Nvidia has now its 20th generation of Graphics cards more commonly known as the Turning family. Turning architecture replaces the revolutionary Pascal design. With the newer architecture, Nvidia introduced the GDDR6 memory, and all 20 series Graphics cards are going to be powered by the newer GDDR6 memory module.
GDDR5X memory however which was the transitional module developed by Micron had only been used in only two Graphics cards Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 and the GTX 1080Ti. We know that the sales of the Pascal Graphics cards were heavily impaired due to the increase in prices. The flagship Graphics cards like the 1080 SKUs and the 1070 SKUs were most damaged cards.
Before the release of the RTX 20 series Graphics cards, we saw discounts and offers on these Graphics cards from Nvidia. The signs were right Nvidia had a huge amount of unsold GPUs in stock. It had to get them out to the consumers and at the same time release the new hardware.
GeForce GTX 1060
It gets more complicated here, Nvidia released the new GPU, and the new graphics cards are now in the market. But the old GP 104 GPU, the chip beneath the GTX 1070, GTX 1070Ti and the GTX 1080, is still in the inventory and same goes for the GDDR5X chips. Nvidia cannot use these old chips in the new generation of Graphics cards, so they had to find a way to get rid of them.
The result was a slight change in the Nvidia’s GTX 1060 specifications on the site. In the memory specification, it showed GDDR5/X memory which means a newer version of the GTX 1060 will come with the GDDR5X memory on board. It should be clear that the reference or founder’s edition 1060 will not be getting the upgrade. So, if you are into the founder’s edition cards, you will not get the GDD5X version.
Now, Nvidia did not add any other information regarding the release of the potentially 5th version of the same Graphics card. Let me list all of them first.
There is a 3GB version it has fewer CUDA cores and less memory; then there is the vanilla 6GB GTX 1060, then there is the 6GB version with higher memory speed, then comes the region-specific version which comes with 5GB framebuffer and lastly, there is a 6GB version with the GRRD5X memory. The GPU present in the GTX 1060 is the mid-range GP 106 fabbed using TSMC’s 14nm process under Pascal architecture. GP 106 is designed using GDDR5 in mind so naturally, it does not support the GDDR5X memory. Nvidia had to go far beyond than just replacing the memory to achieve a slight change in the site.
GP 106 vs GP 104
The newer GTX 1060s will not be built using the GP 106 GPU rather they will be powered by a serious cut down the flagship GP 104 GPU. The GPU is used in the GTX 1070, GTX 1070Ti and the GTX 1080. The core specs of the Graphics card does not change the memory that can be clocked up to 10,000 MHz is only clocked at 8,000 MHz which is the same speed as the GDDR5 version.
The number of CUDA cores and their clock speeds are also the same which means the performance upgrade if there is will not going to be huge. It is not a life and death situation which Nvidia created when the quietly released the DDR4 version of the GT 1030.
The only performance upgrade that can be assumed because of the overhaul mentioned above can be the efficiency. Though GP 104 GPUs that are being used in the GTX 1060 is going to be those which were rejected for a GTX 1070, it is still better than the GP 106 GPU.
The GDDR5X memory is not clocked all the way up to its optimal limit, but it is still better than the simple GDDR5 module. Which means the performance gains will be there but not as evident as one would want. For example, due to better VRAM, the anti-aliasing capabilities of the Graphics cards will be better and with the use of a better GPU overclocking yields will potentially be much better.
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Armor 6GD5X
There was no news about the arrival of the new version from Nvidia. However, MSI has recently unveiled the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Armor 6GD5X with the GDDR5X memory.
The outlook of the Graphics card greatly resembles the Armor edition of the GTX 1080 which is great since both Graphics cards now share the same GPU. The Graphics card is not in the market right now, and there are no words from MSI on when will this Graphics card hit the market.
GeForce GTX 1070
The story does not end here. Another Pascal Graphics card is currently in rumors to be getting a last minute upgrade. A few days back when Zotac the added board partner of Nvidia was introducing its new version of the good old GeForce GTX 1070 and in the specifications menu, they added GDDR5X instead of GDDR5. They quickly changed it to GDDR5 when views pointed in out. But it was too late as Google was quick to grab a screenshot of the page.
With the whole newer versions of the Graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD (reference RX 590) going on it was safe to assume that a new GTX 1070 equipped with GDDR5X will be hitting the market very soon.
The GTX 1070 is based on the GP 104 GPU so adding GDDR5X into the mix makes more sense as Nvidia will not have to go all over and make a cut down version of a better GPU. The GP 104 present in the GTX 1070 natively supports GRR5X memory.
Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 AMP Extreme
When the issue was getting attention in the PC community, Zotac explained that it was just a typo and it has been resolved. Though they never denied the news of the rumored upgraded version of the GTX 1070 Graphics card. We know that the GTX 1070 is still more than a capable graphics card so a GDDR5X version would be wholeheartedly welcomed.
Another thing worth noticing here is when they released the specifications of the Graphics card the TDP rating was 250 Watts, while a standard GTX 1070 has a TDP of 150 Watts. There are two reasons for the increased TDP such as factory overclocking AND robust memory. Which means Zotac was only hiding the news and we can expect a GTX 1070 equipped with a GDDR5X memory module very soon.
If you want to see another such instance that happened with the GTX 1050 SKU click here.