While AMD has plenty of exciting stuff in the pipeline with regards to its next-gen Vega GPU, 2017 is looking a little more conservative for Nvidia, at least at this early stage. According to fresh reports, next year Nvidia will introduce a Pascal refresh before following up with the true next-gen Volta in 2018.
The Pascal refresh will allegedly reuse the same Pascal GPUs, such as the GP102 which was used for the GeForce GTX 1080 and the Titan X Pascal. Nvidia has chosen to refine this GPU rather than move to an all new product. This is much like the jump from the Nvidia GTX 600 series to the GTX 700 series, so expect to see Pascal shift from 16nm FinFET down to the 14nm FinFET node, bringing with it moderate performance (clock speed) and efficiency improvements, as well as driving down the price.
It also seems likely that the higher-speed GDDR5X might begin to find its way into more of the GTX 11 family than we’ve got with the current 10 Series. At the moment only the GTX 1080 and Titan X Pascal benefit from the higher speed memory, with the rumoured GTX 1080 Ti utilising bog-standard GDDR5.
For those who’ve bought any of the current crop of Pascal graphics cards, it does mean there’s both life and value in them for a good few years yet. The likes of the GeForce GTX 1080 are only really going to be significantly outstripped when Volta arrives (presumably in 2018).
A case of refinement rather than revolution for Nvidia in 2017 then, does this affect your graphics card upgrade plans? Will a simple Pascal refresh be enough to stave off the impending threat of AMD Vega?