NVIDIA is expanding the GeForce RTX family. After the top three models, in January of this year, a more affordable video card was introduced — the GeForce RTX 2060. We’ll talk about the features and performance of the new product in this review. And immediately get acquainted with the capabilities of the accelerated versions using the example of the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 OC video card.

GeForce RTX 2060

In recent years, NVIDIA has followed a certain strategy in which mid-range accelerators received their own separate GPU. But in the case of the GeForce RTX 2060, everything is different, the new product is based on the TU106 processor from the older GeForce RTX 2070 video adapter, but in a stripped-down configuration. The full GPU has 36 SMs with 2304 CUDA stream processors. The GeForce RTX 2060 has 30 active SMs for 1920 stream processors. Along the way, the number of texture units has decreased — from 144 to 120. There are also fewer new specialized units: 240 active tensor cores and 30 RT cores for tracing.

GeForce RTX 2060

TU106 (GeForce RTX 2070)

Instead of 64 ROPs, 48 ​​are used. The memory bus has been cut from 256 to 192 bits by disabling two 32-bit controllers. GeForce RTX 2060 operates 6 GB of video memory instead of 8 GB for older models. And this makes the new product related to the GeForce GTX 1060, where the same 6 GB with a 192-bit bus. The latter is easily compensated by high memory frequencies. The GeForce RTX 2060 uses GDDR6 modules with an effective data rate of 14000 MHz. As for the core frequencies, the declared base value is 1365 MHz with a Boost Clock of 1680 MHz. The difference between these two values ​​is significant. At the same time, the real Boost in the game load is higher than the announced Boost Clock. This means that in gaming mode, the card easily fits into its 160W TDP at high frequencies, but extreme load can sag a lot.

Unlike older models, the novelty has one core frequency specification. The combination of 1365/1680 MHz is standard for both Founders Edition models and video cards from other manufacturers. There is also one recommended price of $349, but due to logistics and additional taxes, the final cost in different regions may differ. There are no restrictions on overclocking, and there are many accelerated versions with increased frequencies on the market.

For a visual comparison, we have summarized the characteristics of all the new GeForce RTX in one table. It clearly shows that the GeForce RTX 2060 video card relative to the GeForce RTX 2070 is cut by 20% in the main functional blocks and by 33% in ROP and memory bandwidth. And with the GeForce RTX 2080, the difference is more than 50% for the main blocks.

Video adapter GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GeForce RTX 2080 GeForce RTX 2070 GeForce RTX 2060
Core TU102 TU104 TU106 TU106
Number of transistors, million pieces 18600 13600 10800 10800
Process technology, nm 12 12 12 12
Core area, sq. mm 754 545 445 445
Number of CUDA Stream Processors 4352 2944 2304 1920
Number of tensor cores 544 368 288 240
Number of RT cores 68 46 36 30
Number of texture blocks 272 184 144 120
Number of render units 88 64 64 48
Core frequency Base, MHz 1350 1515 1410 1365
Boost core frequency, MHz 1545 1710 1620 1680
Boost core frequency, MHz (Founders Edition) 1635 1800 1710 1680
Memory bus, bit 352 256 256 192
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6
Memory frequency, MHz 14000 14000 14000 14000
Memory size, GB 11 8 8 6
Supported version of DirectX 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1)
Interface PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 250/260 215/225 175/185 160
official cost MSRP $999, Founders $1199 MSRP $699, Founders $799 MSRP $499, Founders $599 $349

According to the GeForce RTX 2060 number, it is a modern replacement for the GeForce GTX 1060. Traditionally, such a transition is accompanied by a performance jump to the older solution of the previous series. And here you can immediately note a similar number of main blocks for the new product and the GeForce GTX 1070. On the side of the GeForce RTX 2060 is a new redesigned architecture. Of the clear advantages, there is also a larger L2 cache. With all the simplifications, the new TU106 has to operate 3 MB, while the GP104 has 2 MB. The 256-bit bus on the GeForce GTX 1070 does not play a role, because a significant increase in the frequencies of GDDR6 still ensures an increase in the memory bandwidth of the GeForce RTX 2060. Well, looking ahead, let’s say that in reality the GeForce RTX 2060 is a competitor for the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, where in general 2432 CUDA cores and 152 texture units.

Video adapter GeForce RTX 2060 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GeForce GTX 1070 GeForce GTX 1060
Core TU106 GP104 GP104 GP106
Number of transistors, million pieces 10800 7200 7200 4400
Process technology, nm 12 16 16 16
Core area, sq. mm 445 314 314 200
Number of CUDA Stream Processors 1920 2432 1920 1280
Number of texture blocks 120 152 120 80
Number of render units 48 64 64 48
Core frequency Base, MHz 1365 1607 1506 1506
Boost core frequency, MHz 1680 1683 1683 1709
Memory bus, bit 192 256 256 192
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory frequency, MHz 14000 8000 8000 8000
Memory size, GB 6 8 8 6
Supported version of DirectX 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1)
Interface PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 160 180 150 120

According to preliminary data, the lower-end video cards of the new generation will not receive RT blocks and tracing support. Therefore, the GeForce RTX 2060 will be the simplest solution with support for the new rendering technology. If we talk about Battlefield V, then the novelty will cope with low-level tracing in Full HD resolution. At the same time, there is data from NVIDIA, according to which the combination of tracing and DLSS anti-aliasing allows you to achieve approximately the same performance as in normal mode.

GeForce RTX 2060

In our review, we will bypass Battlefield V for now, as we will devote a separate material to the game and its technologies. For now, let’s focus on performance in regular games.

Let’s briefly note the features of the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition. These video cards are made in the same design for the RTX-series. A new dual-fan cooler is used, which at 160W TDP should be quite efficient. Therefore, other manufacturers need to try to offer a model with better cooling.

GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce RTX 2060

The GeForce RTX 2060 has a DVI port, which was removed in older models. This is important at this price point, as some users may have a monitor without modern interfaces. In addition to DVI, there is a pair of DisplayPort, one HDMI and VirtualLink (USB Type-C).

GeForce RTX 2060

The reference board is short, but with 6-phase GPU power. Due to the size and layout of the cooling, the power connector is not mounted on the textolite, but soldered through additional wires. The connector itself is 8 pins.

GeForce RTX 2060

We will immediately get acquainted with the accelerated top version from ASUS. This is a model from the Strix line with powerful cooling. Since we are interested in both a specific product, as well as the capabilities of the standard versions of the GeForce RTX 2060, in addition to testing at factory frequencies, there will be tests with characteristics reduced to the recommended level. Let’s compare with GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce RTX 2070 and Radeon RX Vega 64.