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Last seen 9 days ago.

— NVIDIA's GTX 1660 follows hot on the heels of last month's release of the GTX 1660 Ti. As the name would suggest, the 1660 is a slightly scaled back version of the 1660 Ti. Both feature NVIDIAs's new TU116 Turing based die, have 6GB of VRAM, are without RTX cores and have a power draw (TDP) of 120W. The main differences arise from the number of CUDA cores: the 1660 has 1408 whilst the 1660 Ti has 1536, and memory band width: the 1660 can deliver 8 Gpbs using ubiquitous GDDR5 (as featured in the GTX 1060 3GB and 6GB) versus the 1660 Ti which can deliver 12 Gpbs using newer, faster and dearer GDDR6. Early benchmarks show that the GTX 1660 has about a 20% lower effective speed than the 1660 Ti, but with an entry price of $219 USD, the 1660 is also about 20% cheaper. Further, the 1660 has a 12% effective speed advantage over the ~$230 USD 6GB 1060 and a similar real world effective speed to AMD's $265 USD RX 590. NVIDIAs strategy of offering great value Turing products at all price tiers can only be good for competition and consumers.

9 days ago.

— The GTX 1660 Ti the latest mid-range and mid-priced graphics card for gamers, succeeding the now two year old GTX 1060 6GB. As NVIDIA have tried to imply with their naming convention, performance of this 16 series GPU lies somewhere between their 10 series and 20 series but the 16 does not contain any of the recent RTX cores, which given the lack of RTX ready games, by itself is no hindrance at all. The 1660 Ti features a new TU116 Turing based die, 6GB of VRAM, 1536 CUDA cores and has a 120W TDP which is a remarkably low power draw for its performance. The reference GPU clock speeds are 1500MHz and 1770MHz for base and boost respectively, and manufacturer overclocked speeds will be higher. Early benchmarks show that the 1660 Ti has a clear 33% effective speed advantage over its $60 cheaper 1060 6GB predecessor and that it performs just 4% slower than the $80 more expensive GTX 1070 in terms of effective speed. As well as crowding out the direct competition from NVIDIA’s own 1070, at an opening price of $280, the GTX 1660 Ti competes squarely with AMD’s RX 590 ($260) which has an 18% lower effective speed. Perhaps this will be an impetus for AMD to adjust pricing for the RX 590 and offer something more value-led in the mid-range.

30 days ago.

— The widely anticipated (albeit currently not widely available) prosumer AMD Radeon VII is finally available. It features a next generation Vega 20 GPU which is based on a 7nm manufacturing process, compared to 14nm in the first generation flagship: the RX Vega 64. The Radeon VII has a massive 16GB of expensive high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) which offers a decent degree of future proofing and also makes it a good choice for memory hungry applications, however most current games do not require more than the 8GB that comes with both NVIDIA's RTX 2080 and AMD’s RX Vega 64. The Radeon VII has fewer cores than the RX Vega 64 (3840 vs 4096) but clock speeds have been boosted up to 1800 MHz compared to 1546 MHz in the RX Vega 64, the net result is 13.8 TFLOPS single precision computations (versus 13.4 TFLOPS for the RX Vega 64). On the negative side, the Radeon VII is designed with three cooling fans which can get noisy and early software drivers are reported to be buggy. Whilst there is a modest 16% performance advantage over the RX Vega 64, initial benchmarks indicate that the Radeon VII has an effective speed which is 6% short of the similarly priced RTX 2080.

1 month ago.

— The 6GB RTX 2060 is the latest addition to NVIDIA’s RTX series of graphics card which are based on their Turing architecture. Turing features AI enhanced graphics and real time ray tracing which is intended to deliver a more realistic gaming experience. The 6GB 2060 has 1920 CUDA cores, a base/boost clock of 1365/1680 MHz, GDRR6 memory and a memory bandwidth of 336GB/s. At an MRSP of $349 for the Founders Edition, this GPU offers the best value for money amongst the RTX range to date and somewhat redeems NVIDIA from their earlier RTX models (2070, 2080, 2080 Ti) which offered significantly worse value for money. There are still too few games that support RTX to make this feature particularly relevant to buyers, but on average 60+ FPS @ 1440p for most current games at high settings should be achievable. The 2060 can also be overclocked to eke out a bit more performance. In some locations, the 2060 is currently in a similar price bracket to the GTX 1070 Ti which has a 12% greater effective speed and AMD’s highly overclockable RX Vega 56 which has an 8% greater effective speed. Both alternatives are H2 2017 GPUs that lack RTX but still continue to offer solid performance and value at todays prices.

2 months ago.

