RTX 2060 Unveiled [Best Budget Ray Tracing Card at $349 only]

Myths and rumors regarding RTX 2060 are finally over as the card has been finally unveiled by Nvidia at CES 2019. GeForce RTX 2060 is a higher mid-range graphics card and the fourth card in the RTX 20 series lineup. It is positioned below RTX 2070 and is said to be an upgrade over the older GTX 1060, which is a very popular mid-range graphics card in the GTX 10 series. The major confusion regarding RTX 2060 was that whether it will support Ray Tracing or not. Now, the answer is finally here as the card is fully capable of supporting Real Time Ray Tracing and it also supports DLSS or Deep Learning Super-Sampling, which is AI based Anti-aliasing technology that offers much better performance over the older Anti-aliasing technologies (TAA etc.). Let us now discuss more about this card in detail along with its specifications and comparison to its competitors.

geforce-rtx-2060

RTX 2060 Specifications, Comparison & Benchmarks

Here is brief overview of RTX 2060 card along with its specifications and comparison to the RTX 2070, GTX 1060, GTX 1070 and GTX 1070 Ti cards.

GPU

Like other RTX 20 series cards, RTX 2060 is built on the Turing GPU architecture having 12nm FinFET manufacturing process. The card uses TU106 GPU which is the same GPU used in its immediate bigger brother, which is RTX 2070. It comes with 1920 CUDA Cores, 240 Tensor Cores for AI / Deep Learning and 30 RT Cores for Ray Tracing. The Founders Edition variant of this card has base and boost GPU clock speeds of 1365 MHz and 1680 MHz respectively. So, in short RTX 2060 is basically a cut down version of RTX 2070, having the same TU106 GPU chip.

Memory

RTX 2060 comes with 6GB GDDR6 memory having speed of 14 Gbps and memory interface of 192-bit. The card offers total memory bandwidth of 336 Gb/s which is around 100 Gb/s lower than of RTX 2070. I think 6GB of VRAM is a bit on the lower side for a card of this price and performance, especially in 2019 where video memory usage of latest AAA games can go way past above 6GB at 1440p and 4K resolutions. However, it is still enough for playing latest games at maximum graphics settings at 1080p resolution.

Important Note: It must be noted that RTX 2060 will also be available in 4GB and 3GB variants too, so be careful when choosing one as you do not wish to buy these lower memory models for gaming.

Design & Cooling

The Founders edition RTX 2060 card comes with the same dual fan cooler that you can see in RTX 2070 and other RTX 20 series cards. It has a full body aluminum shroud and features Vapor chamber design with black painted Heatsink, and dual-axial 13-blade fans for providing maximum cooling performance. The card has dual slot design and is pretty compact in size. This makes it easy to fit in most of the small form factor builds. The build quality of the card is great as always and it does look very attractive. RTX 2060 from Add-in board partners or third-party graphics card manufacturers will come with custom designed cooling solution, RGB lighting, higher clocks and may be with some other features too. Some of the top add-in board partners for Nvidia include ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision 3D, MSI, Palit, PNY and Zotac.

Features

The card supports Real Time Ray Tracing through RT cores and has got AI and Deep Learning capabilities because of the Tensor cores. It supports all the major APIs that include DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenCL etc. It also supports NVIDIA Ansel, G-Sync, HDCP 2.2, GPU boost and is VR Ready card. RTX 2060 does not support SLI multi-GPU setup which is also the case with RTX 2070. The card comes with USB-Type C port that supports VirtualLink for hooking up your next-generation virtual reality (VR) headsets. Other output ports include two DisplayPort 1.4a ports, one HDMI 2.0b and a DVI-D port.

Note: Besides G-Sync, it also supports VESA Adaptive Sync in some monitors through Driver support. Adaptive Sync is basically a different name for FreeSync, which is an AMD variable refresh rate (VRR) technology over DisplayPort to eliminate screen tearing in games .

Performance

RTX 2060 is around 50% to 60% faster than GTX 1060 (6GB) and 10% to 12% faster than the GTX 1070. It is around 15% slower than its immediate bigger brother, which is RTX 2070. The only card that RTX 2060 comes really close with is GTX 1070 Ti. In some gaming benchmarks RTX 2060 is a bit faster than GTX 1070 Ti while in other games, it does lose out by a small margin. RTX 2060 is also a great budget option as a workstation graphics card. It is generally better than its Pascal counterparts when it comes to workstation tasks and professional level work.

