Nvidia’s Turing Architecture Explored: Inside the GeForce RTX 2080

Meet TU106 and GeForce RTX 2070

A Turing Baby Is Born

GeForce RTX 2070 is the third and final card Nvidia announced at its Gamescom event. Unlike GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, the 2070 won’t be available until sometime in October. Gamers who wait can expect to find reference models starting around $500 and Nvidia’s own Founders Edition model selling for $100 more.

The 2070 is built around a complete TU106 GPU composed of three GPCs, each with six TPCs. Naturally, the TPCs include two SMs each, adding up to 36 SMs across the processor. Those blocks are unchanged between Turing GPUs, so RTX 2070 ends up with 2304 CUDA cores, 288 Tensor cores, 36 RT cores, and 144 texture units. TU106 maintains the same 256-bit memory bus as TU104, and it’s likewise populated with 8GB of 14 Gb/s GDDR6 modules capable of moving up to 448 GB/s. A 4MB L2 cache and 64 ROPs carry over as well. The only capability blatantly missing is NVLink, which isn't supported on RTX 2070.

Although TU106 is the least-complex Turing-based GPU at launch, its 445 mm² die contains no fewer than 10.8 billion transistors. That’s still pretty enormous for what Nvidia might have once considered the middle of its portfolio. In comparison, GP106—“mid-range Pascal”—was a 200 mm² chip with 4.4 billion transistors inside. GP104 measured 314 mm² and included 7.2 billion transistors. Targeting greater-than GTX 1080 performance levels, RTX 2070 really does seem like an effort to drive Tensor and RT cores as deep as possible down the chip stack, while keeping those features useful. It’ll be interesting to see how practical they remain in almost-halved quantities versus RTX 2080 Ti once optimized software becomes available.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 GeForce RTX 2070 FEGeForce GTX 1070 FE
Architecture (GPU)Turing (TU106)Pascal (GP104)
CUDA Cores23041920
Peak FP32 Compute7.9 TFLOPS6.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Cores288N/A
RT Cores36N/A
Texture Units144120
Base Clock Rate1410 MHz1506 MHz
GPU Boost Rate1710 MHz1683 MHz
Memory Capacity8GB GDDR68GB GDDR5
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth448 GB/s256 GB/s
L2 Cache4MB2MB
Transistor Count10.8 billion7.2 billion
Die Size445 mm²314 mm²
SLI SupportNoYes (MIO)

Pumped-up die size aside, reference GeForce RTX 2070 cards based on TU106 have a 175W TDP. That’s less than GeForce GTX 1080.

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • siege19
    "And although veterans in the hardware field have their own opinions of what real-time ray tracing means to an immersive gaming experience, I’ve been around long enough to know that you cannot recommend hardware based only on promises of what’s to come."

    So wait, do I preorder or not? (kidding)
  • jimmysmitty
    Well done article Chris. This is why I love you. Details and logical thinking based on the facts we have.

    Next up benchmarks. Can't wait to see if the improvements nVidia made come to fruition in performance worthy of the price.
  • Lutfij
    Holding out with bated breath about performance metrics.
    Pricing seems to be off but the followup review should guide users as to it's worth!
  • Krazie_Ivan
    i didn't expect the 2070 to be on TU106. as noted in the article, **106 has been a mid-range ($240-ish msrp) chip for a few generations... asking $500-600 for a mid-range GPU is insanity. esp since there's no way it'll have playable fps with RT "on" if the 2080ti struggles to maintain 60. DLSS is promisingly cool, but that's still not worth the MASSIVE cost increases.
  • jimmysmitty
    21319910 said:
    i didn't expect the 2070 to be on TU106. as noted in the article, **106 has been a mid-range ($240-ish msrp) chip for a few generations... asking $500-600 for a mid-range GPU is insanity. esp since there's no way it'll have playable fps with RT "on" if the 2080ti struggles to maintain 60. DLSS is promisingly cool, but that's still not worth the MASSIVE cost increases.

    It is possible that they are changing their lineup scheme. 106 might have become the low high end card and they might have something lower to replace it. This happens all the time.
  • Lucky_SLS
    turing does seem to have the ability to pump up the fps if used right with all its features. I just hope that nvidia really made a card to power up its upcoming 4k 200hz hdr g sync monitors. wow, thats a mouthful!
  • anthonyinsd
    ooh man the jedi mind trick Nvidia played on hyperbolic gamers to get rid of thier overstock is gonna be EPIC!!! and just based on facts: 12nm gddr6 awesome new voltage regulation and to GAME only processes thats a win in my book. I mean if all you care is about is your rast score, then you should be on the hunt for a titan V, if it doesn't rast its trash lol. been 10 years since econ 101, but if you want to get rid of overstock you dont tell much about the new product till its out; then the people who thought they were smart getting the older product, now want o buy the new one too....
  • none12345
    I see a lot of features that are seemingly designed to save compute resources and output lower image quality. With the promise that those savings will then be applied to increase image quality on the whole.

    I'm quite dubious about this. My worry is that some of the areas of computer graphics that need the most love, are going to get even worse. We can only hope that overall image quality goes up at the same frame rate. Rather then frame rate going up, and parts of the image getting worse.

    I do not long to return to the day where different graphics cards output difference image quality at the same up front graphics settings. This was very annoying in the past. You had some cards that looked faster if you just looked at their fps numbers. But then you looked at the image quality and noticed that one was noticeably worse.

    I worry that in the end we might end up in the age of blur. Where we have localized areas of shiny highly detailed objects/effects layered on top of an increasingly blurry background.
  • CaptainTom
    I have to admit that since I have a high-refresh (non-Adaptive Sync) monitor, I am eyeing the 2080 Ti. DLSS would be nice if it was free in 1080p (and worked well), and I still don't need to worry about Gstink. But then again I have a sneaking suspicion that AMD is going to respond with 7nm Cards sooner than everyone expects, so we'll see.

    P.S. Guys the 650 Ti was a 106 card lol. Now a xx70 is a 106 card. Can't believe the tech press is actually ignoring the fact that Nvidia is relabeling their low-end offering as a xx70, and selling it for $600 (Halo product pricing). I swear Nvidia could get away with murder...
  • mlee 2500
    4nm is no longer considered a "Slight Density Improvement".

    Hasn't been for over a decade. It's only lumped in with 16 from a marketing standpoint becuase it's no longer the flagship lithography (7nm).