Tag Archives: relaunch

Rumors Suggest Nvidia Might Re-Launch RTX 2060, RTX 2060 Super

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Nvidia announced its RTX 3060 during CES last week, but according to one report, the company has actually restarted production of its RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super. If true, it would mean Nvidia doesn’t think it can alleviate the graphics card shortage quickly enough if it relies solely on 7nm GPUs.

The rumor comes from French site Overclocking.com, which claims to gotten confirmation from several brands. Reportedly, Nvidia shipped out a new set of RTX 2060 and 2060 Super GPUs to re-enable the manufacture of these cards. If true, Nvidia could potentially alleviate the GPU shortage by relying on TSMC’s older (and presumably, less-stressed) 12nm product line.

Nvidia showed the following slide during the RTX 3060 launch. It gives some idea how the two compare, though it does not look as though DLSS is being used for the RTX 2060, and there’s no 2060 Super.

Nvidia’s published claims about RTX 3060 versus 2060 performance. Remember, DLSS is enabled on some RTX 3060 benchmarks.

Either way, there should be some room in the product market beneath the RTX 3060 to carve out space for the 2060, 2060 Super, or both.

How’d We Get Here, Anyway?

We’re in this position today because Nvidia wanted to avoid a repeat of Turing’s disastrous launch. Back in 2018, Nvidia repeatedly told investors that the huge spike in GPU sales through 2017 and into 2018 was being driven by gamers, not by cryptocurrency mining. It’s never been clear how true that was — and Nvidia has been sued by shareholders over the idea that the firm knew full well where its demand was coming from. But whether the company misread the market or not, it appears to have been genuinely caught off-guard when the crypto market cooled off. This left a lot of Pascal GPUs on shelves that had to be moved.

Turing’s second problem was its pricing. Nvidia decided to raise prices with Turing and increased the prices of its GPUs accordingly. It proved unwise to raise Turing prices when Pascal cards were hitting some of the best prices of their lives, and sales of the cards suffered.

Turing’s third problem was that its major feature wasn’t supported in any shipping titles yet. This is not unusual when major new features are introduced to gaming — hardware support has to precede software support, because the arrow of time is annoying and inconvenient — but it still counts as a drag on the overall launch.

This time around, Nvidia wanted to avoid these issues. Turing production was discontinued well before Ampere launched. The end-user community was deeply unhappy with Nvidia’s Turing pricing, and Nvidia, to its credit, adjusted its prices. The non-availability of ray tracing, similarly, is not a problem here. While the number of ray-traced games remains small, there’s now a small collection — including AAA titles — with RTX / DXR support integrated.

Nvidia did everything right, in terms of building appeal for gamers. The one thing it didn’t count on was the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on semiconductor demand. Bringing back the RTX 2060 and 2060 Super could give Nvidia a way to respond to this problem without sabotaging its new product lineup.

Frankly, it’d be nice to see the RTX 2060 and 2060 Super back in-market, if only to bring a little stability to it. Here are Newegg’s current top-selling GPUs as of 1/20/2021:

It’s not unusual for the Top 10 to have a few cheap cards in it, but every GPU with any horsepower whatsoever is far above retail price.

Newegg’s best-selling GPUs are bottom-end Pascal cards. The last-gen RX 580 and the GTX 1660 Super are the only two consumer cards selling for under $ 500. Both of them are terrible deals at this price point.

There’s always a bunch of low-end garbage stuffed into the GPU market. Typically, these parts live below the $ 100 price point, where you’ll find a smorgasbord of ancient AGP cards, long-vanished GPU micro-architectures, and rock-bottom performance that almost always costs too much. Today, the garbage has flooded into much higher price points. Want a GTX 960? That’ll be $ 150. How about a GTX 460 for $ 145 or an HD 7750 for $ 155? There’s a GTX 1050 Ti for $ 170, which is only $ 40 more than the GPU cost when new, over four years ago.

Right now, it’s impossible to buy any GPU for anything like MSRP. If bringing the RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super back to market actually provides some stability and some kind of modern GPU to purchase, I’m in favor of it. At this point, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if AMD threw the old Polaris family back into market, either. While they wouldn’t be a great value at this point ordinarily, the cheapest RX 5500 XT at Newegg is $ 397. Under these circumstances, any midrange GPU manufactured in the last four years that can ship for less than $ 300 would be an improvement.

