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Nvidia RTX 2060 FE Review: One for All and All the Pros of RTX in one
A couple of months ago, when Nvidia announced their latest graphics card viz. the RTX 2070, 2080 and the 2080 Ti at the GeForce Gaming Celebration event, the entire PC gaming community went bonkers. The latest cards based on Turing architecture were not merely a re-iteration of the older generation of the niche hardware but it brought in a lot of "ahead of its time features." Yes, the Ray Tracing feature is what we are talking about along with AI-oriented dedicated Tensor cores. But despite these features, the cards inherently came with a couple of hiccups such as the hefty price-tag and lack of games that supported real-time Ray Tracing.
Now breaking its own pricing paradigm, Nvidia's long-awaited RTX 2060 has landed in the market. It is nothing less than a blessing to PC gamers. Call it a cheap video card but it definitely doesn't shy away when it comes to performance. Competitively priced at Rs. 31,000 (official website) the RTX 2060 is definitely going to be in every PC gamers' bucket-list. Moreover, Nvidia also confirmed to us that it will be sold along with Battlefield V or Anthem game at an effective price of Rs. 27,500. (Isn't this a cherry on top deal?)
The RTX 2060: What it actually is?
Irrespective of all the mixed opinions around how the Founder's Edition cards look and feel, I personally like the aesthetics and design of these GPUs. The moderately curved angles of the GPU does make the entire PC build look quite symmetrical.
- RTX Technology
- Delivers good value for money
- Great for 1080p and even 1440p
- Less RTX enabled games
- Lack of NVLink SLI support
Talking about the RTX 2060, the form factor and the build is very much similar to it's elder siblings. The dual fan is placed neatly into the Silver and Black tray with the RTX 2060 branding at the center of the card. However, there is one slight change in the placement of the power connector. This time around Nvidia has gone with the placement of the power connector on the side face rather than the legacy placement which is at the front. Also, it uses just the 8-Pin socket. The graphic card is quite small in size measuring just 9 inches compared to the RTX 2080 which is pretty bulky (10.5 inches).
The rest of the design element remains the same as in the legacy Nvidia cards - you can find the regular HDMI, dual Display Ports, DVI, and a VirtualLink USB-C port for standardized VR headset connectivity. DVI port does mean a lot, which not a lot of users wouldn't think about. It does make the GPU quite compatible with several older 2560x1440 monitors which might get soon outdated as 4K is gradually making its way into a lot of PC owners' household. The reason why the company would have kept this in place is because the RTX 2060 does perform a lot better in the 1440p and 1080p resolutions.
Also a disappointment to SLI lovers; the RTX 2060 doesn't have SLI support, which means no multi-GPU which involves RTX 2060 build. However, if you are a dire fan of SLI than you might want to opt for the high-end RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti.
Nvidia suggests the RTX 2060 is powerful enough to compete with GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080 and we will see below how it actually did in our test. Even if you compare the RTX 2060 with 2070, the latter is not quite close to even 40 percent better in terms of specs. To specify the difference, RTX 2070 has 2GB more memory, 420 more Shaders, 24 more TMUs, 16 more ROPs, 45 MHz more in GPU Clock speed and 60MHz more in Boost Clock. However, the memory clock remains the same for both at 1750 MHz. Obviously, this is not a major difference if you look at the price difference of close to Rs. 21,000.
Also, it has to be said that since the elder siblings - the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 are surely meant to deliver the utmost power, therefore the hefty price-tag, but if one looks at the chopped down price and specs of the RTX 2060 (esp. the RT and Tensor core), one is getting quite a deal.
System Configuration We Used
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700 Octa-Core @3.6GHz
RAM: HyperX Fury 16GB (8GBx2) 2133MHZ GGR4
Storage: WD Green 120GB Internal SSD
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3
Power Supply: Corsair VS650
Thermal Solution: Corsair H60
RTX 2060 Specification
Transistor Count: 10.8 billion
Die Size: 445mm2
CUDA Cores: 1920
Giga Rays/s: 5
Boost Clock (MHz): 1680
Base Clock (MHz): 1365
Memory Speed: 14 Gbps
Standard Memory Config: 6 GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width: 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 336 GB/s
Real-Time Ray Tracing: Yes
GeForce Experience: Yes
G-SYNC Compatible: Yes
Game Ready Drivers: Yes
Microsoft DirectX 12 API, Vulkan API, OpenGL 4/5: Yes
DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.0b 3: Yes
VR Ready: Yes
Designed for USB Type-C and VirtualLink: Yes
Maximum Digital Resolution: 7680x4320
Standard Display Connectors: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB Type-C, DVI-DL
Height: 4.435 Inches
Length: 9.0 Inches
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C): 88
Graphics Card Power (W): 160W
Supplementary Power Connectors: 8 pin
To bring in the pricing perspective, one would have to pay Rs. 1,05,000 for GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, Rs. 69,900 for GEFORCE RTX 2080 Founders Edition, Rs. 52,500 for GEFORCE RTX 2070 Founders Edition.
Even when you look at the older gen GTX 10 series, one will currently have to pay Rs. 62,600 for GEFORCE GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, Rs. 49,200 for GEFORCE GTX 1080 (10: GAMING PERFECTED) and Rs. 40,350 for GEFORCE GTX 1070 Ti, and approx. Rs. 45,000 for MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1070.