It would be really silly to compare RTX 2060 against GTX 1060 as both these cards are in the different league, both in terms of price and performance. So, here I am going to compare with its real rival, which is GTX 1070 Ti.

Some Gaming Benchmarks

benchmarks-RTX-2060

Battlefield V (with Ray Tracing On/Off)

BF5-1080p-RTX-2060-vs-2070

BF5-1440p-RTX-2060-vs-2070

Power Consumption

RTX 2060 has power consumption figure of 160 Watts which is on the lower side if we compare it to its closest competitor GTX 1070 Ti that has power consumption of 180W. The card requires only one 8-pin PCI-Express power connector and a 500W PSU for its working.

Check out: Best Budget Power Supply for Gaming PC

Price & Availability

RTX 2060 Founders edition is priced at $349 MSRP which I think pretty reasonable for a Ray Tracing card of this caliber. It is considerably cheaper than GTX 1070 and GTX 1070 Ti that costs $399 and $449 respectively. Yes, is a bit expensive than GTX 1060 (at $299 or less), but you will get about 50% more performance over it on average which makes RTX 1060 a much better deal at its price. Also, you will get around 85% of RTX 2070 performance, which is a much costlier card at $599. The price can vary a bit for RTX 2060 cards from other third-party graphics card manufacturers or add-on board partners of Nvidia.

Specifications

GeForce RTX 2060 Specifications
GPU Architecture Turing
GPU Chip Name TU106
CUDA Cores 1920
Tensor Cores 240
RT Cores 30
RTX-OPS 37T
Giga Rays/s 5
GPU Clock 1365 / 1680 MHz
Memory Clock 14 Gbps
Memory Size 6GB GDDR6
Memory Interface 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth 336 GB/s
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
PCI-E Connectors 8-pin x 1
Power Consumption 160W
Output Ports DisplayPort x 2, HDMI x 1, USB Type-C, DVI-DL x 1

Comparison with other cards

RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070

  RTX 2060 RTX 2070
GPU Name TU106 TU106
CUDA Cores 1920 2304
Tensor Cores 240 288
RT Cores 30 36
RTX-OPS 37T 45T
Giga Rays/s 5 6
GPU Clock 1365 / 1680 MHz 1410 / 1710 MHz (OC)
Memory Clock 14 Gbps 14 Gbps
Memory Size 6GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Memory Interface 192-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 336 GB/s 448 Gb/s
PCI-E Connectors 8-pin x 1 8-pin x 1
Power Consumption 160W 185W

RTX 2060 vs GTX 1060 vs GTX 1070 Ti

  GTX 1060 6GB GTX 1070 GTX 1070 Ti RTX 2060
Architecture Pascal Pascal Pascal Turing
CUDA Cores 1280 1920 2432 1920
Tensor Cores NA NA NA 240
RT Cores NA NA NA 30
GPU Clock 1506 / 1708 MHz 1506 / 1683 MHz 1607 / 1683 MHz 1365 / 1680 MHz
Memory Clock 8 Gbps 8 Gbps 8 Gbps 14 Gbps
Memory Size 6GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR6
Memory Interface 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth 192 Gbps 256 GB/s 256 GB/s 336 GB/s
SLI support No Yes Yes No
Power Consumption 120W 150W 180W 160W

Final Thoughts & Should you Buy it?

At MSRP of $349, RTX 2060 is really a great bargain and is the cheapest Ray Tracing card that you can buy right now. Also, it has got Tensor cores too for AI and Deep Learning stuff, and for DLSS support in latest games. It is as fast or even better than GTX 1070 Ti and also costs $100 less than it. Yes, some might argue that 6GB VRAM is a bit on the lower side but it is much faster in operation it makes up for that shortcoming. Considering all the factors, I think RTX 2060 is a great product and I would definitely prefer it over the GTX 1070 Ti for gaming and other needs. The card gets a thumbs up from me and is greatly suited for 1440p gaming at max settings, and you can even game at 4K with this card by toning down some graphics settings.

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