The past five years have been the worst sustained market for GPUs in the past two decades. Currently, GPU prices have been well above MSRP for 24 out of the past 56 months, dating back to the launch of Pascal in late May, 2016. This isn’t expected to change until March or April at the earliest. When cards aren’t available at MSRP for nearly half the time they’ve been on the market over five years and two full process node deployments, it raises serious issues about whether we can trust MSRPs when making GPU recommendations. Right now, the best price/performance ratio you can get in the retail market might be an RX 550 for $ 122.

The GPU market in its current form is fundamentally broken. Manufacturer MSRPs have the same authority as any random number you might pick out of a hat. There are a lot of factors playing a part in the current situation, including manufacturing yields and COVID-19, but this problem started four years before the pandemic.

AMD and Nvidia need to find a better way to ensure that customers are able to buy the cards they actually want to purchase, or they need to delay their launches for a sufficient length of time as to build up a meaningful stockpile of hardware, sufficient to supply launch demand for a matter of days, not seconds. Alternately, they may need to delay launches until yield percentages and availability are high enough to ensure a constant stream of equipment to buyers.

Right now, we have launch days that sell out instantly and interminable delays between new shipments. If these rumors are true, and we hope they are, Nvidia bringing back the RTX 2060 and 2060 Super will help a little in the short term, but what we obviously need is for AMD and Nvidia to take a fundamentally different approach to product inventory management. As things stand, these aren’t product launches. They’re product teases.

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Coronavirus: Alberta unveils economic relaunch plan

The latest:

As a number of provinces outline plans for relaxing restrictions and reopening their economies, Canada’s parliamentary budget officer warns the federal deficit for the year could hit $ 252.1 billion as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Those numbers are based on the nearly $ 146 billion in spending measures the government has undertaken in response to the pandemic, the decline in the country’s gross domestic product, and the price of oil remaining well below previous expectations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the government’s spending in his daily COVID-19 press briefing Thursday, saying Canada needs to invest now to make sure an economic recovery will be possible, “as quickly as possible.”

“Canadians are strong and resilient people, and our economy was in great shape before going into this,” Trudeau said. “There will be a time after this is all done … where we will have to make next decisions on how that recovery looks, but right now our focus is on getting through this as a country.”

A sign on a closed theatre encourages local residents in High River, Alta., amid the worldwide COVID-19 flu pandemic. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced a three-stage plan to reopen Alberta’s economy Thursday. The plan will begin next week with the resumption of some non-urgent surgeries and office reopenings for service providers such as dentists, physiotherapists, speech and respiratory therapists.

Provided there is no surge in infection rates, the province will move to Stage 1 of its relaunch May 14, when some retail stores and businesses will be able to reopen. Those will include clothing and furniture stores, hair salons and barber shops, museums and galleries, and restaurants and bars, as long as they maintain only 50 per cent capacity.

“A full return to normal won’t come until there is an effective vaccine or treatment, or until the virus is no longer here to threaten us,” Kenney said in a news conference from Edmonton.

Access to provincial parks and public lands will also be reopened using a phased-in approach. Alberta Parks’ online reservations will be available May 14 to book site visits beginning June 1. 

Physical distancing guidelines will be maintained and gatherings will be limited to 15 or fewer people. Arts and culture festivals, major sporting events, and concerts, movie theatres, theatres, swimming pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs will all remain closed.

Stage 2, which has no firm date attached, would see things like the potential reopening of kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, and access to more personal services, such as artificial tanning, manicures, pedicures, waxing and massage. Theatres could also reopen under specific restrictions and larger gatherings would be permitted. 

Stage 3 would see the return of arts and culture festivals, nightclubs, gyms and pools, and non-essential travel. 

Earlier in the day, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, unveiled a five-stage plan for relaxing public health restrictions in that province.

The plan comes as the province marks the fourth straight day with no new COVID-19 cases. The only immediate rule change is the expansion of the household “bubble” — the immediate group that people live and interact with under public health restrictions. Now, households can pick a second household to spend time with.

Fitzgerald’s update came on the same day as Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered further guidance to businesses on how they should go about reopening. In a news briefing, Ford said he was “laser-focused” on reopening the province’s economy, as the infection curve in Ontario is flattening. 

Manitoba unveiled its own phased plan for reopening some sectors of the economy on Wednesday. Prince Edward Island and Quebec have also offered glimpses of what the coming months might hold.

