Much of the criticism Nvidia received when it introduced GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 came from comparisons to previous-generation Pascal cards. Of course, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti was in a league of its own at a Titan-like price point. Hard to argue against that one when it’s completely uncontested, though. GeForce RTX 2080 was more like a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and it cost just as much, which wasn’t a good look. Same for the GeForce RTX 2070 mimicking GTX 1080. Back when there weren’t any ray tracing- or DLSS-enabled games to show off the Turing architecture’s most prominent features, those were unforgiving comparisons.
Nvidia’s value story did get better as we worked our way down the stack to GeForce RTX 2060, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and GeForce GTX 1660. But the higher-end models made it hard for enthusiasts with current-gen hardware to entertain the thought of upgrading. The company really needed better performance per dollar up in that part of its portfolio.
GeForce RTX 2070 Super is an attempt to improve Turing’s standing among gamers who turned their noses up at GeForce RTX 2070 last year. The Founders Edition model we tested is almost 13% faster than its predecessor at a more attractive $500 price point. Nvidia’s partners probably aren’t pleased that they’re now battling a beefy reference design. But gamers benefit, which is what we want to see.
Inserted right between the $350 GeForce RTX 2060 and $500 RTX 2070 Super, we can’t imagine that anyone actually asked for a $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super. However, if it’s able to outperform Radeon RX 5700 when the vanilla 2060 would have lost, then you know the game Nvidia is playing. Sandwich AMD’s card between a slightly slower and a slightly faster GeForce, then use “but ours has ray tracing” as the coup de grâce to dissuade potential customers. That’s a tough argument to beat, except with a lower price. We’ll have to see how AMD responds.
In the meantime, Nvidia does bolster the value of its GeForce RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super cards by bundling them with Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. While we don’t give out bonus points for temporary game bundles, they’re certainly worth calling out for the gamers who would have purchased those titles anyway.
Both games will feature ray tracing support, by the way. Last year, Nvidia had us all waiting for something more substantive than tech demos. Now there are at least a handful of titles that employ ray tracing to great effect. Personally, I’m most excited to see what CD Projekt does with ray tracing in Cyberpunk 2077 and wouldn’t want to play the game at any detail preset that has Keanu look like less than the beautiful man he is.
Cramming today’s launch in between AMD’s Radeon RX 5700-series announcement and performance review means that we can’t give the GeForce RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super a recommendation one way or the other, though. In a few short days, the results from both Navi-based boards will go live. At that point we’ll have a more complete picture of high-end graphics performance in 2019. Count on us to declare a winner once the smoke clears.
Image Credits: Nvidia, Tom's Hardware
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