Nvidia’s xx60 Graphics cards are usually catered towards those customers who want the best value for their money. All of these graphics cards are released for the masses as most of us do not have means to buy the flagship GPUs. The GTX 1060 was one of the best Graphics cards to ever hit the market with the MSRP of only 249 dollars it was the best deal to grab before the crypto mining issue.
In the third quarter of 2018 Nvidia revealed the Turing architecture that combined both gaming and enterprise level GPUs. We got a new term called RTX which signifies the presence of the cores capable of tracing the light rays called RT cores and Tensor cores capable of deep learning. We know that Turning architecture is built for future games as many games of this generation do not support raytracing or DLSS. It is one of the reasons why the RTX 20 series Graphics cards are insanely expensive. Since one of the most important decisions of buying a graphics card is its future compatibility.
The High-end RTX 20 series Graphics cards are already in the market, the RTX 2080Ti, RTX 2080, RTX 2070 and the TITAN RTX. All of them have proved that Nvidia is essentially holding a Monopoly in the high-end market of Graphics cards. Not to mention all of these are strong performers, the TITAN RTX and the RTX 2080Ti can play games at 4k Ultra settings with over 100 frames per second.
However, only a handful of people have enough budget to buy these beats. The RTX Graphics card for the masses is the newly announced RTX 2060. Nvidia Unveiled the mid-range RTX at its live press conference during the start of CES 2019. Nvidia boasted the rasterization abilities of their new mid-range Graphics card. Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, said that the RTX 2060 could play the Battlefield V at 1440p ultra settings with frame rate locked at 60.
That was a huge claim considering the fact that the RTX 2060 is going to replace the GTX 1060 which is a 1080p Graphics card. So, without further ado, let’s find out whether the RTX 2060 is compelling enough at 349 dollars.
The design of the Founder’s edition Graphics card is the same as any other RTX Founder’s edition Graphics card. The outer shroud of the is built with machine forged Aluminum and diamond cut edges. The color of the shroud is silver, but the size is reasonably smaller than the other RTX founder’s edition Graphics cards. The dual fan design provides good cooling, and the overall design of the card is very pleasing. All of this is at the retail price, Nvidia is not charging the premium on this model.
The RTX 2060 is based on the Turing architecture as mentioned before. The GPU they are using in the RTX 2060 is the cut down version of TU 106 the GPU used in the RTX 2070. It is made with the new 12nm FinFET process and has the die size equal to the TU 106 found in the RTX 2070. The compute performance of Nvidia’s architectures is tied with the number of SMs present in the GPU. In the case of RTX 2060, the SMs are reduced to 30 as opposed to 36 found in the RTX 2070. Which means you will get 17% fewer CUDA cores, 17% fewer tensor and RT cores and rest of the compute units follows. The clock speeds are almost the same unsurprisingly since you are getting the same GPU.
On the other hand, the components that are not related to the computing have taken a bigger trim as the VRAM has less bandwidth and less capacity.
The specifications of the upper middle tier RTX 2060 is what you would expect. There are 30 SMs, and each SM has 64 CUDA cores, eight tensor cores, and a single RT core. Combining these with the 30 SMs we get 1920 CUDA cores, 240 Tensor cores and 30 RT cores. These show that the difference between the xx60 and the xx70 Graphics card is very minimal. The clock speed of the GPU is almost the same too; it is running at a base clock speed of 1365Mhz and the boost clock speed of 1650Mhz. The Founder’s Edition Graphics card is not factory overclocked in the case of RTX 2060. The RT cores are rated at 5 Gigarays/s performance.
The Video Memory they are using is again the new GDDR6 made by Micron or Samsung. The memory is clocked at 14Gbps. Two of the memory controllers are blocked now which results in the 6GB module instead of 8GB, and the interface is reduced to 192-bit same as the GTX 1060. It makes the overall bandwidth of the RTX 2060 to be equal to 336 GB/s instead of 448 GB/s found in the RTX 2070.
If there is one thing that the new Turing architecture has tremendously increased is the traditional rasterization power. Same is the case with the RTX 2060. It can not only easily beat its direct predecessor but also the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti which were far better than the GTX 1060 at the time of launch bite the dust in front of the RTX 2060. The performance TU 106 outputs here is strikingly better than the GTX 1070 and at times better or on par with the GTX 1070Ti. It should be noted that the GTX 1070 and the RTX 2060 share the same number of CUDA cores while the GTX 1070Ti has slightly more compute power up its sleeves.
