Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition review: Ray tracing and 1440p gaming get more affordable

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After debuting in luxury-priced enthusiast graphics cards exclusively, Nvidia’s real-time ray tracing is finally coming to the masses with the GeForce RTX 2060—although this $350 graphics card, as powerful as it is, skirts the upper limits of what could be considered mainstream.

Yes, the GeForce RTX 2060 maintains the inflated pricing of other RTX options, which effectively bumps the cost of each performance tier up a notch. The $700 RTX 2080 costs as much as last generation’s GTX 1080 Ti; the $500 RTX 2070 mirrors the price of the GTX 1080; and while the last-gen GTX 1060 cost $260, this new RTX 2060 moves into the GTX 1070’s previous territory with a $90 price hike.

But while the RTX 2070 and 2080 largely delivered performance in line with their similarly priced predecessors, you get a bit more with the GeForce RTX 2060. Not only does the card pack the dedicated RT and tensor core hardware that gives RTX GPUs their cutting-edge ray tracing capabilities, it trades blows in traditional game performance with the $450 GTX 1070 Ti rather than the $380 GTX 1070. So does that make Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition a worthwhile purchase? Let’s dig in.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 specs and features

The GeForce RTX 2060 packs a slightly cut-down version of the TU106 GPU found inside the RTX 2070. The card has only 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than its bigger brother, but crams in a whopping 33 percent more CUDA cores than its predecessor, the GTX 1060. And extensive tweaks found in Nvidia’s Turing GPU architecture make the RTX 2060’s cores much more capable than the GTX 1060’s, as we’ll see in the benchmarks section.

Here’s a look at the GeForce RTX 2060’s specs, and how they compare against the GTX 1060.


Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 vs. GTX 1060 specs.

The only potential minor blemish on the spec sheet: memory capacity. The move to GDDR6 memory greatly improves overall bandwidth for the RTX 2060 versus the GTX 1060, but the 6GB capacity might not be enough to run textures and other memory-intensive graphics options at maximum settings in all games if you’re playing at 1440p resolution. Most 1440p-capable graphics cards include 8GB of VRAM. But Nvidia’s Brandon Bell told me via email that the company chose the lesser capacity in order to utilize cutting-edge GDDR6 memory, rather than the much slower GDDR5 memory that came on the GTX 1060:

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