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Nvidia is speed binning its GeForce RTX 2070

By Shawn Knight · 43 replies
Nov 5, 2018
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  1. Nvidia over the summer unveiled its new line of GeForce RTX 20 Series GPUs based on the Turing microarchitecture. Most of the headlines at the time were dedicated to the higher-end 2080 cards but it’s the RTX 2070 that is garnering attention this week.

    Steve Burke from Gamers Nexus recently came into possession of two different GeForce RTX 2070 cards from EVGA, the $569.99 GeForce RTX 2070 XC Ultra Gaming and the $499.99 GeForce RTX 2070 Black Gaming. Both cards appear identical as it relates to raw specifications save for the fact that the XC Ultra Gaming sports a boost clock of 1,725MHz versus the 1,620MHz boost clock on the Black Gaming.

    Upon further inspection, Burke discovered the two cards utilize slightly different GPUs. The XC Ultra Gaming is labeled as TU106-400A-A1 while the Black Gaming carries the TU106-400-A1 marking.

    Based on this discovery, it would seem as though revision “A” is a binned part from Nvidia that is able to run at a faster boost clock.

    As you may know, semiconductor fabrication is far from a flawless process. It’s not uncommon for otherwise identical CPUs, GPUs and RAM to roll off the assembly line with vastly different operating characteristics. When this happens, hardware is put through an internal testing phase to determine which bits of silicon can successfully operate at a given frequency, voltage and / or temperature. Parts that don’t meet minimum requirements may be underclocked and sold as cheaper models.

    Second image courtesy Gamers Nexus

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2018
  2. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Evangelist Posts: 342   +157

    Who would have suspected anything fishy from Nvidia... shocking...
    Charles Olson likes this.
  3. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 544   +299

    How is this "fishy?" Do the specifications on the box not match what is being sold?
    FPSChris, Bill R and onestepforward like this.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    Not a fan of this when Nvidia is advertising the better binned model's performance as what everyone will get (and what all the reviews show as well).

    Unfortunately people looking to get cards closer to MSRP are going to end up getting a lower binned model and they are not going to get the performance advertised to them in reviews or by Nvidia.

    GamersNexus did a video on this and the differences between the cheaper, lower binned cards are significant enough. Higher temps and a big drop in core frequency. It really should be given a different model name or at the very least a differentiator.

    At current pricing, better buy a 1080 while they are still in stock. Once they are gone you are looking at $550 - $600 just for a decent binned 2070 (based off pricing on Nvidia's US website). There are also Vega 64s for around $430 if you want to go the AMD option, although you should expect 10% less performance.
  5. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 728   +471

    Don't all chips get binned?
  6. Hammayon

    Hammayon TS Booster Posts: 138   +48

    Another major flaw with Nvidia. Go AMD! Bring out better value cards for us. Nvidia is price-gouging us
    Charles Olson and Jules Mark like this.
  7. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,177   +1,356

    Not so good press from the green team lately.
    Overpriced cards, failing overpriced cards, and lower quality PCB's again?

    Too bad AMD isn't further along with their new GPU's, a window of opportunity could be opening for the Holidays they might miss.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  8. Vigilance

    Vigilance TS Rookie

    Sorry to break it to you but AIB partners have always binned the chips they get all the OC, xtreme, z etc are versions with binned chip this is nothing new, what new is that the binning sperates the chips into 2 catagories already from the fab and give them different model name. Nvidia advertise their FE edition and when you buy their FE edition you get what was advertised, you can't expect buying different version and get the same capabilities as the FE edition you see in the reviews even tough the cards will be very close in performance. At least this version with msrp of 500$ exist. Would you rather have that all version will cost FE price and up?
  9. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    I mean if I buy a car and find out the same version is availabe but with extra bells and whistles for only a little more, I'd want it. but if im not even allowed to buy it, it's pretty insulting.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    Just to clarify, Nvidia is the one doing the binning here. Not AIBs.

    Would I rather pay more then Nvidia stated for the performance reviews and Nvidia touted? No, Nvidia should give us the performance advertised at the price advertised. Anything else is deceptive marketing and illegal in many countries. The amount of difference we are seeing between the two bins is significant. Not disclosing it to customers is shady business.
    Charles Olson and Jules Mark like this.
  11. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 653   +248

    I thought this was a third party issue or a Evga issue? This is actually nvidia doing the binning?