— AMD’s mid-range RX 590 is the latest refresh of their Polaris-based RX 580 from 2016, which in turn was a refresh of their RX 480 (2015). This iteration yields 15% higher clock speeds compared to the RX 580 which is reflected in the early benchmark data. This increased performance is fuelled by an increased power draw: the 580 had a TDP of 185W compared to the 590’s 225W, which compares to 210W for AMD’s high-performance Radeon RX Vega 56. Like the 8GB version of the RX 580, the RX 590 also has 8GB of GDDR5 with a 256GB/s memory bandwidth. With this iteration there isn’t a 4GB variant which is a good thing because 4GB can bottleneck an increasing proportion of games. Priced at $280, it is currently 20% more expensive than NVIDIA’s popular 6GB 1060, but is 12% faster in terms of effective speed. As a bonus, shoppers can get better value for money by purchasing one of the numerous game bundles that are currently available.

4 months ago.

— NVDIA’s RTX 2070 follows on from their recent release of the 2080 and 2080 Ti from their RTX 2000 series of Turing architecture GPUs. The 2070 has 2304 CUDA cores, a base/boost clock of 1410/1620 MHz, 8GB of GDRR6 memory and a memory bandwidth of 448GB/s. Traditionally NVIDIA’s 70 range has offered better value for money than the more powerful 80 GPUs. The Founders Edition 2070 has an MSRP of $599 which makes both new 1080 and used 1080 Ti GPUs decent options. The price premium over the previous generation of GPUs is, for the most part, for NVIDIA’s new ray tracing technology, and unfortunately, the benefit of this is currently unknown as there are no RTX ready games. Performance benchmarks on tangibles place the 2070 6% ahead of the 1080 in terms of effective speed and 17% behind the 1080 Ti. Since AMD’s similarly priced RX Vega 64 has a 13% lower effective speed, there is no real pressure on NVIDIA to compete agressively with thier own previous generation of cards.

5 months ago.

— NVIDIA's RTX 2080 is based on its new Turing architecture which boasts new AI and ray tracing technology that could eventually result in better GPU performance. Unfortunately there are currently no games which can take advantage of these new capabilities. The early 2080 benchmarks only exhibit a modest (20%) performance improvement over the 1080 which considering the new price tag of $800 for the Founders Edition is hard to stomach. The 2080 features 2944 CUDA cores, a base/boost speed of 1515/1710 MHz, 8 GB of GDDR6 memory and a memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s. NVIDIA have also released the 2080 Ti which has marginally higher specs together with a jaw dropping price tag of $1200 for the Founders Edition. Unfortunately for gamers and other consumers, AMD’s top end GPUs such as the Vega 64 still lag NVIDIA's previous flagship 1080 Ti by 30% so there is very little pressure on NVIDIA to offer better value for money. The 2080 only has 8GB of RAM which is fine today but will likely haunt any early adopters that plan to keep the card for more than two years.

6 months ago.

— “Build it, and they will come” must be NVIDIA’s thinking behind their latest consumer-focused GPU: the RTX 2080 Ti, which has been released alongside the RTX 2080. Following on from the Pascal architecture of the 1080 series, the 2080 series is based on a new Turing GPU architecture which features Tensor cores for AI (thereby potentially reducing GPU usage during machine learning workloads) and RT cores for ray tracing (rendering more realistic images). Unfortunately, there aren’t (m)any games that make use of these capabilities so the $1200 price tag on the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition is difficult to justify. On paper the 2080 Ti has 4352 CUDA cores, a base/boost clock of 1350/1545 MHz, 11GB of GDRR6 memory and a memory bandwidth of 616GB/s. The upshot is that it has around a 30% faster effective speed than the 1080 Ti, which at 18 months old continues to offer comparable value for money and currently dominates the high-end gaming market. Professional users such as game developers or 4K gamers may find value in the 2080 Ti but for typical users (@1080p), prices need to drop substantially before the 2080 Ti has much chance of widespread adoption.

6 months ago.

— The GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is NVIDIA’s latest HD and VR ready, gaming GPU and is successor to the current number one GPU by market share, the GTX 1070. Like the 1070, the 1070 Ti is based on the16nm Pascal architecture and GP104 GPU. Both feature 8 GB of GDDR5 memory with a 256 bit memory interface producing a total memory bandwidth of 256 GB/s, and both have a rated boost clock speed of 1.683 GHz, although both are geared to be over clocked. In fact, the 1070 Ti is basically the 1070 but with 25% more working CUDA cores (2432 versus 1920) and slightly higher base clock of 1607MHz (versus 1506MHz in the 1070). This translates to the 1070 Ti being as nearly as powerful as the GTX 1080 which has 2560 CUDA cores, 8 GB of GDRR5X memory and boost clock of 1733 GHz. With founder’s editions available at $449, compared to $470 for AMD’s recent Vega based RX 56 and $510 for the GTX 1080, the 1070 Ti represents good value for money. The rumoured fast approaching release of Volta (NVIDIA’s next generation architecture following on from Pascal) in early 2018 may upset demand for the 1070 Ti.

16 months ago.
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