While it's not the most powerful card, the Nvidia RTX 2060's price makes it a serious contender for all but the most extreme PC builds. It's the popular choice for GPUs right now because it balances power with price. According to the Steam Hardware Survey, Nvidia’s GTX 1060 was the most popular graphics card among PC gamers in 2018 - although its mere 14.8% of the market is a sign of just how many cards are available. So, it can be very tricky to choose one that’s right for you, but the 2060 is easily one of the best graphics cards right now. Here's our review of the card itself.
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EVGA Nvidia RTX 2060 XC Ultra | $379 (save $20)
We absolutely recommend the EVGA 2060, and this Ultra edition has two fans instead of one. It's $20 less at Amazon right now, which is a decent saving.
Nvidia’s RTX 2060 card is currently the cheapest way to get realtime raytracing on your desktop. And despite it being brand new, there are RTX 2060 deals available, if you know where to look. Unveiled at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the new GPU features 1920 of the CUDA cores that carry out the bulk of the graphics card’s calculations (the same number as in the GTX 1070, while the GTX 1060 had 1280 in its 6GB incarnation) along with 240 Tensor cores (the mysterious deep learning processors responsible for effects such as DLSS) and 30 RT cores for five gigarays of raytracingness (the wallet-crushing RTX 2080Ti manages ten). This is backed up with 6GB of GDDR6 memory for 14Gbps of bandwidth - the GTX 1060 6GB and GTX 1070s all made do with 8Gbps.
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Nvidia’s own figures put performance at 1440p solidly in the ballpark of the newly discontinued GTX 1070Ti, an 8GB card with 500 more CUDA cores that can currently run anything you throw at it in Ultra at 1080p, and makes occasional forays into 4K too as long as you don’t mind 30fps.
The new RTX card beats the older generation’s GTX 1070 at 1080p, and offers Battlefield V at 60fps with raytracing enabled, according to Nvidia. PC Gamer’s testing bears this out, with the 17-game average at 1080p seeing it neck-and-neck with the 1070Ti at 1080p and Ultra settings, and pulling away from the older card slightly at 1440p. The gap closes again at 4K, depending on what your definition of a playable framerate is, but the message here is that this is a capable card able to do justice to modern PC games.
The new card splits the GTX 1070s when it comes to power consumption, pulling 160W - more than the GTX 1060’s 120W and the GTX 1070’s 150W, but less than the 1070Ti’s 180W, and connects to the PSU with a single eight-pin connector just like the 1070s.
Apart from raytracing, which is yet to make itself an unmissable feature - although it may become that in the future - the benefit of the new RTX cards is DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling. The idea here is the card renders internally at a lower resolution than it’s set to output, and the Tensor cores upscale the image intelligently so you’d never know the difference. It’s a clever way of squeezing extra performance out of a chip, and is supported by precisely one game at the time of writing - Final Fantasy 15 (Battlefield V is getting it in a patch). And only then if you want 4K output. Still images created with DLSS look a bit blurrier, but in motion you’ll hardly notice, and it boosts performance by around 25%.
Nvidia’s new card brings modern rendering technology to the majority of PC gamers playing at 1080p, and with a US price of $350 looks to do so at a price that’s high, but not so high as the higher-spec Turing cards. An upgrade now, or when discount season is in full swing, could boost the framerates on a whole range of the most popular games.
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