The RTX 2060 – Is It Worth Its Asking Price?

Alex

On January 7, nVidia announced the latest card in the RTX lineupthe RTX 2060. We recently took a deep dive into what the RTX technology had to offer, as well as (earlier this week) what instances the new high-end cards might be a good buy. But after the disappointing announcements of the first run of RTX cards, we were definitely still curious how the 2060 would pan out.

Next Stop on the Hype Train: Disappointment?

The biggest disappointments in the earlier RTX cards was their price-to-performance ratio. With the 2080 Ti pushing a gasp-worthy MSRP of $1200, the 2080 just over $700, and the 2070 at around $500many reviewers and enthusiasts pointed out that the increases in price didn’t align with the (in most cases moderate) improvements in performance.

nVidia, for its part, said the proof was in the… Turing… and the cards would improve as game developers made use of the new technology. But for some, it all sounded like a marketing gimmick.

RTX 2060 Price and Specs: Disappointment Averted!

The 2060 is a different card, or at least it’s priced differently. At $350, it fills a nice space between the GTX 1060 ($250) and RTX 2070 ($500). Moreover, improvements in performance means it effectively replaces the GTX 1070, and in many cases even edges out the 1070 Ti.

To create this card, nVidia based it off the same platform as the RTX 2070 and shaved a little performance off the top. The 2060 packs 1920 CUDA cores, 240 Tensor cores, 30 ray tracing cores, and 120 texture unitsall of which equal around an 83% performance decrease from the 2070 (at 70% of the cost). The new card also runs at a boost clock of 1680 MHz (1365 MHz core clock), which is nearly neck-and-neck with the 1710 MHz boost clock of the 2070. nVidia also cut the VRAM of the 2060 to 6GB, perhaps in hopes to further differentiate it from the 2070, which is 8GB. Some reviewers are predicting that nVidia will release a 3GB version later, to parallel the earlier GTX 1060 6GB and 3GB variants.

Additionally, the 2060 features all the hopes and dreams of the rest of the RTX linenamely ray tracing and DLSS. Although we’ve barely seen ray tracing utilized and DLSS still seems like a far-off fantasy, the future benefits of these features could theoretically put the 2060 well ahead of many cards currently on the market.

RTX 2060 Gaming: A Solid Performer

Early game testing shows the 2060 to be an excellent performer at 1440p, and in some cases even tackling 4K resolution fairly well. Tom’s Hardware clocked the card to hit the following average FPS at 1440p:

  • Battlefield 1: 89.4 FPS
  • Destiny 2: 95 FPS
  • Far Cry 5: 77.8 FPS
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: 69 FPS
  • Witcher 3: 91.5 FPS

In all cases, those averages were a few FPS over a 1070 Ti. This would also make the RTX 2060 a terrific choice for playing at 1080p on a 120 Hz or 144 Hz monitor.

Over at PC Gamer, the 4K results were impressive as well, with the card averaging 43.7 FPS over the 17 games they tested.

Conclusion

In all, this card is a welcome change from the higher prices of the top-tier cards. Releasing Tuesday January 15th, the 2060 performs better than most of the last-generation midrange cards, from trouncing the GTX 1050 on up to trading blows with the GTX 1070 Ti. On the AMD side, the RTX 2060 consistently beats every available GPU other than the Vega 64. Importantly, it brings RTX technology to a reasonable price point, hinting that features like ray tracing and DLSS might not be just a marketing gimmick for massive price hikes after all.