With the introduction of the RTX 2060, NVIDIA is finally making RTX mainstream with a starting price of $350. Given that, most starting models will be priced around the same as most top-end GTX 1060s during the mining boom. But with the promise of GTX 1080-level performance and realtime raytracing, NVIDIA is sweetening the deal for a bit of extra premium.
Today we’ll take a look at ASUS’ top-end offering of their RTX 2060 with the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 featuring their improved cooler. This card features a significant factory overclock meaning you can go further with this card and its beefy cooler looks promising in taking the RTX 2060 silicon further.
We’ll be comparing the card against an overclocked GTX 1080 and a reference GTX 1070 Ti to see if it really replaces those cards.
The RTX Dilemma
As of this moment only Battlefield V utilizes RTX via its DXR implementation. There are a couple of title like Final Fantasy XV that uses DLSS and also some titles that leverage a few other tech but since real-time raytracing is the main draw of the RTX product line, there’s not much reason for gamers to really invest in RTX except the promise of upcoming titles. NVIDIA has announced more than 20 games during launch to support RTX and more devs stepping into the plate as the days go by but no new release has yet to have it. Its a very long waiting game and NVIDIA has been on the losing end because of this. For buyers, they end up with powerful graphics card for a higher price but is ready for the realtime raytracing and DLSS content when they come.
About the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
The NVIDIA RTX 2060 heralds the mainstream offering from the GeForce RTX series of graphics cards. The RTX 2060 is targeted at 1080p gamers looking to make the leap to RTX but still stay at the more accessible resolution and market range. The card is based off the same silicon as the RTX 2070 (TU106).
The RTX 2060 was rumored to have multiple variants before launch but NVIDIA has only made public the existence of one SKU which is what we have seen recently launched. NVIDIA has launched the RTX 2060 during CES 2019 with benchmarks of the Founders Edition being made available at around the same time. Much like the GTX 1060 which offered GTX 980-like performance, the RTX 2060 targets GTX 1080-like performance and that includes stepping on the toes of the GTX 1070 Ti as well.
The GeForce RTX 2060 has 1920 CUDA Cores running at 1365Mhz base with a boost clock of 1680Mhz. The 6GB of GDDR6 memory runs at 1750Mhz wired to a 192-bit wide bus. In comparison, the RTX 2070 has 8GB connected to a 256-bit bus.
NVIDIA has given the RTX 2060 a $350 starting price, a $100 increase from the GTX 1060, yet this is still where NVIDIA is banking on to help them make RTX tech more widespread amongst the gaming population which should help them show devs that adoption has increased and they can put in more work on developing RTX-supporting titles. NVIDIA has also demo’ed the card on CES running games mostly on 2560×1440 showing they are adamant in showing 1080p gamers a taste of 1440p and hopefully make them jump to the next reso which would mean more buyers of higher-end cards which has larger profit margins.
ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060
The ROG Strix line from ASUS has saw slight shift in design from the previous generation. The 10-series GTX cards in the ROG Strix line featured triple-fan, 2-slot designs and except for the GTX 1080 Ti, was uniform throughout that entire generation. Fast-forward to today and we have the new-generation ROG Strix design.
ASUS still maintains a similar design to the last-gen with some slight changes here and there. The most pronounced shift is the size of the heatsink itself which bumps the card to around 2.25 slot height. With NVIDIA only supporting dual-card SLI configs going forward, most motherboards have noted this and have made 3x spacing between GPUs a norm for mainstream releases with high-end options up to board makers to configure if they want a 4x or 3x PCIe spacing for their main x16 slots.
The ROG STRIX RTX 2060 uses the same cooler and PCB design as the ROG STRIX RTX 2070 model which means you get the same triple-slot, 2.25x slot height cooler featuring wing-blade fans and fan-stop tech during idle. ASUS has pretty much done the same for the good part of their GTX 10-series cards and if you have an effective cooler, why change, right? Same goes for the RTX 20-series.
ASUS gives a beefy overclock to their ROG STRIX RTX 2060 with an 1830Mhz boost clock. Base clocks still stay at 1365Mhz as well as memory at 1750Mhz. No pricing as of yet.
The Turing architecture is a massive shift in chip design from NVIDIA and touts a great deal of changes to allow them to introduce key fundamental technology including their RT cores which allows real-time raytracing and the Tensor cores for AI deep-learning computation.
NVIDIA may say its realtime raytracing but as they say themselves, its a tough feat to accomplish and requires immense computing power. Still, NVIDIA managed to refine their RT core technology and birth RTX. At its most simplest, the RT cores’ only function is to calculate a ray’s behavior which computationally demanding. This, added on top of CUDA cores, provides simultaneous rendering of traditional 3D scenes with RT functions handed off to the RT cores as the CUDA cores would be hampered by RT computation if fed simultaneously.
The other addition to the Turing GPU is the inclusion of NVIDIA’s deep learning Tensor Core. These specialized cores are intended for AI deep learning functions like neural net building and training. NVIDIA has demoed numerous functions utilizing deep learning like recoloring a scene, predicting pixels and enhancing artificially upscaled image quality with increased resolution. That last one is particularly what DLSS is but as of right now, there’s limited gaming application for AI deep learning but devs have been quite imaginative in experimenting with it as NVIDIA has mentioned in some conferences and talks about the RTX cards.
