Rumors surrounding a revised version of the RTX 2060 carrying 12GB of memory have been floating around for quite a while and we even knew that NVIDIA was likely to reveal the GPU at its CES 2022 show. However, it seems that the company might have made a little slip-up and accidentally confirmed the existence of the RTX 2060 12GB a little earlier in a different, much stranger way. That too, twice.
Driver Patch Notes
First, the latest Game Ready Driver 497.09 released yesterday had an interesting set of patch notes released alongside it. At the top of the patch notes, under the “New Features and Other Changes” heading NVIDIA essentially just outright confirmed that the RTX 2060 12GB exists and that their new driver adds support for it. What’s even more fascinating is that this new SKU isn’t even mentioned in the blog post for the new driver release, instead it’s buried in the release notes which is a separate downloadable PDF.
Official Specs, Unofficially
Now, that would’ve been enough damage already but it seems like NVIDIA enjoys shooting its own leg. Literally just hours after the driver mishap, NVIDIA put the official specs for the RTX 2060 12GB on its own website. The product page for RTX 2060 now includes a new section where the standard 6GB version of the RTX 2060 is compared with the RTX 2060 12GB in detail, none spared.
That spec list that tells us that apart from a couple of major changes, the RTX 2060 12GB is just a rehashed RTX 2060 6GB. Obviously, the main change is the size of the VRAM which has been doubled from 6GB to 12GB. There is a very slight decrease in boost clock in the new RTX 2060 12GB as compared to the old one, and a slight increase in base clock speeds. Moreover, the last notable change is the small increment in CUDA Cores. There’s also increase in power consumption and thermal output but that too is a forgiving difference.
Performance-wise, there will be a negligible difference between the two RTX 2060s when it comes to gaming. However, in other productivity-based scenarios just as video editing or rendering, the additional 6GB of VRAM will certainly prove to be beneficial. The RTX 2060 is also the lowest point of entry into ray tracing and DLSS, and even though it’s not good at ray tracing, perhaps the 6GB of extra memory can now help it be better than its 2019 predecessor. Interestingly enough, the spec list tells us that RTX 2060 12GB doesn’t support USB Type-C video output, while the 6GB version does.
Pricing and other details
The driver leak from yesterday and the official spec list from NVIDIA’s site also confirm that the new RTX 2060 will, in fact, be called the RTX 2060 12GB and not some other name like “RTX 2650” or even the RTX 2060 SUPER 12GB. NVIDIA still hasn’t officially announced the RTX 2060 12GB so we don’t know a thing about pricing yet, but expect the price tag to be close to the $300-400 mark since that’s the price bracket the original RTX 2060 launched in.
NVIDIA did openly speak to The Verge about pricing and said that “it is a premium version of the RTX 2060 6GB and we expect the price to reflect that“. The retail price of the RTX 2060 was $350 when it launched back in 2019 then it was bumped down to $300 to better compete with AMD. Considering this is a premium model of the RTX 2060, I’d say the price will be closer to $350 rather than $300.
Combating the shortage
The introduction of a new GPU in the market is obviously a good thing for gamers who’ve been struggling to get their hands on one for the longest time. The RTX 2060 is technically an old SKU so NVIDIA likely has a decent chunk of inventory ready to move which will lend it a better chance against scalpers and eager miners. The RTX 2060 also used GDDR6 memory as opposed to GDDR6X found in the new RTX 30-series, which is a lot more expensive and scarce.
In fact, Micron is the sole manufacturer of GDDR6X memory and NVIDIA is the sole utilizer. JEDEC doesn’t even recognize GDDR6X as a standard yet. In comparison, GDDR6 memory is manufactured by at least three different companies, Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron, not to mention it’s a lot more common. Therefore, RTX 2060 12GB will likely be available more prevalently and a bit more oblivious to the global silicone shortage and supply chain issues.
The way this new model of the RTX 2060 has been all but officially unveiled already also makes me doubt that we’re in line for a CES 2022 reveal. If you were to ask me, I’d say NVIDIA is probably planning an online reveal sometime in December with a tease at the end of the event for more to come, which will be followed by their big show at CES. Regardless, it’s safe to say that RTX 2060 12GB has been quite the interesting story so far.