NVIDIA senses Navi's imminent threat, rumored to be working on RTX refreshes with faster memory
By now, we do know that AMD will be launching the upcoming Navi GPU lineup expectedly at E3 2019. While the current leaks have evoked a mixed response from the press and fans, the expectations around these cards have been quite high considering the value proposition they are purported to bring at the mid-range and high-end markets. NVIDIA is apparently taking no chances and grapevine is that the RTX cards could get some memory speed improvements to counter AMD's upcoming offerings.
The rumor comes courtesy of Paul from RedGamingTech, who cites NVIDIA sources as saying that Turing RTX (not GTX) cards could see memory speed bumps from the current 14 Gbps to 16 Gbps, which in the case of the RTX 2080 could mean that we see a memory bandwidth boost from 448 GBps to 512 GBps. A possible boost to the clock speeds can also be expected, but the source hasn't claimed anything as such yet. It is expected that the RTX 'Refresh' would launch just before AMD Navi is made official.
While we would advise to keep some salt handy for this rumor, NVIDIA isn't really new to such refreshes. We've seen Pascal cards such as the GTX 1080 receiving a memory speed bump from 10 Gbps to 11 Gbps within 11 months of launch. Similarly, the GTX 1060 also received a GDDR5 boost from 8 Gbps to 9 Gbps. NVIDIA also announced the GTX 1080 Ti when early information about Vega was still doing the rounds. Looks like we are into a similar situation again. Wccftech notes that the new RTX refreshes, if true, are likely to use Samsung's 16 Gbps GDDR6 DRAM since Micron does not seem to have an equivalent at this moment.
RedGamingTech also speculates a likely RTX 2070 Ti SKU and possible price reduction. It is still anyone's guess at this point but a lot of that depends on how Navi actually performs. We've been hearing all sorts of things about some of the higher-end Navi SKUs being plagued by energy inefficiencies and the likes. However, AMD is looking to take on NVIDIA with respect to pricing and this is where Navi could probably have the edge — assuming whatever we've been hearing so far turns out to be true.