Also on Thursday, Nunavut reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19, according to a media release. In the release, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, wrote that such news “was only a matter of time” and that the individual is currently in isolation and doing well.

“We ask people not to place any blame, not to shame and to support communities and each other as we overcome COVID-19 in Nunavut,” Premier Joe Savikataaq was quoted as saying in the release.

WATCH | Nunavut confirms first COVID-19 case in the territory:

As of 5:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, there were 53,021 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in Canada, with 21,211 of the cases considered resolved or recovered. The CBC tally puts coronavirus-related deaths at 3,275 in Canada and another two deaths of Canadians abroad.

The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk varies between and within communities, “but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.” 

Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

What’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia’s premier says the province will unveil its plan to loosen COVID-19 restrictions and open up some sectors of the economy at a briefing next week. The province also extended its state of emergency to May 12. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

A meat processing plant in Alberta that is at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak is set to reopen on May 4 with one shift, a decision the union for workers at the High River facility has described as “incredibly concerning.” The Cargill plant has been linked to more than 1,200 cases. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta. 

WATCH | Fort McMurray tries to manage devastating flood during pandemic:

Some COVID-19 restrictions for physical distancing have had to be removed in Fort McMurray as it tries to mitigate further damage from a devastating flood that has forced more than 13,000 people from their homes. 1:53

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is clamping down on travel between communities in the far north of the province as the region deals with an outbreak of COVID-19. Moe says he’s ordering a ban on non-essential travel between northern communities. The government is also sending $ 20,000 to La Loche to fund public safety and food security. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba is going to start easing some of its COVID-19-related restrictions starting on Monday by allowing dentists, physiotherapists, retail stores, hair salons and restaurant patios to open at no more than 50 per cent capacity. Campgrounds, museums, libraries and art galleries will also be allowed to reopen, and all will have to maintain physical distancing and comply with public health restrictions. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

At his daily briefing on Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced 65 new safety guidelines for businesses as the province prepares for a gradual reopening. “We’re on the path to reopening the economy because we see that curve is flattening,” Ford said. “I’m laser focused on opening things up as quickly as we can.” The province reported 459 additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a figure consistent with new daily case counts seen throughout much of April. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.

The death rate from COVID-19 in Quebec will remain very high for the foreseeable future, Premier François Legault warned Thursday, even as he sought to address criticism of his government’s plan to ease pandemic restrictions in the coming weeks. Of the 98 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours in the province, 92 have been of seniors in care. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

WATCH | It’s time to be more disciplined than ever, Legault says

Quebec Premier François Legault says despite plans to reopen Montreal, he won’t hesitate to delay it if people don’t behave appropriately. 1:02

New Brunswick  reported no new cases for the 12th day in a row.  Still, Premier Blaine Higgs extended emergency measures for another two weeks, with some revisions.  Read more about what’s happening in N.B

WATCH | How New Brunswick avoided a potential COVID-19 catastrophe:

New Brunswick is home to Canada’s oldest and unhealthiest population, but has so far come through the COVID-19 pandemic with few hospitalizations and no deaths. 2:01

Health officials have identified 12 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, bringing the province’s total to 947, while the number of deaths remains at 28. Most of the deaths have occurred at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax. The home is facing the most significant outbreak of any facility in the province, with 208 residents and 73 staff infected as of Wednesday. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.

Prince Edward Island’s premier is reminding people that the first phase of reopening that begins this week doesn’t mean a return to normal. “All of us, we have had to make painful and disruptive adjustments to our lives. I wish I could tell you that that would end on May 1, but that wouldn’t be the truth,” Dennis King said. Read more about what’s happening in P.E.I, including how the virus’s spread is ensuring tourists won’t be coming to the Island anytime soon

WATCH | COVID-19 could be more severe in people with asthma:

People with asthma aren’t at higher risk of getting COVID-19, but an infection could result in more severe symptoms. 0:52

Newfoundland and Labrador unveiled the provincial government’s five-stage plan for relaxing public health restrictions Thursday, including benchmarks that need to be met as the province progresses from present conditions — what it calls Level 5 — to living with COVID-19, which is Level 1. The first step was announcing the expansion of the household “bubble” — the immediate group that people live and interact with under public health restrictions. Now, households can pick a second household to spend time with.  Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

Nunavut reported its first case of COVID-19 on Thursday, with the individual reportedly in isolation and otherwise good health. The Northwest Territories has released a broad overview of how it plans to handle reopening amid COVID-19The plan, which begins with a “response” stage, then a “recovery” stage, before moving to “resiliency,” had few specifics, sparking concern from the opposition. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

What’s happening in the U.S.

