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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics Cards
Ray tracing without breaking the bank
Keeping up with the latest developments in PC graphics can be an expensive proposition, and though we'd all like to get our hands on the very latest tech, price tags can prove prohibitive. At the time of writing, NVIDIA's RTX is the cream of the crop, promising superlative performance and cutting-edge technologies such as ray tracing and DLSS. Plenty to admire, but up until now prices have started at around £450 for the RTX 2070, rising to over £1,000 for the mega-fast RTX 2080 Ti.
Thankfully, for those who balk at such figures, there's now a fourth and more mainstream addition to the 20-series line up in the form of the GeForce RTX 2060, priced from £329.
Such a figure is hardly pocket change, but RTX 2060 brings forward-looking features to a wider audience, which can only mean good things for game developers hoping to leverage new technologies for today's latest triple-A titles.
From the outside, RTX 2060 looks very familiar, as the card uses practically the same heatsink and cooler design as the pricier RTX 2070. That's no bad thing, mind, as we're of the opinion that this is one of the most beautiful and well engineered reference designs of all time. It's a quality piece of kit whose display outputs mirror the RTX 2070, meaning two DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort and USB Type-C. What's different is that there's no factory overclock, with Nvidia choosing to ship the RTX 2060 Founders Edition at stock speeds.
Historically speaking, the x60 part has proven to be a popular choice, and Nvidia has typically designed such cards around a purpose-built die that meets the criteria for a mid-range, highly-efficient SKU. Much to our surprise, that isn't the case this time around, as the RTX 2060 is effectively the RTX 2070 on a diet.
GeForce: from GTX to RTX
|RTX 2080 Ti||GTX 1080 Ti||RTX 2080||GTX 1080||RTX 2070||GTX 1070||RTX 2060||GTX 1060|
|Launch date||Sep 2018||Mar 2017||Sep 2018||May 2016||Oct 2018||May 2016||Jan 2019||May 2016|
|Die Size (mm²)||754||471||545||314||445||314||445||200|
|Base Clock (MHz)||1,350||1,480||1,515||1,607||1,410||1,506||1,365||1,506|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||1,545||1,582||1,710||1,733||1,620||1,683||1,680||1,708|
|Founders Edition Clock (MHz)||1,635||-||1,800||-||1,710||-||1,680||1,708|
|Founders Edition GFLOPS||14,231||-||10,598||-||7,880||-||6,221||3,855|
|L2 cache (KB)||5,632||2,816||4,096||2,048||4,096||2,048||-||1,536|
|Power Connector||8-pin + 8-pin||8-pin + 6-pin||8-pin + 6-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||6-pin|
|Founders Edition TDP (watts)||260||-||225||-||185||-||160||-|
|Founders Edition MSRP||$1,199||$699||$799||$699||$599||$449||$349||$299|
Sifting through the specification table reveals how the RTX 2060 takes a different approach to its predecessor, the GTX 1060. Die size is relatively huge, as is the 10.8 billion transistor count, and it's fair to assume that RTX 2060 is the by-product of RTX 2070 chips that didn't quite meet the grade. Both share the same TU106 GPU.
So what exactly is lost along the way? The reductions revolve around a trimming in SM units, from 36 to 30, that is reflected in shader count dropping from 2,304 to 1,920. Similarly, the number of texture units sits at 120, down from 144, and the availability of forward-looking tensor cores and RT cores has dipped to 240 and 30, respectively.
Keeping the cuts coming, ROP count falls from 64 to 48, memory bandwidth is narrowed from 448 to 336 bits, and the size of the GDDR6 frame buffer has shrunk from 8GB to 6GB. Thankfully, memory speed remains intact at 14Gbps, and though the snips sound severe, they facilitate a lower 160W TDP and a GPU that remains purposely primed to deliver a significant punch at the $349 MSRP.
QHD Gaming Credentials
Benchmarks from leading review sites show the RTX 2060 to be a prime pick in the sub-Â£350 space. Indeed, performance metrics put Nvidia's latest up alongside the older GTX 1080, making it a significant upgrade for users rocking most previous-generation boards.
This has the feel of a GPU tailored to smooth, high-quality gaming at a QHD (2,560x1,440) resolution. Expect to achieve around 60 frames per second in most titles at this lush resolution, and though 4K UHD might be a step too far, such credentials intimate that gaming at an ubiquitous 1080p resolution will be a walk in the park.
Contemplating an upgrade from last season's GTX 1060? The RTX successor typically offers a performance increase of around 70 per cent, and of course there's greater potential lying in wait, with ray tracing and DLSS promising both quality and performance enhancements to come.
The NVIDIA RTX march continues. Building on the foundations laid by the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 and RTX 2070, the graphics giant is now extending the reach of its Turing architecture with the launch of the GeForce RTX 2060, priced from £29.
Effectively a hamstrung RTX 2070, this fourth 20-series GPU offers excellent gameplay at 1080p, high-quality credentials at 1440p as well as forward-looking technology in a sleek and affordable package. It is a card designed to massively increase RTX uptake, and anyone contemplating a mid-range graphics card upgrade in 2019 ought to have the RTX 2060 on their radar.
A full range of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics cards are of course available to purchase right here at Scan Computers.