To test the performance of the Graphics card, we will start with the synthetic benchmarks as they can pretty much simulate the ideal case scenarios. Starting things off we have the 3D mark’s benchmarks. Here we tested the RTX 2060 and its close competitor from Pascal series the GTX 1070Ti. In 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra both of these came close with the GTX 1070Ti coming ahead with a score of 4,728, and the RTX 2060 got 4,277 points. On the other hand, 3D Mark Time Spy rendered RTX 2060 ahead of the GTX 1070Ti. Still, in raw performance, the GTX 1070Ti is ahead of the RTX 2060 simply because of more computing components.
Ashes of Singularity
However, in most games optimizations of the Turing architecture can make the RTX 2060 a better deal. Let’s find out. Ashes of Singularity is the game that can put even the mightiest of Graphics cards to their knees. Even though the RTX 2060 is not a 4k Graphics card, it can output more than 50 frames at extreme settings. Lowering resolution to a more reasonable 1440p increases the frames to 64. In both cases, the GTX 1070Ti came slightly ahead, but the difference was minimal.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is one of the best games that were released in 2018, the first person open world game requires intense GPU power to render the high definition textures and high bandwidth Video memory to retain the textures. The GTX 1070Ti had better memory bandwidth and more CUDA cores. However, the full optimizations of Turing architecture lead the RTX 2060 ahead of the GTX 1070Ti in the Far Cry 5 benchmark. At 1080p ultra settings, we got 120 frames on average and 106 in case of GTX 1070Ti. At 1440p the results were the same RTX 2060 came slightly ahead of the GTX 1070Ti.
Shadow of Tomb Raider
Shadow of Tomb Raider is the latest addition in the Tomb Raider Trilogy. The game is so demanding that even the mightiest Graphics cards struggle in front of it. Same was the case with the RTX 2060, though the 1080p resolution was a piece of cake for the new Graphics card. We were comfortably getting over 80FPS at 1080p ultra settings. In 1440p the RTX 2060 struggled to maintain the locked 60FPS experience. During our test runs, we barely saw it hitting the 60FPS mark. The average framerate we were able to achieve was 57. During the launch, the developers of the Shadow of Tomb Raider promised the implementation of Ray Tracing, but we are still waiting to test the RT cores present in the RTX 2060 in the Shadow of Tomb Raider.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is the best game to test the limitations of the Graphics card. The game is developed on such a scale that even the integrated Graphics can handle it barely. However, if you go all out the game becomes difficult to handle even for the beefy Graphics cards. During our test runs, we were able to get 70FPS on average at very high settings. The game is around four years old now; even the newer Graphics card struggle to maintain a stable framerate at higher resolutions.
The only game that can fully test the ability of the RTX 2060 is Battlefield V. Since it is the only game that supports the Ray Tracing technology. The latest build of the Battlefield V handles the Ray Tracing very efficiently. AT 1080p ultra settings the Graphics card handles the game easily. We were getting close to 150 Frames on average with DXR off. Same was the case at 1440p resolution. The game was more than playable. We were able to get around 80FPS at 1440p ultra settings. Things got interesting when we turned on DXR. We know that DXR deteriorates the performance considerably. Nvidia recommends DXR medium at 1080p settings. At these settings, we were comfortably getting more than 60FPS on average.
Price has been the weakest suit for the new RTX Graphics cards since launch. We saw the insane increase in price since the launch of the 20 series. The GTX 1080Ti was launched with an MSRP of $649 while its direct successor the RTX 2080Ti was launched with the MSRP of $999. You can guess the difference of value easily. We have seen the increase in price among generations, but this time Nvidia is getting all out towards the consumers. The GTX 1060 was launched with a price tag of $249. Now the RTX 2060 has the MSRP of $349. It does everything an RTX 2080Ti does on a lower scale, but the xx60 Graphics card now has the price of xx70. No wonder Nvidia is juicing out its consumers.
Nvidia finally released the mid-ranger of the RTX series of Graphics cards. The rumors about the GTX 1160 with the same features except for the RT and Tensor cores are still here. However, the RTX 2060 proved its worth in our tests. 2060 is more of a 1440p Graphics card which makes it even better. The addition of Tensor and RT cores is also welcomed, though their usability is questionable. The price, however, is not good. At 300 dollars it would have been a killer deal. However, if you are in a market for GPU at this range than the RTX 2060 should be your choice. It delivers identical performance to the GTX 1070Ti which costs almost the same.