Nvidia's RTX 2060 12GB looks promising for cryptocurrency miners, not so great for gamers

Zotac RTX 2060 12GB graphics card
(Image credit: Zotac)

Nvidia has just released the RTX 2060, again. This rereleased card is a little more like the RTX 2060 Super in its specifications, and comes with 12GB of VRAM to bolster its chances in 2021, though it's still the same Turing architecture we've come to know well since it was first released back in 2018. That also may have knock-on effects for its potential as a cryptocurrency mining card, as the only review currently circulating the web for this new card suggests its hash rate will outpace the RTX 3060.

The key thing to note here is that the RTX 3060 has been fitted with measures to lower the hash rate for mining. If the card detects certain mining algorithms, it will operate at a limited speed.

There's no such mining limiter on the RTX 2060 12GB, according to pcmarket's review (via momomo_us), and that meant the card was capable of running up to 31.65MH/s in testing. Crucially, that puts it ahead of the RTX 3060 at 22.17MH/s, while demanding less power. That's in just one test, however, and further analysis would be handy. Unfortunately, though, we can't find anyone with further hands-on experience with the card. 

So it could be quite the adept hand at mining, which doesn't fill me with the greatest confidence in its supply busting credentials. This card was, after all, considered by many to be a way to bolster supply of graphics cards during a shortage.

The review also states it falls behind the RTX 3060 in gaming, which isn't particularly surprising given the newer Ampere architecture's performance, but which does increase the pressure on the price of the RTX 2060 12GB in order for it to be worthwhile, or cheap enough, for PC gamers.

Though it must be said that despite this new graphics card's arrival from the usual manufacturers—Palit, Gigabyte, Zotac, Galax, Inno3D, to name a few—we don't yet have a recommended retail price.

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It looks like we may never have a recommended retail price, in fact. That may ultimately be up to card partners, which could make this resurrected 20-series chip a very odd launch indeed. The key thing here will be the price. And despite the card's launch, at time of writing I cannot find a genuine listing in the US or UK for the card.

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Early price leaks suggested this card was far from immune to the price hikes we've seen on other cards, and could demand a tall price tag despite its outdated architecture.

Availability is also of utmost importance, as we've seen the lack of supply for current gen cards, such as the RTX 3080, cause prices to skyrocket.

On both counts, it doesn't appear as though the RTX 2060 12GB will do much to ease the situation for PC builders. Though we cannot say for sure until the dust settles from this card's sudden, low-key launch. Perhaps system builders will find a way to offer this card at a decent price to make it worthwhile, and you can't blame me for wanting to find some glimmer of hope for this one—the supply chain crisis is suspected to continue into 2022 and potentially beyond.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.