Don’t get your hopes up about seeing Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards this month

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Previous speculation has pointed to Nvidia being set to launch its next-gen graphics cards later this month, but a new rumor is claiming that this won’t happen – and indeed we may not see a hard launch (i.e. products actually becoming available) until July, or possibly even later.

This comes from Tom’s Hardware, which cites ‘multiple independent sources’ in the industry saying that the successor to Nvidia’s current Pascal-based GeForce cards won’t get a full reveal at Nvidia’s Graphics Technology Conference (GTC) as previously rumored, or indeed GDC (the Game Developers Conference).

What may happen – although even this is far from a sure matter – is that there might be a brief teaser reveal, or ‘appetizer’ as Tom’s describes it. So likely something pretty airy just pointing to the existence of the new cards. 

Whatever it is, we will be at GDC later this month (the conference kicks off on March 19) to witness it.

Of course, this is still just another rumor, but it certainly makes sense in some respects. Particularly considering the current climate in which buying a graphics card is a tricky and unnecessarily expensive matter, thanks to a combination of extra demand from cryptocurrency miners, and constrained supply due to video RAM shortages on the manufacturing side.

These issues are not predicted to ease any time soon, and the chatter we’ve seen online indicates that these pressures won’t start to see some relief until later this year (barring some major disaster of a cryptocurrency implosion, which seems unlikely).

Price pressures

So when you consider this, launching a graphics card earlier in 2018 and straight into this storm of problems, doesn’t seem like a particularly sensible idea. 

It could also lead to Nvidia having to put some pretty high recommended prices on the new GPUs (given that it wouldn’t make any sense for them to be cheaper than Pascal graphics cards, which have had their prices driven through the roof of late due to the aforementioned supply and demand reasons).

Neither does Nvidia have to worry much about losing ground to AMD’s Vega, seeing as GPU supplies are still thin on the ground. In short, there are numerous reasons why Nvidia doesn’t have to rush this launch.

Tom’s Hardware does some further investigating and cites other sources who believe that the mass production of next-gen GeForce cards won’t begin until mid-June, so actual cards launching won’t happen until July at the earliest.

Therefore the tech site’s conclusion is that Gamescom in August will be when we see a full launch of partner next-gen graphics cards, at which point they will be available to buy.

All of this, once again, is merely the word from the graphics grapevine and not to be taken as gospel, but it certainly sounds a more likely scenario than the previous rumors.

The controversy around the name of these next-gen GeForce cards also continues to bubble, and interestingly, Tom’s believes that they will use the Turing codename, as did a recent Reuters report.

But other sources have theorized that Ampere will be the successor to Volta in the high-performance computing arena, whereas the consumer-oriented gaming GPUs will be codenamed Turing.

At least if there is some sort of teaser launch at GDC, we’ll find out the concrete details on the naming scheme if nothing else.

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).