Here's one new graphics card no one is rushing out to buy: the 256-core Pascal GT 1010

Nvidia GT 1010
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia has a new GPU on the market. A graphics board which will almost certainly be available in plentiful volume, unlike almost every other current gaming card you care to mention. We give you the new Nvidia GeForce GT 1010, a GPU so portentous it has been launched with absolutely zero fanfare courtesy of appearing in the drop-down menu on Nvidia’s graphics driver download page.

Yup, it’s a new board based on the old Pascal architecture, which first appeared back in 2016. According to Videocardz, this is not just any old Pascal GPU, but the mighty GP108 GPU, as seen in the GT 1030 and various GeForce MX-series GPUs for laptops.

Jokes aside, it takes over as Nvidia’s very lowliest desktop GPU, replacing the positively antediluvian GT 710, a card based on the GK108 chip, a Kepler-era 7 Series GPU. For the record, the outgoing GT 710 packs no fewer than 192 CUDA cores, just slightly behind the 10,496 CUDA cores of Nvidia’s current champion of the new Ampere family, the RTX 3090.

The new GT 1010 ups the CUDA core count to 256. It’s thus actually a cut-down version of GP108, since that chip contains 384 CUDA in its fully-enabled form. In other words, this is not even remotely a performance GPU by any metric. In fact, it will likely be comfortably outgunned by most modern integrated graphics cores. Yuck.

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As for why it exists, reports currently indicate the new GT 1010 is an OEM-only board, designed to provide discrete video capability for the lowest possible price. But thanks to being based on a cut-down version of an old GPU, availability is likely to be decent. Not only is the GP108 GPU so small a single wafer would contain zillions of them. But those GPUs wouldn’t even have to be fully functional to be used in GT 1010 boards.

So, Nvidia GeForce GT 1010 cards for all your friends, especially those complaining that they can’t get hold of one of the brave new generation of high performance GPUs from Nvidia or AMD? Yup. Just don’t expect it to actually be any good for gaming. It won’t be.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.