Turing Supercharged

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders Edition.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders Edition.

NVIDIA isn’t about to let AMD dominate the news cycle. It almost seems like NVIDIA was waiting till just before the 7 July availability of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 to announce the cards, seemingly hoping to steal some of their thunder. After all, one of the selling points of the Radeon RX 5700 XT was that it offered slightly better performance than the GeForce RTX 2070 at the same price. 

That said, Super isn’t the most exciting upgrade on paper. If you already bought a Turing card from last year, I’m not sure that there’s a lot that will entice you to get one of these new cards. There’s also no PCIe 4.0 support, which means AMD still has the lead in that area. 

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The Super branding is stamped on the card in bright green.

That said, the performance boost is not insignificant, and the good news is that NVIDIA hasn’t just ramped up the clock speeds to achieve this. It’s added more CUDA cores as well, so this is a more far-reaching upgrade than it seems at first, even if it still uses the same Turing architecture. 

The GeForce RTX 2060 Super may be the one that sees the most changes compared to its predecessor. Other than the increased CUDA core counts, it also boasts an expanded 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a wider memory bus. That may be why NVIDIA is offering it as a new SKU instead of using it to replace the GeForce RTX 2060, as it’s doing with the GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080. 

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There are three DisplayPort and one HDMI output. 

Another thing that’s changing is the way NVIDIA is treating its Founders Edition models. The first generation of Turing cards featured Founders Edition boards that shipped with higher base and boost clocks than the supposed reference specifications. That meant a US$100 premium on the Founders Edition variants, and some unsurprising tension between NVIDIA and its partners who wanted to sell overclocked versions of those cards as well. The overclocked Founders Edition models could be seen as cannibalizing partner sales, even if they didn’t have the widest availability.

NVIDIA is changing tack this time around with Founders Edition models that stick to the stock speeds. This means that the hundred-dollar price premium is going away as well. I’m not sure how I feel about this move though, since I find that the new Founders Edition models that NVIDIA introduced last year feature a luxurious build and look that go well with more aggressive clock speeds. They look and feel like high-end cards, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get a performance boost as well.

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A very competent mainstream card that can run most games at 1440p.

That aside, this year’s Founders Edition models are getting a slightly new look too. Gone is the matte black centerpiece. In its place, NVIDIA has slapped on a shiny piece of chrome with a glorious mirror-like finish, topped off with the word “Super” in bright green. I really like the chrome, even if it is a fingerprint magnet, but I do think the green “Super” branding would look better if it was the same color as the rest of the model name.

In games, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super is anywhere from 10 to 30 percent faster than the GeForce RTX 2060, a pretty decent improvement for mid-generation upgrade. It does consume slightly more power, to the tune of roughly 30W, but the trade-off seems more than worth it. 

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Ultimately, this refresh helps keep the RTX cards relevant by giving them a performance boost at the same price point. In fact, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super is pretty much the equivalent of the GeForce RTX 2070, while still being cheaper. 

That said, I don’t think anyone who already owns an equivalent first-generation Turing card will be looking to upgrade to these Super models. But if you were holding off on Turing because of the price, the added performance boost does help provide added justification for the asking price. I’d also argue that the GeForce RTX 2060 Super is more impressive than its 2070 counterpart, squeezing out larger gains over the regular 2060.