Today Nvidia released the RTX 2060. We have summarized all benchmarks and game results of the new Nvidia middle class.
Nvidia’s middle class problem
With the new Turing generation, a lot has changed at Nvidia. The main focus of the new generation is on raytracing technology, which should be possible for gamers in real time for the first time with special hardware. The ray calculation allows completely new game impressions and much more realistic images with regard to reflections and light. However, the technology has two major disadvantages. On the one hand real-time raytracing requires a lot of hardware power, on the other hand this hardware is relatively expensive. With the prices of the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 and RTX 2070, Nvidia has increased considerably compared to the previous generation. The RTX 2080 Ti currently costs at least 1,200 Euros and can only play Battlefield 5 in WQHD resolution with a good 60 FPS when raytracing is activated.
How useful raytracing is at the moment is rather questionable. The performance leap of the Turing generation compared to Pascal is, apart from raytracing, not very big. The RTX 2080 barely performs any better than the GTX 1080 Ti, but costs the same. This is exactly the problem Nvidia can not afford in the most important sales class, the middle class. Accordingly, the successor of the GTX 1060, the RTX 2060, either has to be very cheap or has to make a much bigger leap in performance. It seems that Nvidia has now opted for the second one.
The RTX 2060 is the smallest Turing GPU
In a keynote at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nvidia officially announced the smallest Turing graphics card. The RTX 2060 is the smallest Turing GPU that supports raytracing. With its 1,920 CUDA cores, 240 Tensor cores and 30 RT cores, it is a slightly trimmed RTX 2070. The big difference, however, is the price. The RTX 2060 is listed as Founders Edition directly at Nvidia for $349 US. Custom models could even be much cheaper and settle at around $300 US. The world-wide sales start is on January 15th.
Benchmarks: the GTX 1070 Ti and Vega 56 are beaten
Unfortunately we didn’t get any RX 590 for testing at the start, so we use the benchmark results of our colleagues from ComputerBase.de. The detailed benchmarks can be found in their article.
The fact that the RTX 2060 is one of the most important cards for Nvidia is clearly shown by the benchmarks of the colleagues. The TU106 chip, which can also be found in the RTX 2070, does a very good job. The exciting thing is that the GTX 1080 of the predecessor generation Pascal is only seven percent faster on standard clock and an overclocked RTX 2060 even has to admit defeat by two percent. In comparison, the RTX 2070 performs only 14 percent better, in the overclocked state the lead shrinks to 5 percent. The difference to the direct predecessor GTX 1060 is also enormous. Without overclocking, the RTX 2060 outpaces the GTX 1060 by a full 58 percent, with overclocking even 72 percent.
The main competitors, however, are the GTX 1070 Ti and the RX Vega 56. Even without overclocking, the RTX 2060 FE is on a par with the GTX 1070 Ti, and the RX Vega 56 is seven percent behind. The six gigabytes of GDDR6 graphics memory are not a disaster either. Only in Final Fantasy XV on WQHD is the difference to the RTX 2070 with two gigabytes more memory clearly visible. The 2070 ran 31 percent faster.
Full HD is the hunting ground of the RTX 2060
The gaming tests by ComputerBase.de show that the RTX 2060 is at home at Full HD resolution. The distances to the RTX 2070 or also to the GTX 1080 are much larger on WQHD. In an overclocked state, however, the RTX 2060 succeeds considerably often in dropping the GTX 1080 without any problems. Potential buyers should therefore think about overclocking their graphics cards. The RTX 2060 also makes a good picture in the typical eSports games and comes up to the performance level of the GTX 1080 on Full HD and WQHD. Only Overwatch, in which the 2060 is defeated by the GTX 1080 and on WQHD also by the RX Vega 56, has big outliers here. In Rainbow Six: Siege, on the other hand, the GTX 1080 and RX Vega are clearly outperformed by between 11 and 19 percent.
Raytracing in Battlefield 5 runs just barely with 60 FPS
The main focus of the Turing graphics cards is raytracing. The RTX 2060 is currently the smallest version with the possibility of raytracing. Already with the RTX 2070 the prophecies of doom were great that the technology was simply not yet ready for the mainstream. But with some updates this is no longer true. So the important 60 FPS are possible in Battlefield 5. Without raytracing, the RTX 2060 achieves a good 101 FPS, while the RTX 2070 achieves 114 FPS. With raytracing activated at a low level of detail, the RTX 2060 achieves 73 FPS, while the RTX 2070 is only 6 percent faster at a good 77 FPS. In Ultra-Preset, the smaller memory of the 2060 becomes a problem compared to the 2070. In this case, the RTX 2070 achieves a good 64 FPS, while the RTX 2060 is 11 percent slower and only achieves a good 57 FPS. That’s already scratching the 60 FPS mark, but there’s still room for improvement.
Cool and quiet, but more power-hungry
As with the other Turing graphics cards, Nvidia also relies on the new Vapor Chamber cooler for the RTX 2060. So there’s not much new here. Under load, the Founders Edition only achieves a volume of 36.5 dB(A) and is therefore at the top, just ahead of the Sapphire RX 590 Nitro+. In desktop mode it’s a bit louder, but with 30 dB(A) it’s still in the reasonable range. The ComputerBase colleagues also didn’t hear any annoying coil whining, only small electronic noise.
The Vapor Chamber cooler also doesn’t have to hide at the temperature. In desktop mode, the graphics card reaches a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, leading the field. Even under load, the RTX 2060 is not very warm and reaches a temperature of 72 degrees Celsisus. In an overclocked state, the temperature rises to 78 degrees Celsius.
Power consumption is somewhat different. On the Windows desktop, the RTX 2060 needs a good 11 watts and is thus behind the GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080. A similar picture can be seen when playing a UHD video on YouTube. Here, the GPU consumes 23 watts and is thus back in midfield. On the other hand, the picture is a bit more differentiated when playing games. The direct predecessor GTX 1060 needs 112 watts, while the GTX 1070 needs 145 watts. The RTX 2060 approves the 160 watts specified by Nvidia with 162 watts pretty exactly. The somewhat faster GTX 1080 needs 178 watts. In an overclocked state, the RTX 2060 beats the GTX 1080 in terms of performance, but with 190 watts it also needs a bit more power. Compared to the RX 590 with 208 watts, the consumption is even quite low.
Conclusion: the only Turing at a bearable price
With the RTX 2060, Nvidia has demonstrated very well how important the middle class is. Apart from raytracing, the graphics card has the potential to replace many older models. It consistently achieves the performance of the GTX 1070 Ti or RX Vega 56, overclocked it’s even poaching in the GTX 1080 range. But it also comes dangerously close to its bigger brother RTX 2070. Looking at the price of $349 US for the Founders Edition, the RTX 2060 is almost the best Turing graphics card in terms of price-performance ratio. Only in raytracing there is still a lot of room for improvement to crack the 60 FPS mark on Full HD.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is available worldwide starting January 15th. The Founders Edition is already listed in the Nvidia shop. Custom models, which will probably receive the same price of $349 US, will also be available at the start. Later, even cheaper models could be added.