This rumor filtered down from the Board Channels (a regular source of speculation from China) as highlighted by VideoCardz.
Going by the post on said forum – bear in mind it’s been translated from Chinese, so we may be missing some nuances – Nvidia will purportedly “completely cease the full-scale production of the GTX 16 Series GPUs” starting from Q1 2024.
So, that means that from the start of next year, Nvidia will stop producing chips for these budget graphics cards and halt the supply of them to board manufacturers, which means no more GTX 1650 and 1630 graphics cards.
The reports that the forum post cites seem pretty clear about ‘completely’ ceasing production and yet some of the other words used in the post are couched in vaguer terms (Nvidia ‘may’ halt supply to board makers). We should be extra cautious around these claims anyway, and as already noted, translation could be an issue here.
Analysis: Pieces of the budget puzzle are starting to fit
Other GTX 16 series models have already been discontinued – or are rumored to be – so this theoretically heralds the end of the GTX brand, with only RTX graphics cards to be produced going forward. (If you recall, the RTX 2000 generation, or Turing, was the last to have a GTX counterpart, which was the 16 series).
It will, of course, leave holes in Nvidia’s budget line-up, which already wasn’t the strongest suit for Team Green. With GTX 16 cards ditched, the cheapest option remaining will be the RTX 3050 (after the remaining GTX 1650 and 1630 models sell through).
Now, to be fair, the GTX 1650 is not all that much less than the RTX 3050 looking at current pricing – indeed the latter GPU is only about 15% more costly (in the US at the time of writing), and the 3050 is a big step up. The main problem being the 3050 isn’t in stock (right now).
While the GTX 1630 is a genuinely more wallet-friendly option than either of the above, retailing at around $130 in the US (about £100, AU$195) currently, it’s honestly not a very good graphics card – at all – and likely won’t be missed much.
Still, this does leave Nvidia looking even thinner on the ground for really affordable graphics cards – that is until we consider another recent rumor. Earlier this week, we heard that Nvidia is about to release a cheaper version of the RTX 3050 with less VRAM (6GB instead of 8GB) – so it’d seem that could replace the GTX 1650 as a better choice in the exact same price bracket.
There’s also rumored to be something to fill the gap between this theoretical new RTX 3050 and the RTX 4060, which must surely be the RTX 4050?
There’s a chance that we could have a new RTX 3050 variant and an RTX 4050 inbound, then, and this new rumor makes that possibility seem a little more likely. It’ll still leave nothing at the really cheap end of the market, though, where the GTX 1630 sits, but Nvidia may simply be shrugging its shoulders about that bargain basement territory at this point.
After all, there’s a lot more focus currently on the cash cow which is heavyweight GPUs for AI.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).