If you've been following graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), you probably know the company gave a financial forecast that badly missed analyst and investor expectations. Driving that worse-than-expected forecast was that the distribution channels were filled with the company's midrange GTX 1060 graphics cards, so much so that the company decided to stop selling those cards into the distribution channels altogether.
As NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang had previously hinted, the company has been working on a successor to the GTX 1060 based on its new Turing graphics architecture, called the RTX 2060. Thanks to a new set of leaks from VideoCardz, the generally reliable computer hardware news website, we now know a lot about the RTX 2060. Let's look at the details and why investors should care.
Pricing and performance
You can go to VideoCardz for more detailed performance data, but the bottom line is that the RTX 2060 is supposed to be significantly more powerful than the GTX 1060. In fact, the site claims that, according to NVIDIA's reviewers guide for the RTX 2060, it will deliver performance on par with the company's older, higher-end GTX 1070 Ti. The RTX 2060 also has features the older GTX 1070 Ti lacks, such as support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
Overall, it packs a pretty sizable jump in performance.
VideoCardz also claims the RTX 2060 will cost $349 and that this pricing will apply both to NVIDIA's own Founders Edition cards as well as serve as an MSRP for the cards based on the RTX 2060 processor that the company's add-in-card partners produce.
Another way to think about it is that NVIDIA is essentially replacing the older GTX 1070 Ti with a cheaper part that performs roughly similarly in today's games while adding in new capabilities that could be useful in tomorrow's. Viewed from that lens, the RTX 2060 looks like it should be a winner.
RTX 2060 launching soon
Finally, according to VideoCardz, the RTX 2060 is set to be announced on Jan. 7, followed by availability on Jan. 15.
Although some might question whether it's wise for NVIDIA to launch the RTX 2060 in early January, when management said it could take a quarter or two for channel inventory levels of the older GTX 1060 to burn off, the pricing and positioning of the RTX 2060 shouldn't interfere too much with the company's efforts to drain the channel of GTX 1060 parts.
Indeed, while the RTX 2060 has a model number that indicates that it's a successor to the GTX 1060, keep in mind that the RTX 2060 is set to be offered at a meaningfully higher price point than the GTX 1060. That should mean customers with budgets topping out at around $200 to $250 won't be buying the RTX 2060 -- the GTX 1060 will be their best option from NVIDIA.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if the RTX 2060 sells for around $350, then retailers, who may have been reluctant to drop pricing too much on the GTX 1060, will be forced to keep pricing on the GTX 1060 low to keep them moving.