Horizon Zero Dawn VRAM usage
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Test Setup and Methodology
Processor: Intel Core i7 8700K
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
Cooling: Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO Liquid cooler
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2475smhl-4K
VGA: ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC
For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our benchmarks of choice.
For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.
Frame rates and frame times of a 60-second game play were recorded using FRAPS v3.5.99. The test results are the average of 3 benchmark runs. Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.
- DOTA2 – Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5: OG vs Virtus.Pro (54:05 – 55:05)
- The Witcher 3 – Woesong Bridge
- Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
- F1 2017 – Benchmark Mode (Australia, Clear Weather, Morning)
- Battlefield V – Nordlys
- Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.
The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress most systems especially with Reborn update. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition.
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
The Witcher 3 – The Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings.
Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Light Shafts: On
Set as the foundation of the Formula One eSports series, F1 2017 is a hallmark installment in the F1 sim-racing series as it expands previously introduced features and creates a great, F1 career simulation experience. The game is powered by EGO Engine 3.0 and features highly detailed cars with exceptional attention to environmental effects including those that simulate road condition and car condition.
Ultra High graphics settings
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Powered by DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, Battlfield V takes the game back to World War 1 where the game offers a fresh, controversial take on this historic moment. The game retains Campaign mode which looks at various characters’ stories throughout the war. Multiplayer continues some of Batttlefield’s well-known modes but with the trend shifting towards battle royale format shooters, EA has also introduced Firestorm. Battlefield V still retains wide maps as well as mechanized warfare
DXR Enabled (Off if specified in chart)
Future Frame Rendering On
Graphics Quality: Ultra
Anti-Aliasing: TAA High
Ambient Occlusion: HBAO
1920×1080 – RTX On
1920×1080 – RTX Off
Rainbow Six: Siege
Nearly 4 years later and Rainbow Six: Siege has become a phenomenon after a lukewarm beginning. The massive shift in focus of the game sees it stepping into eSports territory and the excellent mix of gameplay mechanics, good design and a dedicated dev team has put R6: Siege in a position it couldn’t even picture during launch. Rainbow Six: Siege focuses heavily on tactical and creative gameplay and its vertical levels and highly destructible maps encourage players to be quick on their feet so the action is always going. Powered by Ubisoft’s own AnvilNext 2.0 engine which powers some of Ubi’s recent visual masterpieces, R6:Siege also feature excellent graphics and can get very taxing at high detail settings. The game also features an Ultra HD texture pack download for those that want higher resolution textures but will of course demand more from the system.
Anti Aliasing: TAA
Ultra HD Texture pack not installed
Ambient Occlusion: SSBC
Temperature and Power Draw
To measure both power consumption and heat, we stress the video card and record the peak values for heat and wattage. We use default values on the cards and stress test them using 3DMark FireStrike Ultra in 20 loops to simulate gaming loads and this is where we also base our power draw.
System power draw is measured from the socket. We substract the idle power draw reading from the load power draw reading to get a good estimate of what the graphics card draws. The reading is an estimated figure and is affected by other factors like PSU efficiency. As our stress load is not a power virus that creates unrealistic and extreme workloads, we take the peak readings from these test and treat them as equivalent to gaming workloads that the products may be subject to.
Thermal Images During Load
NVIDIA has yet to send us a reference FE model to test and we look forward to test the reference performance of the RTX 2060 to gauge how after market cards perform. For now, we’ll reserve some of our comments and focus on the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC that we have right now.
Its clear the RTX 2060 is aimed at offering GTX 1080 levels performance and bring it to mainstream but also bring raytracing via RTX to this market. NVIDIA has been raising the bar off performance but has been proportionately raising the price as well. That said, the RTX 2060 is a good indication of where things are headed.
Focusing on the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060, ASUS’ work has been cut out for them with the RTX 2070 sharing the same PCB as the RTX 2060. That said, ASUS’ ROG STRIX cards have always had very effective coolers which usually scale for many cards in their stack. Aesthetic-wise, the ROG Strix style cooler has been a fan favorite for a good while now and the recent iteration has not changed the opinion of most folks. A great cooler with minimal lighting yet fully customizable, makes it an easy drop-in graphics card option for any build thanks to its neutral colorway.
Feature-wise, the ROG Strix offers some nifty options with an accessible BIOS switch which offers toggling between quiet mode and performance mode, offering users the option to go with a semi-passive cooler or a fully active one for more performance thanks to a more aggressive fan curve. ASUS FanConnect also allows fans to be connected and controlled directly via the GPU so dedicated fans can crank up once the GPU gets to work.
Overall, the higher boost clocks of the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC may prove to be a good option for those looking to really max out on this market segment. The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC is quite competitive against an OC version of the GTX 1080 and easily beats out the GTX 1070 Ti in some games. The lower temps also make it possible to kick the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC in the proverbial nuts and make it go further with some overclocking.
ASUS has proven again that their ROG STRIX cooler is one of the best in the market and the RTX 2060 benefits well from a great cooler. If you’re looking for a graphics card that can fit any theme build all the while offering class-leading performance with some good extra features, the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 is a top choice.
No price has been announced as of yet but estimates are around $500 for the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2060 OC. As of this writing, NVIDIA is offering Anthem and Battlefield V together with this card and other participating models. That’s +120$ worth of games and really sweetens this deal.
ASUS backs the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2060 OC with a 3-year warranty. We give it our B2G Silver Award!