Earlier this month, graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) announced the GeForce GTX 1060, a mid-range graphics card based on its Pascal architecture. Then, on July 19, cards based on this chip, both from NVIDIA directly as well as from the graphics specialist's add-in-board partners, went on sale.
It would seem initial demand for the GTX 1060 is quite good. Let's take a closer look.
All sold out on Newegg.com
On popular online computer component reseller Newegg.com, many different GTX 1060 models from NVIDIA's add-in-board partners went up for sale on launch day. These cards came in at price points between $249.99 (essentially NVIDIA's MSRP for these products) and $299.99, and as of writing on July 20, they are all sold out.
NVIDIA has its own Founders Edition model available for sale from its own GeForce.com, but this model is still in stock. This isn't surprising considering the cards from the third party add-in-board makers are often cheaper and quite differentiated relative to NVIDIA's own model in terms of performance, form factor, and/or cooling solution.
At any rate, it would appear that early demand for the GeForce GTX 1060 exceeds early supply.
NVIDIA's job now: Crank these out as quickly as possible
The GeForce GTX 1060 is likely to be a very popular graphics card, potentially even the most popular of the company's Pascal-based graphics card in this generation. In my mind, NVIDIA's job in the near term will be to crank out as many of these cards as possible in order to satisfy demand.
The good news is that it doesn't seem as though the GeForce GTX 1060 should be particularly difficult to build. The die size isn't abnormally large, coming in at 200 square millimeters, and it's being manufactured on TSMC's (NYSE:TSM) 16-nanometer manufacturing process. Given that this process has been running for a year now, manufacturing yields on this process should be quite good (and NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told investors as much).
In a recent livestream with HotHardware, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen said NVIDIA is "definitely shipping volume" of the GeForce GTX 1060 and that the company has already shipped "a bunch" of them. The implication here is that NVIDIA isn't having problems manufacturing these products, but that demand currently outstrips what the company can reasonably produce at the moment.
Expect good things from the company's gaming business near-term
Over the near term, I expect things to look very good for NVIDIA's gaming graphics processor business. The higher-end GeForce GTX 1070/1080 appear to be doing well in the market (supply/demand balance still doesn't appear to have been reached there), and the GeForce GTX 1060 looks like it's off to a solid start.
NVIDIA still has more Pascal products to bring to market. In particular, it still has to bring out GP102 for the very highest-end desktop gamers, and it needs to bring out a couple of products below the GeForce GTX 1060 on the desktop as well.
Beyond the desktop, NVIDIA will also need to bring Pascal to gaming notebooks. The company had been bullish on the market for gaming notebooks for quite some time, so I'd be surprised if it were too much longer before we saw Pascal architecture products arrive in this market, too.