Nvidia probably won’t announce new graphics cards at GDC or GTC
Not ready to retire Pascal.
If you were hoping Nvidia would make a splash at either the Game Developers Conference (GDC) or its own Graphics Technology Conference (GTC), both of which are fast approaching, you may want to temper your expectations. Despite rumors to the contrary, TomsHardware reports Nvidia is unlikely to roll out any new graphics cards at either event.
In recent weeks, it's been rumored that Nvidia planned to skip right over Volta for its next generation of consumer cards, and instead launch two new GPU architectures called Ampere and Turing. The rumors gained traction when Reuters reported in early February that Turing, Nvidia's "new GPU gaming chip," was expected to be "unveiled next month."
There is no official information to go on, and all the leaked roadmaps to this point don't mention Turing or Ampere. The speculation is that Ampere will take aim at the server market, or perhaps even the cryptocurrency mining sector and that Turing will, in fact, be a gaming GPU to replace Pascal. (Jarred would prefer Turing to be a machine learning focused part with lots of Tensor cores, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.)
"Until GPU makers get a handle on the cryptocurrency market, it hardly matters if there are new cards."
The hope was that all would be made clear at GDC or GTC with some kind of product launch. Unfortunately, TomsHardware has heard from "multiple independent sources" that the best we can expect from Nvidia at either event is a "vague 'appetizer', [and] nothing concrete" in regards to the company's next-generation gaming products. That's not really too surprising, as Nvidia hasn't revealed a new GeForce card at either event in several years. Pascal GP100 was discussed at GTC in 2016, but the GTX 1070/1080 were unveiled at a separate Nvidia event.
We have mixed feelings about this, assuming it's all true. On one hand, it seems that Nvidia doesn't feel pressured to release faster graphics cards for gamers, as it still holds the performance crown with Pascal. This already played out to some extent when the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti kept getting pushed back, seemingly because AMD simply didn't have an answer for Pascal at the top end.
On the other hand, until GPU makers get a handle on the cryptocurrency market, it hardly matters if there are new cards. Assuming they're at least as good as existing cards are at mining, gamers would have a hard time getting their hands on one.
We'll find out soon enough—both events kick off later this month, with GDC running from March 19-23, and GTC going from March 26-29.