One can easily see how the RTX 2060 is considerably cheaper compared to all of the above cards except for GEFORCE GTX 1060 Founders Edition which is currently being sold at Rs. 26,850. But going for the older generation card doesn't make sense when you are getting all the goodness of the RTX series and much more performance boost by spending less than a thousand Rupees more than the cost of GTX 1060.
GTX 1060 Vs RTX 2060 Vs GTX 1070: A Dilemma among Nvidia Fans
Since all the RTX series cards are based on the same TU106 architecture, even the cheapest 2060, therefore, gets the same brain. However, the RTX 2060 packs a slightly lesser version of the TU106 GPU used in the elder sibling - the RTX 2070. Since we are comparing the GTX with the RTX series (spec-wise) it has to be noted that the RTX 2060 will pretty much overcome GTX series cards as the Turing architecture comes with enough tweaking support. Leaving this apart, we can see how these 3 GPUs from two generations apart fare with each other.
The RTX 2060 comes with 1,920 CUDA Cores and it's elder sibling (RTX 2070) boasts of 2,304 CUDA Cores which is not much of a difference considering the price difference. Some may compare the same number with its previous-gen sibling - the GTX 1060, which has far more CUDA Cores, roughly 33 percent.
It's also obvious that the memory capacity of the RTX 2060 is a bit less compared to the GTX 1060, but the fact that it comes with a GDDR6 memory does bring in a lot of improvements in the overall bandwidth of the RTX 2060 (even in the case of 1070). Some might argue that a 6GB VRAM could possibly be a bit of a problem for the GPU while firing a memory-intensive games running at 1440p resolution, but this might have also been the only reason behind the conspicuous price of the RTX 2060 and one can also factor in the addition of the GDDR6 memory which is better than the rather old GDDR5 used in the previous-gen GPUs. Thus, the increment in the memory bandwidth at 3368 GB/Sec of the RTX 2060 is something which needs buyers attention as it is quite faster compared to the GTX 1060's 192 GB/Sec and GTX 1070/1070TI's 256GB/Sec.
Talking about the DLSS element in the RTX which helps to upscale the 1440p image to the 4K, it does deliver stunning picture quality by making edges of rendered objects smooth. Thanks to RTX's Tensor Cores. The RTX 2060 does suck up more power than its predecessor, 160 watts compared to the 120W consumed by the GTX 1060 and 150W by GTX 1070. But considering the RTX 2060's performance jump, I think Nvidia has done a pretty good job.
As mentioned earlier, the RTX 2060 FE does come with dedicated 30 RT cores (36 in the RTX 2070 and 46 in the RTX 2080). This also means that GTX series will not have better reflection and shadow quality as the RTX cards in game titles which support Ray Tracing.
All about FPS
So far, Battlefield V is the only game that supports real-time ray tracing (you will find the screenshot of the performance below). Nvidia earlier said that the RTX 2060 can come close to hitting 60fps at 1080p resolution with all graphics settings, including ray tracing set to Ultra. However, in Medium Ray Tracing set-up, we got roughly the same number of FPS. With Ray-Tracing off in 1080p, we got well over 96fps; in 1440p we got 76fps and in 4K it dropped to about 48fps.
Like-wise, we conducted the same benchmark tests with other games without Ray-Tracing they were quite impressive for a card that costs less than Rs. 30K. Also, the RTX series is mostly about DXR (DirectX Ray Tracing) and it does offer quite a lot of tools which (game) developers can use to enable Ray Tracing and AI effects to augment shaders, ray tracing and also deep learning. It's just a matter of time until more game titles with realtime ray tracing support will be flushed in the market.
(The reason why I mention Ray Tracing here is because the other GPUs in the comparison doesn't have this element, which gives 2060 the upper hand)
The RTX 2060 is not quite made for heavy 4K projection. When we played other titles at 1080p resolution, the performance was quite amazing. It can compete with the GTX 1070 and even to some extent the RTX 2070. We ran the test at 1080p 'medium' quality, along with 'ultra' quality at 1080p, and 1440p, and 4k. Following chart will show you how efficient it is in terms of FPS in 1080, 1440 and 4k resolution.
Far Cry 5
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
The card does heat up when it's put on stress and we did see temperature going up to 77 degree Celsius occasionally. However, in general load it averages out at 72. When idle, the GPU turns out out to be pretty cool at less than 32 degree Celsius. Also when we played other games in the system, we didn't experience a massive outburst of noise as well, (which most GPUs do). This one was pretty silent compared to our prior experience. You can have a look at the comparisons below:
The RTX 2060 can be called as a massive upgrade from the GTX 1060, and comparable model to GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080. Obviously, the fact that it comes with the same brain and body (RT Cores, Tensor Cores and Build quality) as its elder and expensive siblings at a far lesser price makes it very tempting and "should have" piece of hardware.
While the Memory size of the RTX 2060 is 2GB lesser than the GTX 1070, the addition of the latest GDDR6 is a huge addition which gives the GPU a far better Memory Bandwidth of 336GB/Sec compared to a lesser 256 GB/Sec of the 1070's. Also you get Ray Tracing and AI feature like DLSS. The downsides, thus, as mentioned earlier is that not a lot of game titles are available with the real-time Ray Tracing. However, there are quite a bit of publisher who has announced DLSS support for their games, and we are hoping they release them soon this year.