Nvidia rumored to postpone the RTX 3080 Ti launch to February, pushing the RTX 3060 12 GB release to January 2021
Availability for the RTX 3000 cards is still up in the air, and AIB partners are jacking up prices whenever possible, yet Nvidia seems fine with releasing even more models that are designed to compete with AMD’s new RX 6000 cards. It is not like AMD is doing any better as far as availability is concerned, but Nvidia finally realized that the gap between RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 is a bit too wide, so an RTX 3080 Ti model sporting 20 GB VRAM is expected to launch early next year as a competitor for AMD’s RX 6900 XT. Previous rumors were suggesting that this model could be announced at CES 2021 in mid-January. According to new reports coming from Videocardz and Igor’s Lab, however, this does not seem to be the case anymore. Apparently, Nvidia is considering rescheduling the RTX 3080 Ti for a mid to late February launch, and instead rush the RTX 3060 (non-Ti) models for an early January launch.
These schedule changes are most likely caused by the production problems with the Samsung 8 nm nodes already acknowledged by Nvidia. The high-end SKUs seem to be more affected in this regard due to the die size, whereas the RTX 3070 and 3060 Ti models that integrate cut-down SKUs appear to get better yields as suggested by the slightly higher stocks.
When it comes to specs, the RTX 3080 Ti is rumored to feature the same number of CUDA cores as the RTX 3090 plus 20 GB of GDDRX6 memory for only $999 MSRP. It certainly looks like Nvidia could phase out the RTX 3090 with this move. Still, if the production problems still continue to be an issue well into 2021, those MSRPs could prove to be wishful thinking.
As for the non-TI versions of the RTX 3060 cards, Igor’s Labs and VIdeocardz are reporting that there will be 12 GB and 6 GB versions, each with different CUDA cores on top, to confuse the buyers even more. Nvidia did something similar a few years ago with the GTX 1060 cards that had 3 GB and 6 GB versions. We are not exactly sure why Nvidia is adding 12 GB of VRAM on the RTX 3060. Team green probably thinks that this could boost sales, but, of course, it all heavily relies on availability and pricing. The 12 GB version is supposed to launch first some time in mid-January, while the 6 GB version could possibly launch early February.
Igor’s Lab also reports that an RTX 3050 card based on an even more cut-down GA107 SKU with only 4 GB of RAM is to be expected at some point beyond February 2021. Additionally, word on the street is that Nvidia intended to launch an RTX 3050 Ti version, but rebranded it as the RTX 3060 6 GB meanwhile.