Reaching the high end: Nvidia's new RTX 2060 vs Vega 64 & Co

The GeForce RTX 2060 is a good release, beating its low expectations. It was rumored that the 2060 might be a slightly bigger jump compared to its next bigger GTX variant, the 1070, than the RTX 2070 was to the GTX 1080. Remember, the RTX 2070 was only able to match the performance of the GTX 1080, it was not really faster. A slight advantage over the 1070 would have been enough for the new RTX 2060 to fulfill this mission. Instead, the new Nvidia card not only beats the GTX 1070, it also beats the Vega 56. It even comes close to the performance of the next tier, with the performance level of the GTX 1080 and RTX 2070 firmly in reach of a reasonable overclock.


To see exactly which benchmarks were used, check the comparison page.

Performance wise this is an excellent result for a new middle class graphics card. Which leads to the drawbacks. The first one is its price.

With $349 the card costs a lot more than what the GTX 1060 did. Price wise this new card is not a xx60, it is a xx70. Given the performance that’s not unjustified: It is after all faster than the GTX 1070, and faster than the even more expensive Radeon Vega 56. But $349 - or 369€ for the Founder’s Edition in Europe - are just outside the target price of a middle class graphics card, which was traditionally 200 to 300 bucks.

There is more. Energy usage is up, it sits at the level of a GTX 1070, not a 1060. Bad for systems with a weak power supply, which happens often when making an office PC gaming ready via a gpu upgrade. And finally: The RTX 2060 still has only 6GB Vram. Which is enough for a lot of games, but is less than AMD offers with the cheaper Radeon RX 580, and the Vram difference will likely cause stutters on higher settings in coming AAA games.

Ignoring the price this would have been an excellent release. Jumping one tier, catapulting the middle class from the level of the GTX 1060 to almost a GTX 1080 would have been a dream come true for many gaming PC builder out there. But the RTX 2060 isn’t simply a new and improved GTX 1060. For that it is just too expensive. It is closer to a GTX 1070 and a Vega 56; It is more attractive than both, as such it will play a role in the market. But that makes it more a card for those who want a cheaper RTX 2070, maybe overclock it to that level, than the right card for someone who just wants a new mid class graphics card for 1080p gaming. For those a cheap Radeon RX 590 or Radeon RX 580 is the more reasonable choice.