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In context: Despite launching over three years ago and being succeeded by the RTX 40 series, Nvidia has continued to provide some updates to GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. This time around, Nvidia has requested that manufacturers and retailers make yet another change to the RTX 3060.
According to Board Channels, a Chinese product information source, Nvidia plans to continue distributing RTX 3060 GPUs at least until Q1 2024. Shipments may cease starting in Q2 2024, but this will depend on manufacturers' interest in continuing RTX 3060 sales.
Nvidia has requested that these new shipments be priced under 2,000 RMB, which is roughly $280. The strategy aims to maintain the RTX 3060's competitive pricing against AMD's slightly more powerful rivals, the Radeon RX 6700 XT and the Radeon RX 6750 GRE.
Last year, Nvidia made a rather peculiar update to the RTX 3060 graphics card last year, re-releasing it with reduced memory capacity. This change was unusual: Nvidia reduced the capacity from 12 GB to 8 GB, aligning it with the slightly more powerful RTX 3060 Ti. In an era where games increasingly demand more memory, this decision seemed counterintuitive for consumers, particularly as the price remained at the original MSRP.
As the RTX 3060 approaches its third anniversary, the graphics card had yet to experience a significant price reduction. Whether it's the original 12 GB model or the 8 GB version, the prices have generally hovered around the intended MSRP of $330. However, in recent months, the cards have started to drop below $300.
Typically, Nvidia starts phasing out previous-gen cards about a year after launching new ones. With the RTX 4060 released in June 2023, the RTX 3060's prominence might be short-lived but given the novel demand for AI GPUs, maybe this could change.
In the meantime, in response to Nvidia's requests, the Asia-exclusive graphics card manufacturer Onda has already launched its latest RTX 3060 model, the RTX 3060 Aegis 12GD6-B V2, priced at 1,899 RMB (approximately $268). It remains to be seen if or when AIBs and manufacturers in other regions will adhere to Nvidia's pricing recommendation.