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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER Review
Review By @ 11:28pm 02/07/19


Product: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER - Founders Edition
Type: Graphics Card
Price: $690.00 AUD
Availability: July 9

A little while ago, when NVIDIA began teasing the word ‘Super’, we assumed it was a reference to a new graphics card or series of cards from the hardware maker. Perhaps an RTX refresh. Or a new high-end model to replace the 2080 Ti. Which, when looking at what the company has brought to the industry over the past couple of decades, was more educated guess based on what little imagination we have. Rather than a deduction based on calling up various sources and asking them what was up whilst sitting in a dimly lit room wearing a fedora and smoking cigarettes. Ahem.

Sure enough, since the first SUPER teaser several industry insiders detailed exactly that - with many outlining that the soon-to-be announced RTX SUPER line-up was a supercharged hardware refresh. Perhaps even a direct response to AMD’s debut of its new 7nm Navi-powered Radeon line – with the recently announced Radeon RX 5700 XT also dropping this month.

As per today’s announcement the new series of RTX SUPER cards are designed to bring additional performance across three current RTX GPUs – the RTX 2060, RTX 2070, and RTX 2080. With the RTX 2080 Ti – as reviewed here – still the king of all things graphics cards. And it’s that card’s ultra high-end ambition where the SUPER line begins to make the most sense. Increased performance across a wide range of mid-range to high-end RTX offerings, where the gains across both standard gaming and cutting-edge features like ray tracing are enough to warrant the new naming convention.

We’re coming up to six months since NVIDIA debuted the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, which prior to its release was thought of as a successor to the popular GeForce GTX 1060. Turns out that wasn’t the case, because in terms of capability it looked more like a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti – turning in stellar 1080p performance across a wide range of titles in addition to decent 1440p numbers. In our review, we called the RTX 2060 “an affordable, mid-range card with high-end ambition”. And now with the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER that sentiment rings even truer.

Thanks in part to just how impressive NVIDIA’s Turing-based architecture continues to be.

Of Numbers and Heat Sinks



In terms of the stuff that defines a new generation of hardware often it’s a couple of features that stand out. For the RTX line-up it’s the new Turing architecture that leverages technology specifically designed for high-end never-seen-before-style features – real-time ray tracing and AI used to render images and improve performance. RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and concurrent FP and INT processing. Stuff that results in a card like the GeForce RTX 2060 outmatching the GeForce GTX 1060 with ease, to the point where the comparison becomes pointless. And one of the reasons we eventually saw the release of a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti.



"In our review, we called the RTX 2060 “an affordable, mid-range card with high-end ambition”. And now with the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER that sentiment rings even truer. "



Also, it was stuff that forced us to read through documents and slides just so we could barely understand what all the technical jargon meant. To a point. Thanks to cards like the RTX 2060 we now turn on advanced effects like HBAO+ in games because the stuff on the screen ends up looking better. And not because we really the know the technical difference between that and SAO. Anyway, the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER finds itself in a similar position - where the last-gen 10-series Pascal equivalent isn’t the GeForce GTX 1060. It’s the GeForce GTX 1080. Which, as you can imagine, is still a great card. But one that doesn’t feature hardware designed to leverage modern effects like real-time ray tracing.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
  • Architecture (GPU): Turing
  • CUDA Cores: 2176
  • Base Clock Rate: 1470 MHz
  • GPU Boost Rate: 1650 MHz
  • FLOPS: 7+7 TOPS (7.2 TFLOPS FP32 / 7.2 TFLOPS INT32)
  • Tensor FLOPS: 57.4 TFLOPS
  • Giga Rays/s: 6
  • Memory Capacity: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 448 GB/s
  • TDP: 175W

Compared to the RTX 2060 we got in January the first thing that jumps out from the specs is the boost to 8GB of fast GDDR6 video memory from 6GB. Although for most games 6GB is plenty, for high-resolution assets and intensive AAA experiences the decision to go 6GB for the RTX 2060 felt like a needless hurdle for those wanting to push higher resolutions.

Of course, the RTX 2060 SUPER spec-boost doesn’t stop there. Not even close. CUDA Cores have also been bumped up to 2176 from 1920, alongside memory bandwidth increases, and the Giga Ray ray tracing performance going up from 5 to 6. Plus, an increase to Tensor FLOPS (floating point operations). The take-away here, and the clue is in the name, is that the RTX 2060 SUPER hardware is an across-the-board step-up from the RTX 2060.

Which, it’s safe to assume will then directly translate to in-game performance. Spoiler alert – the answer is yes indeed-y. But, before we dive head-first into a sea of bar charts and numbers that for some strange reason are exciting to look at, we do have to mention one visual change that comes with the new RTX SUPER Founders Edition line-up. Outside of the addition of the word SUPER. And that is a switch from the black and chrome look of the RTX 2060 Founders Edition to a chrome and reflective mirror-like finish seen on the front of the RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition. It’s a nice touch, but also one that you’ll need to wipe for fingerprints after installation.

Okay, onto the Sea of Numbers.

Game Performance



The reason we’re all here. Numbers. The mathematical language of the universe, if scientists are to be believed. We’re of the belief that the language of the universe is Forgaadi. As found on the fourth planet of the Hadrig 7 system – Gilaxion. Anyway, the point is – performance numbers are probably the reason you’re here. To see just what sort of in-game performance the new RTX 2060 SUPER is capable of. So, let’s get to it.

