With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti looking increasingly less like an April Fool’s joke and more like the living nightmare of anyone faintly interested in naming conventions, is it about time hardware name was simplified?
For anyone not intimately familiar with the weird and wonderful world of PC gaming hardware, Nvidia’s naming scheme just became gibberish. Even for the millions who know the ins and outs of graphics cards, it’s incredibly difficult to find a logical reason just why Nvidia would settle on the GTX 16 series.
It means we had the beloved GeForce GTX 10 series, then the GeForce RTX 20 series, and then an awkward step backward to the GeForce GTX 16 range. It’s almost like Nvidia is trying to split the difference between the 10 and 20 series, forgetting the GTX 15 series makes far more logical sense.
The end result is that Joe Bloggs walking into PC World is faced with a bewildering array of options, stretching from budget-priced GT 1030’s up to the $1200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Is a GeForce GTX 1070 faster than a GTX 1660? Is a GeForce RTX 2060 weaker than a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti? What’s the difference between a 2060 and a 1060? Is the 1660 Ti a previous-gen graphics card?
If the rumours are true and Nvidia goes ahead with this, Team Green has obfuscated graphics card naming in a bewildering way. What’s most disappointing is how they’ve done so much work over the last decade to try and simplify it all. No one would argue all PC hardware has naming issues. Whether it’s deliberate or not, nothing is simple. Don’t even get me started on motherboards.
But really, I want to know what Nvidia’s plan is here. For me, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti name instantly makes me look at it like something I’ve just trodden in. What is this odd-number monstrosity I see before me? It turns me off the entire GTX 16 Series. Performance be damned, it somehow even manages to make the GTX 10 Series more attractive. But is this all part of Nvidia’s warped plans? Could it even perhaps be that Nvidia is deliberately confusing its customer base in order to push them towards the safe, the obvious - the (more expensive) RTX range? I don’t really know. I don’t think anyone does really.
What we can probably agree on though is that graphics card names and generations could and should be a whole lot simpler. In most markets, confusing naming is the enemy of success. Nintendo had an entire console generation fail because people still thought the Wii U was a controller for the Wii four years later. In PC hardware it practically feels like it’s welcomed though, and it’s enormously intimidating for anyone looking to get into our favourite hobby.
So we’ve got a couple of questions for you here. Firstly, what do you make of the possible GeForce GTX 1660 Ti naming, and why do you think it was picked? And secondly, do you think hardware manufacturers are guilty of trying to deliberately confuse their customer base? Get voting and let us know why below!