Graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) began the rollout of graphics cards based on its new Pascal architecture back in May, beginning with the high-end GeForce GTX 1080. A cut-down variant of the 1080, known as the GTX 1070, arrived in early June, and a leak from reliable site BenchLife suggests that the mid-range GTX 1060 is coming on July 14.
Between the 1060, 1070, and 1080, NVIDIA can service a large portion of the desktop graphics card market, but not all of it. The company will still need credible products in the $150-$200 range, particularly as many gamers are on tight budgets.
It would seem that the company's answer to that market segment may be a product known as the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
What do we know about it so far?
Website LaptopMedia recently leaked a couple of details about the upcoming GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. It will come with four gigabytes of GDDR5 (a high-bandwidth RAM designed for use in graphics cards) hooked up to a 128-bit memory bus. The leak itself actually shows that both the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1050 Ti will be suitable for laptops, likely in unaltered form compared to the variants suitable for desktops.
Beyond that, assuming the leak is legitimate, not much else is known. However, we can make some intelligent speculation about some aspects of the product.
Likely aimed at the $199 mark; 1050 coming later?
The suffix "Ti," which was historically short for "Titanium," in NVIDIA's product stack tends to indicate a higher-performance variant of a product. For example, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti was much faster than the GeForce GTX 980.
If NVIDIA is releasing a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, this could mean that from a price/performance perspective, it's not going to be a direct successor to the $159 GeForce GTX 950 that launched back in August of 2015. Given that the GTX 1060 is rumored to come priced at around $299 for the model with six gigabytes of memory and $249 for the one with three gigabytes of memory, a GTX 1050 Ti could slot in nicely at the $199 mark.
The only problem with such a product stack is that the faster 1060 with a lesser amount of memory would sell for more than the slower 1050 Ti with a greater amount of memory. This could potentially cause customer confusion, and (unintentionally) push customers to buy the cheaper 1050 Ti in place of the pricier 1060 with three gigabytes of memory.
If NVIDIA attacks the $199 price point with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, then the company might release a GeForce GTX 1050 at $159 later on down the line.
When will we see it?
Current rumors point to NVIDIA launching the GeForce GTX 1060 for desktops on July 14, while there seems to be virtually nothing about when this supposed GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is expected to launch.
The GeForce GTX 960, based on the fully enabled GM206 chip, launched in January of 2015, but the cut-down variant, known as the GeForce GTX 950, didn't arrive until August of that year.
Though I doubt that it'll be seven months following the GTX 1060 launch before we'll see the GTX 1050 Ti launch, particularly as we are seeing leaks mentioning both the 1060 and 1050 Ti in the same place, I wouldn't be surprised if the 1050 Ti arrives a fair bit after the 1060 does.