You've heard of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (opens in new tab), and you've probably heard there will be versions of these low-end Ampere cards floating around with 12GB of VRAM. Such configurations might have felt a little over-zealous for a humble mainstream gaming setup, so you'll be pleased to hear graphics card manufacturer, Palit, has just registered a 6GB version.
Showing up on the Korean National Radio Research Agency (via harukaze5719 (opens in new tab) on twitter), these are the first potential 6GB configurations we've seen with official manufacturer naming to date.
Last year rumours were floating around (opens in new tab) about potential 6GB SKUs of Nvidia's mainstream Ampere GPU, but this is a further indication that we may indeed be seeing cards with reduced memory capacities popping up further down the line. And Palit looks to be the first board manufacturer to officially register the RTX 3060 with this toned-down config.
Honestly, 12GB sure did seem like a stretch; perhaps a little bit of a flex on Nvidia's part in the face of the memory-heavy AMD RX 6000-series cards. But more reasonable configs were certainly set to appear, and the 6GB cards would potentially be the most popular of all the RTX 3060 SKUs. Or, they stood to be the most popular of all, until we spotted something odd.
Another registration suggests Palit's subsidiary brand, Gainward, might be up to something else.
The conflated registration (below, right) looks to be an 8GB version with Palit listed as the manufacturer, but the "GW-" prefix on the serial code, and the naming scheme of "Ghost," suggests that it will be released under the Gainward brand with a middle-order RTX 3060 configuration.
RTX 3060 Emtek and Gainward pic.twitter.com/mA6JmMPG8zFebruary 18, 2021
So the memory configurations might be a little hazy at the moment, but memory might not be the only change made to these adjusted AIBs. It could even be that the number of CUDA cores gets a switch up, which would mean we'll see a host of very different performance figures. But we'll have to wait a while, probably until the summer months, before we find out what each of Nvidia's manufacturing partners have been brewing in the name of more memory-light cards.
It's also finally worth noting that not all these sorts of GPU registrations make it into actual released products. We spotted RTX 3080 20GB listings early on as well, but the designs were dropped before they came to fruition. We just hope the 8GB one isn't some fanciful, fleeting idea—these have the potential to overshadow the popularity of the 6GB cards as a natural sweet spot between the 6GB and 12GB versions.