But first, a look at the hardware used for testing.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 Memory

First up, 1080p performance for the RTX 2060 SUPER – across a wide range of titles with detail settings at or near maximum levels.



Like with the RTX 2060 before it, the results here are exceptional. With the story being that pairing the RTX 2060 SUPER with a full-HD display will mean that there won’t be any issues dialling up settings to maximum and taking full advantage of a 144 Hz display – with either G-Sync or FreeSync. For this review we ran through all tests using the beta drivers supplied by NVIDIA across both the RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER. This was done in order to gather accurate up-to-date results.


"The RTX 2060 SUPER spec-boost doesn’t stop there. Not even close. CUDA Cores have also been bumped up to 2176 from 1920, alongside memory bandwidth increases, and the Giga Ray ray tracing performance going up from 5 to 6."




The main takeaway being that at 1080p the performance gains are the least “super” of the bunch, with titles like Far Cry New Dawn and DOOM performing roughly the same. The biggest differences came with The Division 2, Total War: Three Kingdoms, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider where double digit performance increases of 10-12% were found. When bumping up the resolution to 1440p – the SUPER is unleashed.



Here the story changes with the RTX 2060 SUPER turning in double digit increases over the RTX 2060. Going as high as a 20% performance increase in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, 16% in Battlefield V, and a 13% jump in the visually intensive Metro Exodus. Remarkably playing Battlefield V at 1440p with detail settings set to Ultra results in triple-digit performance. Of course, this is with our specific build and setup, but the results paint the picture of a card more than capable of hitting 60 frames-per-second at this resolution across most titles. With 1440p quickly overtaking 1080p as the preferred baseline for new builds, it puts the RTX 2060 SUPER in a great position. Double digit gains over the existing RTX 2060 adds versatility.

A story that now extends to 4K – something that the RTX 2060 mostly struggled with.



Although we’re not hitting 4K 60 frames-per-second with visual settings dialled up, something that we weren’t expecting to find with the RTX 2060 SUPER, it’s interesting to note that the improvements over the RTX 2060 are the most prominent here. And the most SUPER. Shadow of the Tomb Raider showcasing an improvement of 26%, Battlefield V 20% and DOOM, Far Cry New Dawn, Metro Exodus and others at 15%.



The differences in performance increases can be seen in the 3D Mark Benchmarks too, where the more recent and advanced TimeSpy test showcases a 12% increase over the RTX 2060 and the ray tracing showcase that is Port Royal 19%. On all accounts higher than what you’d find with a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti and being true to NVIDIA’s word of being in-line with GTX 1080. But now, with the bonus of decent real-time ray tracing. And it’s that last bit that makes the RTX 2060 SUPER a more enticing prospect over the baseline model and the GTX 1080 – improved ray tracing.

Ray tracing and DLSS



Although it came out in January of this year, at the time of its release – and seen in our review – there really wasn’t all that much to test the ray tracing performance of the RTX 2060 outside of Battlefield V. Since then we’ve seen the technology used to great effect in the likes of Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and the recent retro release of the impressive Quake II RTX mod. It’s a technology, alongside the AI-powered rendering found with DLSS and other features like NVIDIA’s Variable Rate Shading, that will continue to crop up in more titles as time goes on. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Cyberpunk 2077, DOOM Eternal, Watch Dogs: Legion, Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood – will all have ‘RTX On’ features.



As per the above tests captured at 1080p with ray tracing settings set to high, we get to see – outside of Metro Exodus – around 60 frames-per-second performance across each title. Something that increases substantially when lowering the RTX detail settings and enabling DLSS. Both of which are there for cards like the RTX 2060 SUPER. Compared to the RTX 2060 the improvements here are notable and in a similar 10-25% range. Pushing titles to their limits, settings-wise, and enabling ray tracing – the RTX 2060 SUPER might see huge performance drop-offs compared to, well, not tracing rays – but the results are commendable. And something we’ll revisit in the future.

Overall



Which brings us to our only gripe with the new GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER – and that is pricing. Not that it’s a deal breaker but we would have loved to see NVIDIA go all out and release the new SUPER range in the current price-point of the existing non-SUPER RTX 2060 model. And then lower that price. No doubt it would kick off the impending GPU War between Big Green and Big Red in style and would make the proposition of a more powerful RTX 2060 SUPER even more enticing.


"The RTX 2060 SUPER might see huge performance drop-offs compared to, well, not tracing rays – but the results are commendable. "



As a 1080p card the RTX 2060 SUPER is a powerhouse, at the QHD 1440p resolution it’s more than capable too. An area where the new RTX 2060 SUPER offers more pronounced performance improvements over the original RTX 2060 same goes when bumping things up to 4K. Throw in better ray tracing performance, a package that is still performance-per-watt, and a card that runs relatively cool at around 70-73 degrees under heavy load, and the RTX 2060 SUPER becomes a great choice for any number of builds.
What we liked
Excellent 1080p and 1440p performance
A definite improvement over the existing RTX 2060
Ray tracing also included in the gains
Still runs quiet and cool
8GB of video memory
What we didn't like
Pricing feels a bit high
We gave it:
9.0
OUT OF 10
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