Nvidia’s ongoing issues around trying to ensure stock levels of RTX 3000 graphics cards are well-documented at this point, and the firm has already turned to past GPUs as a kind of stopgap solution – with this potentially happening again in the form of a possible resurrection of sorts for the GTX 1650.
That’s the word from China, specifically Channel Gate (via Wccftech), a common source of rumors which claims that GTX 1650 production is being cranked up to provide cards for gamers looking for more wallet-friendly options.
Supposedly more of the GPUs that power this card, the (Turing) TU117, will be pumped out beginning this month, and they’ll be used to make desktop graphics cards (as opposed to mobile solutions for laptops), increasing the supply of GTX 1650 desktop models from May.
That’s the theory, anyway, and as ever we need to be cautious about trusting any rumor. Furthermore, it’s not made clear if this possibly ramped-up production pertains just to Asia, or whether it will be more broadly applied worldwide – although of course the RTX 3000 shortage is certainly a global problem, so the latter would make sense in that respect.
In with the old…
This move isn’t without precedent, given that Nvidia has already employed a strategy of producing more RTX 2060 GPUs as an alternative option for those frustrated by the lack of stock of Ampere models, and indeed the more surprising move of bringing back the GTX 1050 Ti – a GPU that actually stopped being sold two years back (it was from the generation that preceded Turing, namely Pascal).
The GTX 1650 is still a popular GPU for gamers (and 1080p gaming), as we recently saw from Steam’s hardware survey, with the 1650 gaining quite a chunk of market share (although that was likely driven by laptop GPUs more than the desktop ones which are supposedly returning to greater production levels).
Nvidia is in a tough position right now, of course, and turning to last-gen GPUs is hardly an ideal solution – but the argument will doubtless be that it’s better than nothing. As Wccftech points out, currently if you want to try and get a GTX 1650, third-party sellers are asking a lot of money – $400 plus in the US. So presumably the idea is to tackle that kind of price gouging on Ampere alternatives, and actually offer the GPU at the sort of budget-friendly levels it’s supposed to be sold at.
As ever with speculative stories like this, we’ll just have to see if there turns out to be any truth behind the gossip from the GPU grapevine.