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RUMOR: NVIDIA’s GTX 2080 Flagship Graphics Cards Will Be Priced Significantly Upwards Of $699 MSRP, Up To $1500


TweakTown has been churning out quite a few reports recently and another post now states that NVIDIA could price its flagship graphics cards up to or upwards of $1500. This is something that makes a lot of sense all things considered but we didn't really get a chance to talk about it (not to mention doing so would tilt the public narrative of price expectation upwards - and we really want GPU prices to come down, not up) - but I guess the cat's out of the bag now.

We won't see the new GeForce GTX 2080 flagship available for the standard MSRP of $699 at launch - prices at or upwards of $1000 are to be expected

The report from TT suggests that the price of graphics cards might be going up with the launch that is slated to happen next month. The reason for that is of course, the cryptocurrency boom. With graphics cards floating upwards of $1000 all the way up to $1700, it won't be feasible for NVIDIA to launch a graphics card at $699 MSRP considering they do direct selling as well. Keep in mind AMD can set a lower MSRP because they don't have to honor it themselves. With NVIDIA's direct selling, they have to honor their own MSRP and therefore its unlikely they will launch a flagship for $699 when the last generation flagship is going upwards of $1200.

NVIDIA Claims Ampere A100 Offers Up To 2x Higher Performance & 2.8x Efficiency Versus AMD Instinct MI250 GPUs

The argument makes logical sense of course, and a price point of $999 would probably not be out of the question for the highest end flagship. It remains to be seen whether there's any truth to this statement. If NVIDIA is actually planning to raise their MSRP then we are actually doing them a big favor by tempering the public narrative before hand - since they will face less PR backlash this way. At any rate it remains very much unlikely that we will see the new flagship graphics cards available for anything less than $1000 regardless of whether this report (about MSRP) is true or not - since no miner would go for a $1000 GTX 1080 instead of a $699 GTX 1080 Ti - unless, NVIDIA does something about the crypto problem - which is where Turing might come in.

NVIDIA Turing and Ampere

According to Reuters, A brand new NVIDIA Turing GPU is launching sometime next month. This means that either NVIDIA is undergoing a massive rebranding campaign or that Volta will not be making it to the consumer side of things. This itself has interesting implications because it could mean a couple of things: anywhere from NVIDIA optimizing the architecture further to yield concerns.

In any case, before we go further, a short intro to Turing. The codename Turing of course refers to Alan Turing who is considered the father of modern computing and was the chief architect of the British program to break Enigma machine encryption, used by Germany to encrypt communications during World War II. He is also the person behind the concept of the Turing machine, a hypothetical device that can simulate any algorithm regardless of how complex it is. Programming languages that can simulate this device are referred to as Turing complete languages.

Now there are two possibilities as I see them. 1) NVIDIA decided to ditch the Ampere codename because it’s very similar to another company - an ARM server maker called Ampere - or 2) it decided to fork the upcoming architecture into two distinct flavors, namely Ampere and Turing. Both possibilities are just as likely as NVIDIA has been known to do that in the past simply to discredit the leak scene (anyone remember the GeForce GTX 800 series?).

The second possibility however is much more exciting, it could mean that NVIDIA is preparing two distinct products in the consumer space: Ampere and Turing. Since there have been rumors floating of a cryptocurrency focused product from the company soon,  then it could mean that the Turing GPU is actually the one NVIDIA will market as the mining variant. This makes a semblance of sense, because Alan Turing is well known for his work on cryptography. In fact he was part of the team that cracked the Enigma machine which resulted in the World War being won.

If Alan Turing's cryptographic roots are indeed being honored in this new product then it could very well mean that NVIDIA is becoming very serious about cryptocurrencies. The company has already given its customers free reign to use its GeForce GPUs in data center environments as long as they are used for 'blockchain mining' purposes so this wouldn't be entirely out of character. Of course there remains the remote possibility that Reuters is simply wrong about this and there is only one GPU which will in fact be called Ampere after all.