From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

The virus has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide, including more than 61,000 confirmed deaths in the U.S., and led to lockdowns and other restrictions that have closed factories and other businesses around the globe.  

Confirmed infections globally have reached about 3.2 million, including one million in the U.S., according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers of deaths and infections is likely much higher because of limited testing, differences in counting the dead and concealment by some governments.  

The U.S. said its gross domestic product, or output of goods and services, shrank at an annual rate of 4.8 per cent in the January-March period, the sharpest quarterly drop since the global financial meltdown of more than a decade ago. That was before major shutdowns in many places.

And the worst is yet to come: the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the economy will shrink at a 40 per cent annual rate in this quarter.

Volunteers prepare groceries to be given out at a drive-thru Three Square Food Bank emergency food distribution site at Boulder Station Hotel & Casino in Nevada Wednesday in response to an increase in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. (David Becker/AFP/Getty Images)

Government figures released Thursday showed that 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for jobless benefits in the U.S. last week, raising the total to about 30.3 million in the six weeks since the outbreak forced the shutdown of factories and other businesses from coast to coast.

The U.S. unemployment rate for April is due late next week, and economists have said it could range as high as 20 per cent  — a level last seen during the Depression.

Later Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said U.S. state and local governments could need close to $ 1 trillion US in aid over several years to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic, as lawmakers began plotting more coronavirus relief legislation.

But the Democrat’s proposal drew an immediate negative reaction from an influential member of the Republican-run Senate, John Cornyn, who called it “outrageous.”

It was the first time Pelosi has used such a high number publicly when talking of covering state and local costs of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. State governors have requested $ 500 billion to help cover public health expenses and lost tax revenues and to assist people getting back to work.

Also Thursday, world equity benchmarks saw their best month in 11 years as a rebound in oil prices, expectations of more government stimulus, and encouraging early results from a COVID-19 treatment trial helped ease the pain of February and March.

WATCH | Excitement, caution follows upbeat news about trial of antiviral drug for COVID-19:

‘We were looking for a win,’ said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, but he tempered that optimism by pointing out the need to have a look at all the data and determine how remdesivir can be used.   7:28

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all state beaches closed after people flocked to the seashore in a few locations last weekend. The governor said he hopes the order won’t last very long. But he said he felt he had to do it to protect public health.

An Orange County official, where one of the state beaches is located, called it “an overreaction,” as residents have been following physical distancing guidelines. Some beaches under county jurisdiction have already been closed during the crisis.

What’s happening around the world

From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Spain recorded its lowest daily coronavirus death tally in six weeks on Thursday, but data showing the economy shrank by the widest margin on record in the first three months of the year laid bare the heavy cost of measures to control the outbreak. The death toll stood Thursday at about 24,500 after an increase of 268 in the last 24 hours, or 57 less than the increase the day before. The caseload is officially more than 213,000, although Spain is not counting untested infections or those that are becoming known through antibody tests, which mostly identify patients after they have passed the COVID-19 disease.

Staff direct traffic as key workers arrive for a test for COVID-19 at a drive-in testing centre at Glasgow Airport on Wednesday. (Andrew Milligan/AFP/ Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was now past the peak of its coronavirus outbreak and promised to set out a lockdown exit strategy next week, despite rising deaths and criticism of his government’s response. The government has been criticized for failing to catch most cases of COVID-19 and now says wide-scale testing will be key to controlling the virus and easing a nationwide lockdown. Earlier this month it vowed to perform 100,000 tests a day by April 30. The number has been climbing steadily, but the highest daily total reached so far is 52,000.

Germany’s health minister has warned against significantly relaxing restrictions imposed to curb coronavirus infections, saying this could “recklessly” endanger the country’s achievements in fighting the pandemic. Jens Spahn said the government wanted to take “small steps, rather than risk a big step back.”

General view of a drive-in COVID-19 testing facility in Berlin on April 30, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The testing facility, set up by the health authority of Berlin’s Mitte district and operational since March 23, 2020, can administer over 150 tests a day, five days a week. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with the governors of Germany’s 16 states Thursday to discuss the impact that existing measures have had on slowing the spread of the virus.

