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New specs on Nvidia GTX 1050 may have leaked ahead of launch

Nvidia’s recent Pascal refreshes have focused mainly on the high end of the market, though that’s changed in the past month with the GTX 1060 hitting the $200 price point. Now, specs of the upcoming GP107 / GTX 1050 have supposedly surfaced. While all such data must be taken with a grain of salt, the specs make provisional sense.

According to BenchLife, the upcoming part will be a 768:64:32 core (that’s cores, texture units, and ROPS). That’s still a significant step down from the GTX 1060, which offers a base configuration of 1280:80:48 at 6GB and 1152:72:48 at 3GB. The GPU reportedly has a 128-bit memory path for 112GB/s of memory bandwidth altogether.

gtx-1050

The GTX 1050 is a very different card than the RX 470 it would presumably compete against. AMD’s 4th-generation GCN is a much wider beast, with a 2048:128:32 configuration. Historically, the GTX 1060 – 1080 have all wielded a significant clock speed difference over GCN, but that may not be the case here — the maximum boost clock for the GTX 1050 is supposedly 1380MHz, and while Pascal GPUs with Nvidia Boost 3.0 tend to hit much higher clocks, we doubt the GPU is designed to leap to 1900MHz+ from a 1380MHz maximum boost. AMD’s RX 470 has 211GB/s of memory bandwidth — on paper, it’s significantly stronger than the GTX 1050 in multiple respects.

To-date, however, Pascal has compensated for seemingly weak paper specs with extremely strong real-world performance. The GTX 1060 we have in-house, for example, is virtually identical to the GTX 980’s performance despite having markedly less memory bandwidth, fewer shader cores, and fewer texture units.

GP107 supposedly won’t drop until mid-October, which gives both AMD and Nvidia some time to fix their pricing and availability problems. As things stand, a GTX 1050 at $150 would compete against the RX 460 4GB rather than the RX 470 4GB — and that’s not a comparison that would end well for AMD. By the same token, however, we’re pretty tired of the limited relationship between what AMD and Nvidia say a GPU will sell for and what it actually sells for. Only the GTX 1060 has managed to hit its recommended price targets within what we consider a reasonable amount of time, and only barely. Both companies need to shore up their availability and hit their MSRPs, and we’re going to treat all launch pricing from both manufacturers as provisional at best until we see proof they can keep their word.

The only good thing about launch pricing from AMD and Nvidia as of this writing is that prices are slowly creeping towards their official levels. By the time the GTX 1050 launches, card prices should be better aligned with where they were supposed to be months ago.

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