What just happened? Following Nvidia's confirmation via a driver changelog last week that a 12GB version of the RTX 2060 was on its way, the 'new' card has now launched---not that you're likely to have noticed as they don't appear to be available in the US yet, and Nvidia hasn't mentioned the release.
We'd long heard rumors that Nvidia was set to relaunch the Turing-era 12nm RTX 2060 with the VRAM upgraded from 6GB of GDDR6 to 12GB, and it was all but confirmed in the company's Game Ready Driver changelog last week. The predicted December 7 launch date proved accurate, but Nvidia didn't make any noise about the launch. It even encouraged board partners not to send review samples to the press.
We don't even have an MSRP for the RTX 2060 12GB. It was expected to be around the same $349 mark as the original version. MSRPs mean nothing these days, of course, but the new card is selling for about 600 - 700 euros, which is roughly the same $670 - $800 price we can expect to pay for the RTX 2060 6GB right now.
Not that finding an RTX 2060 12GB is easy, if at all possible, for those in the US. Most appear on AIB partners' Chinese websites, and some are on European retail sites---Nvidia isn't making Founders Editions. I found one on a UK site, but it isn't listed as available to buy.
As previously predicted, the RTX 2060 12GB comes with a TU106-300 GPU featuring 2176 CUDA cores. It uses 16Gb (2GB) GDDR6 modules clocked at 14Gbps and has a 1650MHz boost clock.
Perhaps the reason for the muted release is that the RTX 2060 12GB appears to be targeted at miners, an area that Nvidia has long tried to distance its gaming cards from. These aren't Lite Hash Rate models like the updated RTX 3000 series, and PCMarket HK, which managed to get hold of a card, writes that its mining potential exceeds that of the RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT.
Nvidia recently said it believes graphics card prices and availability will improve in the second half of next year when supply and demand even out. It's a nice thought, but don't hold your breath.