    So is this affecting all partner cards including msi, zotac, asus n gigabyte?
    Are the FE models affected?
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    It affects all partner cards. Not sure on the FE.
  13. GTvon

    GTvon TS Rookie Posts: 17

    This is a good thing. You can get cards with higher overclock capacity for a little extra money.
    nVidia has the best cards available on the market today and it's nice to have options within that market if you want a higher clock speed or not.
    It's nice having real time Ray tracing available in Adobe Dimensions or 3ds max rather than waiting hours for a render to see how the lights and reflections are looking then tweak and render again.
    The capability​ of this new generation of cards is so far beyond anything that has gone before it, it's simply amazing.
    UaPro likes this.
  14. UaPro

    UaPro TS Rookie

    But, is "RT" works in working software?
  15. urbanman2004

    urbanman2004 TS Booster Posts: 85   +27

    AMD please make NVIDIA great again
    Theinsanegamer, Reehahs and wiyosaya like this.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    Well first, saying you are getting a "higher clock speed" is very misleading. What you are getting is what was original advertised and is reference design.


    So yeah, you are paying more for what you should be getting at the base price. Nvidia does not deserve praise for charging customers extra just to get the clocks advertised in every review and promotional material.

    How well this generation of cards does in professional applications in mostly irrelevant (and neither of the two applications you mentioned has RTX in official releases). These are gaming cards after all, not professional cards. Speaking of which, there is nothing for gamers to actually use the cards new features with. At best gamers are looking at a 30% performance bump which is far from amazing. That's also assuming you pony up $600 for the higher clocked 2070, at which point you might as well buy a 1080 ti which would give you more performance then a 2070 anyways. I bought my 1080 Ti two years ago for $600, it's ridiculous that a midrange lower performing card is the same cost this long after.
  17. GTvon

    GTvon TS Rookie Posts: 17

    That's like saying that because both a brand new Rolls Royce Phantom and a 1979 Buick can both go the maximum speed limits the law allows that both are equal. If the new cards did not have the advanced capabilities that no other card had you could compare them head to head in benchmarks on existing games and be done with it. That is not their main purpose so it's hardly relevant. You need to compare all of it's abilities to see why it's worth every penny.
  18. Adodoes

    Adodoes TS Rookie

    But binning has been used for years at every manufacturer, this is nothing uncommon. Yes it's running a different chip but the performance bump is small as is the price bump. You have a variety of gtx 1060s to biy and their price and performance can vary a lot. Anyway looking at average benchmarks from the users shows the 1070 is about as powerful as a 1080ti.which makes this even a better bang for ur buck. I'd rather worry about gpus not working.
  19. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    How exactly does one compare the features of the new RTX cards when there isn't even a single game out yet that uses RT?

    Turning is all marketing hype and little substance, just like AMD's Vega. Until there is widespread adoption of RT / DLSS, all those new fancy features and wasted die space do absolutely nothing for you.

    "If the new cards did not have the advanced capabilities that no other card had you could compare them head to head in benchmarks on existing games and be done with it. That is not their main purpose so it's hardly relevant."

    Um, yes people do buy video cards to play existing games. That's literally how it's always worked. No one buys cards hoping that they will start working like they should have day 1, 5 years later.
    Charles Olson and Jules Mark like this.
  20. Rick C

    Rick C TS Rookie

    If I understand correctly, this isn't accurate--what's happening is all 400s will meet the 2070 specs, but the 400As, being the best chips, will overclock the most. If that's true it's not really different (except one thing) from what Silicon Lottery does: they buy tons of chips, test them all, and then sell the best ones at a markup. The difference here is that nVidia's doing this binning themselves.

    If I remember correctly it is widely suspected that AMD was binning all the Zen silicon, too, and then using the best-overclocking ones in Epyc and/or Threadrippers. The only difference here is that they weren't physically marking the silicon with different model numbers.
  21. shm0wie

    shm0wie TS Member Posts: 24   +20

    A lot of ignorance thrown around in this comments section here.

    Nothing is being hidden from anyone here - This is common practice, has been for years. In fact, this isn't even a "news" article.
    Bill R likes this.
  22. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    Look at the founders edition clock speed and the "higher binned" chip's clock speed, they are the same. Nvidia advertised a certain price for the founders edition, not "pay $50 more and then you will get that performance". They are advertising one thing and giving you another, plain and simple.

    Binning isn't the problem, the problem is that they are charging more for a binned chip that they advertised as baseline performance for a 2070. If you read any review of the 2070, it's using the higher binned chip. How many people do you think will buy the cheaper 2070s without knowing they are loosing out on a decent chunk of performance?

    This would not be a problem had Nvidia made it obvious that you are not getting full 2070 performance with these lower binned chips.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  23. Dwayne Matheson

    Dwayne Matheson TS Rookie

  24. Bill R

    Bill R TS Rookie

    Binning makes perfect sense and is in no way fishy.
  25. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 732   +281

    Other than RT, what good is the 2xxx series? I don't really see an issue with binning as long the as price to performance ratio is truthfully advertised and you're getting what you pay for. As it was said, chips coming off the same assembly line don't always match in the same quality and are priced accordingly. If the 1xxx series can meet the same performance levels, then it still makes little sense anyway to purchase any of the 2xxx series cards. Right?
    UaPro likes this.

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