NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 SUPER Review
Something SUPER This Way Comes
NVIDIA has upped the ante ahead of AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 series launch
NVIDIA first teased the existence of something “super” on their YouTube channel back in May, and while the PC hardware press (including us) were gearing up for AMD’s upcoming Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs due July 7, rumors of just what NVIDIA might have up their sleeve were surfacing.
Today, the leaks can stop as the wait is over: the GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 SUPER are here – or, rather, they will be when they become available on July 9. And sure, some of the details are out there at this point, but we still have to draw our own conclusions about the performance and value of these new cards.
And so it was with the hardware in hand over the weekend we were able to put both of these new GPUs through some benchmarks to see what, if anything, might be so “super” about them. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the benchmark results to follow – and, of course, the pricing of these new cards.
Specifications and Pricing
So what exactly is a “super” version of an RTX 2060 or RTX 2070? These are not based on new architecture or new silicon, nor are they simply factory overclocked versions of existing GPUs. The short answer is that these are different configurations of the Turing GPUs previously available (you can read about the Turing architecture here). But which ones? A quick look at the spec table should answer that question.
|RTX 2060||RTX 2060 SUPER||RTX 2070||RTX 2070 SUPER||RTX 2080|
|Base Clock||1365 MHz||1470 MHz||1410 MHz||1605 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1680 MHz||1650 MHz||1620 MHz||1770 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Memory||6GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Data Rate||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||336 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Die Size||445 mm2||445 mm2||445 mm2||545 mm2||545 mm2|
|Process Tech||12 nm||12 nm||12 nm||12 nm||12 nm|
While the RTX 2060 SUPER a not simply a re-branded RTX 2070 it’s still pretty close, with the RTX 2070 SUPER encroaching on RTX 2080 territory. And these GPUs are providing these specs for a lot less money than the next GPU up the chain, with the RTX 2060 SUPER at $399 ($100 less than an RTX 2070) and the RTX 2070 SUPER at $499 and not too far from a $699 RTX 2080 – on paper, anyhow.
Yes, pricing looks good. The value proposition is far better than the RTX lineup had originally offered, finally coming down to the levels we had grown used to with Pascal.
The RTX SUPER cards use the same heatsink and shroud design as before, with dual axial fans on both the smaller RTX 2060 SUPER and larger RTX 2070 SUPER. The only design change – other than the green “super” text – is the mirror-finish chrome adorning the front of the cooler between the fans.
Power requirements with the RTX 2070 SUPER move from a single 8-pin to an 8-pin and 6-pin (as with the current RTX 2080), while the RTX 2060 SUPER uses a single 8-pin. Display support from the Founders Edition cards we received for our review is plentiful, with the smaller RTX 2060 SUPER swapping the third DisplayPort for a DVI-D port.
But card design is not what we’re here to talk about today. It’s all about performance – and especially price/performance (always) – so we need to get these on the test bench and see how they compare to the non-SUPER RTX family.
With time at a premium (for reasons beginning and ending with the number 7) we tested the new RTX SUPER cards at just one resolution, 2560×1440. Compared to 1920×1080 this res should put a lot more stress on the GPU than the processor (an Intel Core i7-8700K, which at this point is nearing the end of its run on the GPU test bench).
|PC Perspective GPU Test Platform|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8700K|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-H Gaming|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-3000|
|Storage||Samsung 850 EVO 1TB|
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit (Version 1803)|
NVIDIA: 430.39, 431.16
So with the latest GeForce driver and the first of the SUPER cards installed we got to work, this time testing a total of six games with both DX11 and DX12 represented.
No, this collection of games is not ideal, but there was insufficient time to re-test all graphics cards before publication. An overhaul of both the GPU test platform and games library is coming.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Starting with DX12 testing we compared the SUPER cards to our existing results in AotS using the high preset, and as you can see this will not be a minor improvement:
The RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition (FE) edges out the stock RTX 2070, with the RTX 2070 SUPER FE just a few FPS away from the RTX 2080 FE. This is good. Very good.
Far Cry 5
Next we take a look at Far Cry 5, run at its default high preset settings.
While not beating the RTX 2070 this time, the 2060 SUPER is just 0.3 FPS away and can clearly trade blows with this $499 card. For its part the RTX 2070 SUPER shows impressive gains over its predecessor, but doesn’t get all the way to an RTX 2080. Still, it’s 6.3 FPS behind the RTX 2080 FE here, and only 1.6 FPS behind the $699 Radeon VII!
DX11 games are still an important part of the equation, and to start off the testing we’ll how these new cards fare with this popular racing title, run using the high preset settings and default combo of TAA/16X AF.
While we see very impressive overall results with the SUPER cards in F1 2018 the frame time variance was higher than we are accustomed to with Turing. This could easily be a pre-launch driver issue, but worth noting. We’ll see how the rest of the DX11 games fare.
