The GA104 GPU discovered by Matthew Smith was blotched with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards. The entries are current, implying that AIBs are powering major gaming graphics cards with defective Ampere dies.
The Ampere GA106 GPU drives the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which is a different SKU from the GA104 that powers the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070.
According to the new article, NVIDIA may have a stockpile of defective GPU dies that didn’t make it into the higher-end graphics cards but are still good enough for the RTX 3060 cards.
While the graphics card’s fundamental characteristics, such as 3584 CUDA cores and 12 GB of GDDR6 RAM operating through a 192-bit bus interface, will remain the same, the chip itself will be a considerably higher-end SKU than the original GA106 GPU core found in the RTX 3060.
This isn’t the first time NVIDIA has replaced 106 SKUs with damaged 104 dies. The RTX 2060, which was originally based on the TU106 GPU, was available in a variety of configurations, one of which included a TU104 GPU. Other cards, such as the Turing TU117-powered GeForce GTX 1650, received new TU116 and TU106 versions.
The latter provided stronger NVENC support and slightly faster content production capabilities, however, we won’t see those in the TU104-based RTX 3060 cards because Turing has a number of architectural variations between the higher-end and mainstream GPU SKUs.
The GA104-powered GeForce RTX 3060 could allow for more consistent boost speeds and better power management than the GA106-powered model. So, whether you have a GA104 or GA106 GPU-based NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics card, the majority of you will never know what’s under the hood.
According to recent reports, the supply of GA106 GPUs may be limited, which could explain why these damaged GA104 dies are being recycled for the RTX 3060.