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What just happened? Nvidia is reportedly set to prioritize production of its latest graphics cards at the expense of an older model. In this case, supply of the RTX 2060 will be cut so the company can focus on its RTX 3000 series.
As reported by ITHome (via VideoCardz), a post from Board Channel forums, which are closed forums for distributors and board partners within the industry, reveals that Nvidia has sent out an internal notice to board partners that it will be halving supply of RTX 2060 chips starting from this month.
The strategy appears to be a U-turn by Nvidia after in February saying it would be releasing more stock of the RTX 2060 GPU, along with the Pascal-based GTX 1050 Ti GPU, as a response to the graphics card shortages. It pulled the same move with the GTX 1650 a couple of months later.
The GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1650, and RTX 2060 occupy the second, third and fourth spots, respectively, on the latest Steam survey, with the GTX 1650 seeing the most significant gains among Steam users for the second month in a row.
While TSMC makes the TU106 in the RTX 2060, GPUs in the consumer RTX 3000 series are made by Samsung. However, the production capacity mentioned here likely refers to the entire supply chain, including other components.
Just how much difference the move will make to the availability of the RTX 3000 series remains to be seen. Surprisingly, the RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 saw the joint-largest gains alongside the GTX 1650 in last month's Steam hardware survey, so some people must be buying the newest cards, even if they are from eBay.
Shifting production priorities in the face of the global chip shortage is something AMD has also done, albeit with CPUs. The company admitted it is focusing on its flagship processors over lower-end offerings to, hopefully, improve supply.