Final Fantasy XV
Love it or hate it, the FFXV benchmark seems to get referenced quite a bit (and is a favorite of leakers everywhere, it seems). So I ran these new cards at the standard preset and compared the SUPER performance to our previous results.
In this rather infamously NVIDIA-favored benchmark the RTX 2070 SUPER absolutely destroys the Radeon VII, with the RTX 2060 SUPER once again effectively tied with the original RTX 2070. But not all is rosy as for the second time the frame time variance was much higher than expected. Could there be something wrong with my test platform or game installs? I will update the story if a fix is discovered.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
With some inconsistent frame times observed with the previous two DX11 games I tested another pair, beginning with ME: Shadow of War. This was run using the default high preset settings.
With Shadow of War we see a return to expected frame time variance, and overall performance from the SUPER cards is outstanding yet again. The RTX 2060 SUPER is slightly faster than the RTX 2070, with the RTX 2070 SUPER 6.1 FPS away from the RTX 2080. An effective tie and a 6 FPS disparity for cards that cost $100 and $200 less is beyond the result I would have hoped for, and we have now seen this level of performance in multiple games.
World of Tanks: enCore
For one last look at performance we compared the RTX 2060 and 2070 SUPER against the pack in WoT enCore, using the ultra preset this time as the game is a lot less challenging than the titles tested so far.
Once again the RTX 2060 SUPER and RTX 2070 are virtually tied (check out their respective frame times), and while the RTX 2080 enjoys a larger lead over the RTX 2070 SUPER in this benchmark it still handily outperforms the Radeon VII. Frame time variance was a non-issue in this game, leading me to conclude there may be an issue with F1 2018 and FFXV either on my end or with the press driver.
These benchmark results are better than I would have guessed for the RTX SUPER 2060 and 2070, with outstanding performance numbers that place these cards in an enviable position for NVIDIA – but far more importantly they provide a needed boost to the price/performance equation lacking from the RTX series up to this point.
How much more power might these SUPER cards require? Unsurprisingly, the RTX 2060 SUPER is nearly tied with the RTX 2070 (are you sensing the very, very close relationship between these two cards?) while the RTX 2070 SUPER required 15W less power under load than the RTX 2080 FE.
As to temperatures, these will obviously depend a lot on the cooler design (Founders Edition vs. aftermarket), but load temps with both new cards were very good from the outstanding – and quiet – RTX series cooler design. With ambient temp of ~25 C we saw idle temps of 29 – 31 C from both cards, with the RTX 2060 SUPER at 68 C under load and the RTX 2070 SUPER (with its larger cooler) at 67 C.
RTX 2080 SUPER and the New Product Stack
If things were left as they are the existing RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 would make no sense on the market at their current pricing, considering how high the performance of these new SUPER parts is for $100 and $200 less. But NVIDIA obviously knows this, so, while not officially designating RTX 2070/2080 as EOL, they are revising the product stack without them.
Leaving the mighty RTX 2080 Ti at the top of the stack makes sense as there is not currently any competition as fastest single GPU, but this $999+ option will not be the only option beyond RTX 2070 SUPER with the RTX 2080 being phased out. Yes, there will be an RTX 2080 SUPER (available July 23) for the same $699 as the current RTX 2080, and with higher performance.
|New GeForce RTX Product Stack|
|RTX 2080 Ti||(Existing)||$999|
|RTX 2080 SUPER||7/23/19||$699|
|RTX 2070 SUPER||7/09/19||$499|
|RTX 2060 SUPER||7/09/19||$399|
Simply put, the new “super” versions of the GeForce RTX graphics cards have resolved the one issue I think the RTX family had from the beginning: cost. By revising the product stack to offer higher performance for the price (with the $399 RTX 2060 SUPER of particular interest in my opinion) NVIDIA has positioned themselves favorably ahead of AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 Series launch.
Will AMD respond? Will 2019 be the year of the GPU price wars? That last part is probably just wishful thinking, but AMD is certainly going to have to revisit its pricing if the $449 RX 5700 XT is not able to best the $399 RTX 2060 SUPER.
While the RTX 2070 SUPER is bringing performance tantalizingly close to an RTX 2080 for $200 less, I think for most gamers who would like to venture beyond 1080p and still get great performance the RTX 2060 SUPER is more than enough card, with performance virtually identical to that of the outgoing RTX 2070 (non-SUPER…and yes, this could easily get confusing with existing RTX cards in the retail channel).
The RTX 2060 SUPER offers 8GB of GDDR6 as well, up from the 6GB with the original version and with it a move to a 256-bit memory interface from 192-bit. The 6GB limit with the RTX 2060 can be tested at higher resolutions and quality settings, and 8GB also puts the 2060 SUPER in a better position to compete with AMD’s RX 5700 Series.
Bottom line, higher performance for less money is what we all want, and while we have yet to test the upcoming RTX 2080 SUPER (just how close might it get to a 2080 Ti??) the GeForce family feels to me like it has returned to the value proposition of the GTX 10 Series. Finally.