the current GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti. Looks like someone’s looking to spoil the mainstream Navi party… or is feeling a little nervous.

Which is weird because there is some $50 price difference between the existing GTX Turing graphics cards meaning there’s a very slim gap for the new GTX 1660 Ti to squeeze into. With that GTX 1650 Ti rumoured to be sitting in the space between the current GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660, it’s about to get awful crowded in the mainstream GPU market.

Because the same rumours suggesting the existence of new Ti and Super cards also suggest that ALL the existing GTX Turing cards will still remain on sale, fighting for space and inevitably cannibalising sales from each other. It’s a GPU-eat-GPU world out there. Or something. Honestly, this all seems rather weird, and possibly beyond the realms of believability…

This latest rumour has popped up from Fast Technology, promising that an upgraded version of the current GTX 1660 will arrive with the exact same GPU configuration but will utilise the latest GDDR6 memory instead of the GDDR5 the original version uses. Not only that but it will be the 14Gbps VRAM variant as opposed to the 12Gbps GDDR6 memory the supposedly superior GTX 1660 Ti comes with.

But because the top-end Ti card uses the full-fat TU116 GPU, with 24 SMs and 1,536 CUDA cores, the Super has to make do with sticking on the same 1,408 CUDA cores of the standard GTX 1660. And yet it’s rumoured, I reiterate, that ALL the existing GTX Turing cards will remain on sale.

GTX 1650 GTX 1650 Ti GTX 1660 GTX 1660 Super GTX 1660 Ti
GPU TU117 TU117 TU116 TU116 TU116
CUDA cores 896 1,024 or 1,152 1,408 1,408 1,536
Memory type 8Gbps GDDR5 8Gbps GDDR5 8Gbps GDDR5 14Gbps GDDR6 12Gbps GDDR6
Memory capacity 4GB 6GB 6GB 6GB 6GB
Price $149 ? $219 ?? $279

The idea I guess being that Nvidia will ship the GTX 1650 Ti and GTX 1660 Super at the same price as the current GTX 1650 and GTX 1660, but shift the older cards’ pricing down to accommodate the new upgraded GPUs. Which is sure to go down like a lead Hindenburg with any retailer sitting there with old stock that’s suddenly lost a chunk of its value overnight.

But that would also meant somewhere between $100 and $300 there would be five mainstream Nvidia GTX Turing graphics cards all fighting among themselves for your gaming GPU cash. Except they presumably won’t just be fighting among themselves as surely the catalyst (pardon the pun) for this mainstream expansion is the upcoming AMD Navi graphics cards of RX 5600 and RX 5500 fame.

AMD RX 570 specs

That and the fact there seem to be an awful lot of RX 570, RX 580, and RX 590 GPUs still floating around doing damage to Nvidia’s bottom line. If the GTX 1650 can suddenly start to undercut even AMD’s budget darling, the Polaris-based RX 570, then AMD’s new Navi GPUs will have to work a lot harder for their money.

On the flipside it could simply be that Nvidia has a good idea of what the Navi 14 cards will be able to offer and needs to get in ahead of them with new, faster, and potentially cheaper, mainstream cards of its own.

Whatever the truth of these wild GTX 1650 Ti and GTX 1660 rumours, it seems pretty nailed on that there are going to be some good-value graphics cards coming our way in a few short months.

Is Nvidia scared of Navi or just looking to spoil the party? Join the conversation on this article’s Facebook or Twitter threads.