Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Review: Is Mainstream Ray Tracing For Real?

Temperatures and Fan Speeds

Gaming

RTX 2060’s big heat sink allows the dual axial fans to idle around 1,200 RPM for a while before they start spinning up. Nvidia’s curve is nice and gradual, peaking around 1,660 RPM by the end of our three-run loop.

GeForce GTX 1060 and 1070 and their centrifugal fans respond more immediately. The smaller blowers have to spin faster to pull air in and exhaust it out the back of Nvidia’s reference thermal solutions. But it’s AMD’s home-brewed Vega 56 that behaves the worst, spiking at 2,400 RPM before settling down around 2,100 RPM.

Although we don’t like that axial fans dump hot air back into your case, it’s hard to ignore that they spin slower and make less noise while still cooling a higher power GPU more effectively than a couple of blower-style systems. RTX 2060’s TU106 processor tops out at 69°C. At the opposite end of the field, GTX 1070 gets all the way up to 79°C.

Keep this voltage chart in mind as we move on to our FurMark testing. It’ll become clearer how much AMD and Nvidia both hit the air brakes to keep their GPUs under clearly defined power limits.

FurMark

Similar power profiles in FurMark and Metro result in similar temperatures, which call for fan curves that look almost the same.

A comparison of the temperature charts reveals very few differences.

Temperature, fan speed, power: all three are closely related,and largely affected by GPU voltage and frequency. This is the one chart that looks distinct (clock rate would as well, if we charted that). AMD and Nvidia both pull performance so that power doesn’t jump up above their TDPs.

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  • logainofhades
    I am not sure I would say it is faster, than a 1070ti. It seems that they trade blows throughout, at very similar FPS, for the most part. Price/performance, this is a winner, hands down, though, with the price being $50 cheaper than the cheapest 1070ti.
  • ammaross
    @Chris:
    "The Founders Edition card employs a 120W TDP, down 25W from the 2070, but up compared to 1060 (120W) and even 1070 (150W)."
    You typed "120W" when you meant "160W" as shown in your chart.
  • ingtar33
    this is exactly the same trick nvidia played with its other cards. all the cards this gen got pushed into a higher price bracket; it used to be we got 40% or so performance improvement in the SAME price bracket. now we're getting zero performance increase across the price brackets, however if we stick to the same product lineup we have to pay for a 50% increase in price.

    nice disingenuous framing of the problem.
  • cangelini
    Anonymous said:
    @Chris:
    "The Founders Edition card employs a 120W TDP, down 25W from the 2070, but up compared to 1060 (120W) and even 1070 (150W)."
    You typed "120W" when you meant "160W" as shown in your chart.

    Thank you, fixed!
  • teso.nagibator
    Comparing reference crappy vega cards to a dual (!) fan card? Riigght.

    Reference Vega cards can't sustain proper core clocks.

    Now, let's compare AIB Vega cards, undervolted and OCed to an OCed 2060.
  • NinjaNerd56
    What kind of test bed did you use?

    I have a GTX1060 6GB - EVGA SSC - on an I7 tower with an Optane board in front of a WD Black 10K RPM HD.

    Now, I tend to hypertune all of my boxes...and this one is par for the course.

    When I test Destiny 2, with Ultra settings, I get 200-240 fps at peak and around 130 at 96th percentile.

    Granted, 99.9% of the populace won’t tune a game tower like I do BUT considering none of the games I play use DXR, there’s ZERO value in my blowing $350.

    Yes, I could get EVEN MORE...to what end? At 120fps and above, I literally won’t appreciate any difference.
  • elroy.coltof
    In other words completely useless raytracing support. You'd be bat <mod edit> crazy to go 1080p with raytracing compared to 1440p without raytracing. All its direct competitors in the same price bracket can do good 1440p, no amount of raytracing achievable at 1080p is going to make up for the extra resolution.