Denmark, the first country outside Asia to ease its lockdown, said the spread of COVID-19 has not accelerated since the gradual loosening of restrictions began in mid-April. 

COVID-19 appeared to come late to Russia, compared with North America and Europe, but now, it’s striking with a vengeance, the damage compounded by the lack of personal protective equipment for hospital workers. The country surged past 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with approximately 1,000 reported deaths. Those are extremely low numbers compared with the experience of western Europe. Still, many doctors — even those sympathetic to the government — have told CBC News part of the challenge is that Russia’s tests return an unusually large number of false negative results. On Thursday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

South Korea reported no new domestic cases. The national tally stood at 10,765, while the death toll rose by one to 247.

Indonesia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 10,000. The government reported nearly 350 new cases, bringing the country’s total to over 10,000 with almost 800 deaths as of Thursday. The country also reported there are more than 1,500 patients who have recovered.

A medical worker wears a protective suit after checking the homeless in Jakarta after Indonesian authorities prepared the sports halls for homeless people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

Total reported coronavirus cases in Brazil soared to 78,162, with 449 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says coronavirus cases across the continent have increased 37 per cent in the past week.

Africa now has more than 36,000 cases, including more than 1,500 deaths.

Trucks wait in a line on the road to enter Uganda in Malaba, a city in western Kenya, on Wednesday. All truck drivers must take a test for COVID-19 and wait 24 hours to get the result. The driver must stay inside the truck and is only allowed to get off to unload at the destination. (Brian Ongoro/AFP/Getty Images)

While the continent’s capacity to test for the virus is growing, shortages of test kits remain across Africa. That means more cases could be out there. But the head of policy with the Africa CDC, Benjamin Djoudalbaye, tells reporters that the virus “is not something you can hide.”

In South Africa, which has the most cases in Africa with more than 5,300, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says that authorities are “very hopeful we have averted the first storm.”

The country has been praised for testing assertively and will slightly loosen a five-week lockdown on Friday.

WATCH | Dr. Theresa Tam on WHO response to COVID-19, reopening Canada:

Part 3 of 3 of Rosemary Barton’s exclusive interview with Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam on the WHO’s response to COVID-19, reopening Canada and the personal stresses that come with her job. 11:55

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Gary Bettman says all options being explored as NHL readies for relaunch

The National Hockey League will be prepared for a post-coronavirus relaunch whenever an opportunity presents itself, commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday.

The opening round of the playoffs would have been underway this week but like every other North American sport, the NHL has been forced into hibernation since March 12 by the novel coronavirus.

With no live hockey to digest, fans have turned to social media where various scenarios, some vague and far-fetched and others detailed and considered, have been floated and debated.

Bettman conceded during an interview on CNN that many were not realistic but all would be considered.

‘You have to be prepared to relaunch’

“All the leagues are basically focused on the same things,” said Bettman. “There has been a lot of speculation we are going to play in neutral sites like North Dakota and a variety of other places.

“The fact is when you are in the position all of us are in, you have to be prepared to relaunch when the opportunity presents itself, which means you have to not rule out any conceivable alternative and be prepared even if some of them turn out to be not realistic.”

With almost 600,000 coronavirus cases and more than 23,000 deaths reported in the United States by Monday, the idea of cramming close to 20,000 spectators into arenas does not seem realistic at the moment.

Possible locations

When play does resume, it is likely to be in neutral locations or hubs in empty arenas where teams and staff can be isolated, limiting exposure to the coronavirus to both players and the public.

Grand Forks, North Dakota and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan have been floated as possible sites. But even as talk intensifies about the reopening of the U.S. economy, Bettman emphasized the NHL was continuing to consider its options.

Potential summer finish

One of those options reportedly being considered is a summer finish to the 2019-20 season with the 2020-21 season starting up in November.

“We’re exploring and want to be prepared for every option whatever circumstances present themselves,” said Bettman. “So we haven’t ruled anything in and we haven’t ruled anything out and we will be prepared to go in whatever direction makes sense at the time.

“We’re exploring all options but when we will have an opportunity to return depends on things we have absolutely no control over,” said Bettman.

“It all starts with everybody’s health and wellbeing. Until there is a sense that people can get together… we don’t know when we can come back.”

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