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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.

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.