Not So Mainstream After All

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTXX- series is finally complete. There may not be a super budget-friendly equivalent of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, but with the GeForce RTX 2060, the company finally has a card for everyone from mainstream consumers to enthusiasts.

The GeForce RTX 2060 is based on the same Turing architecture as its higherend siblings. At US$349, it is significantly cheaper than even the US$599 GeForce RTX 2070, but it still features the same machine-finished aluminum shroud as the other Founders Edition models. In fact, save for the lettering on the card, it’s nearly indistinguishable from the GeForce RTX 2070.

Both cards share nearly the same dimensions, so they’re both really compact and barely extend past the edge of an ATX motherboard. The GeForce RTX 2060 is shaping up to be an excellent choice for compact, mini-ITX systems, and its 2-slot design will fit in nicely in many chassis that don’t have the luxury of space.

Like the other Founders Edition Turing models, the GeForce RTX 2060 truly feels much better made than the vast majority of custom cards on the market. It just feels more premium in hand, and build quality is absolutely stellar.

The cooling shroud wraps around the entire card and extends over the end of the card to form the PCB backplate. I’m happy to see that the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition still has a backplate, since that was actually missing on the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition.

The card is powered by a single 8-pin power connector at the edge of the card, the same as the GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition. This makes it slightly more accessible, especially if you’re installing it in a smaller case.

The display outputs are the same as on the GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition as well, which is to say that they differ from what NVIDIA offers on the GeForce RTX 2080 and up. Instead of the single HDMI 2.0b connector and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, NVIDIA has replaced one of the DisplayPort connectors with a DVI-DL output. The USB-C port remains, however. There is no NVLink connector though, which means that the GeForce RTX 2060 won’t support SLI.

The GeForce RTX 2060 is based on a scaled down version of the Turing TU106 GPU used in the GeForce RTX 2070. This means it still supports Turing’s signature DLSS and raytracing features, making the tech far more accessible to mainstream consumers.

The card itself is equipped with a 1,680MHz boost clock and 6GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 14,000MHz. It also features 1,920 CUDA cores, 40 per cent more than the GeForce GTX 1060, 30 RT cores, and 240 Tensor cores. It has a 192-bit memory bus width, which gives it a total memory bandwidth of up to 336.1GB/s. That’s quite a bit higher than the 192GB/s offered on the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, so it should enjoy a significant boost in bandwidth-hungry applications and games. Finally, it has a 160W TDP, compared to the 185W TDP on the GeForce RTX 2070.

Performance-wise, the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition is roughly on par with the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, a card that’s actually really competitive against the GeForce GTX 1080 in its own right. All things considered, this is pretty impressive performance for a mainstream card. In fact, the GeForce RTX 2060 is around 42 per cent faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 in the 1080p Fire Strike benchmark, a decent improvement in a single generation. It also beat the GeForce GTX 1070 by around 11 per cent in the same benchmark.

In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the GeForce RTX 2060 was more than capable of running the game at 1080p and Ultra settings, pushing well above 60FPS. It was 46 per cent faster than the GeForce GTX 1060, which trudged along at under 50FPS. It was even slightly quicker than the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, no small feat for a supposedly mainstream card.

As it stands, the GeForce RTX 2060 means great things for the average gamer. Here’s a card that won’t break your bank, but which will run just about any game at 1080p and max settings. will run just about any game at 1080p and max settings.

My Reading Room
The card has a single DVI-DL port, unlike its more expensive siblings.
My Reading Room
Compact design suitable even for mini-ITX gaming rigs.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
A fast card that takes traditional notions of mainstream performance up a few notches. 
My Reading Room