Nvidia's latest generation of the best graphics cards were built with real-time ray tracing in mind, and as such, each RTX series card features dedicated hardware to process more realistic lighting and reflections. That's all well and good, but what if you just want a faster card without paying extra for ray tracing support? Nvidia may have you covered, if a rumor pointing to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is true.
Supposedly three industry sources squawked to Videocardz about the upcoming card, at least one of which is purportedly a board partner. It might end up with a different model name, but the takeaway is that it will be the first Turing-based card under the GTX brand.
As the story goes, it will feature a TU116 GPU with 1,536 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit bus. For reference, a GeForce RTX 2060 features 1,920 CUDA cores, along with the same memory configuration.
If those specs are true (and the card actually comes to fruition), it would likely perform in the neighborhood of a GeForce GTX 1070. The 1070 has more CUDA cores (1,920), but Turing is a faster architecture.
An interesting side note to all this is that Nvidia is phasing out its Pascal lineup. During a recent Q&A session with VentureBeat, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, 1080, 1070 Ti, and 1070 have all sold out, and "in several more weeks 1060s will sell out."
This latest rumor aside, it seems inevitable to us that Nvidia will eventually release a newer generation card without ray tracing hardware baked in. The bigger question is whether the rumored TU116 core is the same as the TU106 in the RTX 2070/2060 but with ray tracing and Tensor cores disabled, or if it's a completely new GPU. The latter seems unlikely due to time considerations, though it would be the more cost effective approach.