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YouTuber's GDDR6 memory upgrade confirms NVIDIA indeed had plans for an RTX 2070 with 16 GB VRAM

This Pali RTX 2070 card was "upgraded" to Samsung 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM. (Image Source: Palit)
This Pali RTX 2070 card was "upgraded" to Samsung 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM. (Image Source: Palit)
YouTube VIK-on demonstrated a way to replace the Micron 8 GB GDDR6 modules on a Palit GeForce RTX 2070 card with Samsung 16 GB ones thereby confirming that NVIDIA did have plans to launch a 16 GB RTX 2070 back then. The experiment resulted in the PC booting up, but the GPU crashed under load and posted low 3DMark Time Spy Graphics scores.
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NVIDIA GeForce GPUs are now in the Ampere generation (with availability issues still plaguing them, of course), but Turing cards aren't fully outdated yet and are quite capable of effectively driving today's AAA titles. The RTX 2070 and its Super variant based on the TU106 GPU come with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory, but it looks like NVIDIA did have plans to launch a 16 GB version back then.

Evidence for this comes from YouTuber VIK-on, who posted a video showing replacement of the Micron 8 GB modules with Samsung 16 GB ones on his Palit RTX 2070 card. He seems to have got this idea from leaked NVIDIA PCB schematics that indicated support for both Micron 8 GB and Samsung 16 GB modules. Though the diagrams actually correspond to a PG160 board, VIK-on could try it on the Palit RTX 2070's PG180 board as well.

The modification seemed pretty straightforward with VIK-on only having to remove the Micron memory and replacing them with Samsung GDDR6 VRAM, which he seems to have purchased from AliExpress for about US$200. One major tweak that was needed was to change the resistors for the RAMCFG jumpers to correspond to the binary values for the Samsung modules.

On boot-up, the RTX 2070's BIOS was found to be compatible with the new Samsung 16 GB modules. GPU-Z also seems to have recognized the the new memory correctly. While VIK-on could run 3DMark Time Spy with a score of 6,176 points in the Graphics test, the clocks were all over the place and the card crashed when it hit 1,965 MHz while running a FurMark stress test. Besides, the Time Spy Graphics score is quite less considering an average of 8,952 points for normal RTX 2070 cards.

Nevertheless, the experiment can be considered reasonably successful as it could boot into Windows 10 without issues. The lower benchmark scores and instability could be due to the soldering or some VBIOS compatibility issue with the Samsung 16 GB modules.

Watch VIK-on's video below (in Russian) to know more about the process.

Buy the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge on Amazon

Removing the default Micron modules from the RTX 2070. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
Removing the default Micron modules from the RTX 2070. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
Memory configuration parameters of the RTX 2070. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
Memory configuration parameters of the RTX 2070. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
RTX 2070 16 GB recognized on GPU-Z. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
RTX 2070 16 GB recognized on GPU-Z. (Image via VIK-on on YouTube)
 
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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1297 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > YouTuber's GDDR6 memory upgrade confirms NVIDIA indeed had plans for an RTX 2070 with 16 GB VRAM
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-01-23 (Update: 2021-01-23)