    <Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums>
  • TCA_ChinChin
    Despite the confusing market shifts the Nvidia have done with the 20 series, I think that the rtx-2060 is still probably a good value relative to the rest of the RTX lineup. If the launch prices are right and availability is good, then even if it is more expensive than a gtx-1060, it's still alright since it compares decently fps/$ to gtx 1070/1070ti's. It wasn't the amazing value that the 1000 series had at their launch compare to the 900 series, but its at least reasonable. However, the gtx-1160 is probably gonna be a thing later, so idk about buying the rtx-2060 right now.
  • marcelo_vidal
    350US ITS A PREMIUM PRICE TO STILL PLAYING 1080P =) SORRY BUT I WILL PASS!
  • feelinfroggy777
    I'd like it better at $299
  • _Johnny5
    Anonymous said:
    I am not sure I would say it is faster, than a 1070ti. It seems that they trade blows throughout, at very similar FPS, for the most part. Price/performance, this is a winner, hands down, though, with the price being $50 cheaper than the cheapest 1070ti.

    Performance could improve with driver updates though. Still, this is the most expensive x60 card to come out *checks notes* ever. Seems kind of a wash when you could pick up a used 1080 for the same price. I thought graphics card prices were supposed to drop this year :D

    EDIT: FWIW the build quality on the FE 2060 looks top notch.
  • lojzemahnic
    Just buy it. The more you buy, the more you save, right TOM :)

    For no red/green fans price/performance of RTX 2060 still stinks.

    From Anandtech review: "The RTX 2060 (6GB) is simply no longer a ‘mainstream’ video card at $350... Against its direct predecessor, the GTX 1060 6GB, it’s faster by around 59%. In context, the GTX 1060 6GB was 80-85% faster than the GTX 960 (2GB) at launch, where presently that gap is more along the lines of 2X or more, with increased framebuffer the primary driver. But at $200, the GTX 960 was a true mainstream card, as was the GTX 1060 6GB at its $249 MSRP"
  • jgraham11
    Nice! In the final verdict " It largely outperforms them all and at a lower price point." Mean while, reality is, using Tom's own numbers: it beats the Vega 64 in only 3 titles and the rest, it gets destroyed by up to 30%. Not to mention the frame times, where the Vega64 provides a vastly superior experience...
  • salgado18
    Anonymous said:
    In other words completely useless raytracing support. You'd be crazy to go 1080p with raytracing compared to 1440p without raytracing. All its direct competitors in the same price bracket can do good 1440p, no amount of raytracing achievable at 1080p is going to make up for the extra resolution.


    Is it? Well, until now, you could only go with higher resolution. Now you can choose to go with raytracing. I'd go for raytracing, since my monitor is 1080p. I don't think there's such an easy answer, it all depends on the user.

    Also, remember people dismissed VR when it first appeared.
  • BulkZerker
    "Comparing reference crappy vega cards to a dual (!) fan card? Riigght.

    Reference Vega cards can't sustain proper core clocks.

    Now, let's compare AIB Vega cards, undervolted and OCed to an OCed 2060."

    They can though, when you manually set the money fan speed to 85% and scale to 100%
  • AgentLozen
    I'm sad to hear that the efficiency has dropped slightly. I was expecting the 2060 to be even with the 1070 worst case. What happened to the 12nm shrink? Do the ray tracing processors cause a dramatic drop in efficiency?

    On the other hand I'm glad to hear that we're finally seeing a value improvement over Pascal. Even if its only a few bucks, its better than what the other Turing cards offer. I suspect that the price may drop further still when AMD Navi comes around later this year.
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    350US ITS A PREMIUM PRICE TO STILL PLAYING 1080P =) SORRY BUT I WILL PASS!

    The joys of years of little to no meaningful competition. Hopefully, now that GPU crypto has mostly died, we'll see Navi drive performance at all price points up by a significant amount..
  • redgarl
    Value is not there... you can get a Vega 56 on sale with better value that this.
  • madbiker
    I've been running an overclocked (water cooled) 980ti for 4 or so years and I still cant justify an nvidia card. I paid $680 for my card, it gets about 18,000 3dmark in Firestrike (1080p). To me it's looking more and more like a Vega64 or AMD's next GPU are the only sensible upgrade.
  • nitrium
    Hopefully AIB versions will be at least $50 cheaper. Certainly that was case for the RTX 2070, where the FE is $599 whereas the AIBs are mostly around $499 - a full $100 cheaper. I'm on a GTX1050Ti (after my R9 390 died) and seriously want a higher end board; the RTX 2060 ticks all the boxes (except for 6GB VRAM - would have liked to see 8GB on it).