Nvidia announced a 12GB variant of its RTX 2060 graphics card, and it should arrive on December 7. The announcement follows months of rumors and speculation that Nvidia could revitalize its popular last-gen card to ease the burden of the GPU shortage. It brings with it a significant memory upgrade.
The announcement didn’t come at a big tech event or closed-door press briefing. Instead, Nvidia revealed the card through the patch notes of GeForce driver 497.09. Originally, this seemed like a mistake. Nvidia didn’t acknowledge the card through a blog post about the driver, instead burying in on the fourth page of the patch notes (direct PDF link).
It looks like this silent announcement was Nvidia’s plan all along. You can find the 12GB RTX 2060 alongside the standard 6GB RTX 2060 on Nvidia’s product page. The updated version includes twice the amount of video memory as the base model, as well as some boosts to core count and clock speed.
The 12GB RTX 2060 matches the specs of the RTX 2060 Super, but note that Nvidia isn’t using the Super branding on the new card. The 12GB model includes 2,176 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,470MHz, and a boost clock speed of 1,470MHz — the same specs as the RTX 2060 Super.
The lack of Super branding is important. Nvidia hasn’t announced the pricing of the card yet, but the company says that the price will reflect that the 12GB model is a premium version of the $349 RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 Super launched for $399, so hopefully this 12GB model will be below that mark.
Originally, we viewed a 12GB RTX 2060 as nothing but hot air. At the beginning of 2021, Nvidia introduced some additional RTX 2060 Super supply into the market. The company didn’t make a fuss about it publicly, idly letting the cards bolster supply while it focused on manufacturing additional RTX 30-series cards.
Since then, rumors of a 12GB RTX 2060 variant have run amok. There wasn’t much to lend creditability to these rumors outside of the murmurs from Twitter and YouTube leakers. That was until Gigabyte, one of Nvidia’s desktop graphics card partners, filed several listings for 12GB RTX 2060 graphics cards.
We should see various 12GB RTX 2060 models next week. It seems Nvidia is intentionally launching the card under the radar, perhaps in a bid to deter scalpers and bots from snatching up the cards when they launch.
That could be why Nvidia hasn’t revealed the pricing. Given the shortages of components, the list prices set by Nvidia and AMD are unrealistic at best and inaccurate at worst. That’s something we saw with the RX 6600 XT, where some models launched for $200 more than the price set by AMD. No official pricing from Nvidia means that board partners are free to set a reasonable price based on the cost of components.
Although these are positive efforts, we’re not sure how much they’ll help alleviate the GPU shortage. Even the base RTX 2060 has been subject to price increases, so we’ll be waiting to see if this new 12GB model changes that.