Nvidia debuts RTX 2060 in flashy fashion at CES 2019

Nvidia finally took the wraps off of its mid-tier RTX graphics card, the RTX 2060. Like its up-market counterparts, Nvidia’s new card supports ray-tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). The RTX 2060 is the cheapest Turing-based graphics card available, but even at $349, it seems that ray tracing is still a bit of a luxury item.

Nvidia first launched the RTX series and its Turing architecture in August 2018, but the new cards were met with much criticism about the price. It didn’t help that no games supported Nvidia’s RTX technologies when the new cards hit the market, which limited their appeal—especially compared to the GTX 10-series cards.

Nvidia first released the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti in September, followed soon after by the RTX 2070 in October. In December, the company dropped the Titan RTX to round out the top end of the lineup. To date, those cards occupy the highest end of the graphics card market and all sell for upwards of $499 (up to the Titan RTX’s wicked $2,500 price tag), which prices out a lot of gamers. The $349 price tag of the RTX 2060, while not exactly cheap, brings all of Turing’s hybrid rendering technology and DLSS closer to affordable.

To put it in desktop terms, Nvidia said the RTX 2060 should perform better than a GTX 1070 Ti. That puts its price into perspective, but it’s another example of Nvidia’s push to increase the entry price of its GPU tiers. The Founder’s Edition of the GTX 1060 hit the market at $299, and you can find partner cards for around $250. Now you must fork over $349 for a mid-tier x60-class RTX GPU. However, Nvidia said you could expect up to 60% better performance than a GTX 1060.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card features 1920 CUDA cores (compared to 2304 in the RTX 2070) with a 1365 MHz base clock and a 1680 MHz boost clock. The RTX 2060 GPU also features 240 Tensor Cores, which can produce up to 52 Teraflops of floating-point precision processing for deep learning tasks. The RTX 2060 also features a handful of Turing RT cores that enable real-time ray tracing calculations. Nvidia didn’t reveal the number of RT cores available in the RTX 2060 GPUs, but the new cards can purportedly produce up to 32T RTX operations, compared to 45T from the RTX 2070 Founder’s Edition.

To compare with its closest relative in the product stack, Nvidia equipped the RTX 2060 with 6GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 memory, which is 2GB less than the RTX 2070 cards include. The higher-end graphics card also features a wider 256-bit memory bus, whereas the new RTX 2060 gets by with a 192-bit interface, the RTX 2070 offers up to a 448 GB/s transfer rate compared to the RTX 2060’s 336 GB/s.

Nvidia’s two-hour CES 2019 press conference felt like mostly CEO Jensen Huang talking through demo after demo showing off the eye candy of ray tracing. The demos were gorgeous, indeed, brimming with vibrant, lifelike reflections and exquisite details. More impressive was the fact that there were all powered, according to Huang, with an RTX 2060 (accompanied by an Intel Core i9-9900X CPU and 32 GB of RAM) that was performing ray tracing in real time.

Huang pointed to DLSS as a big reason why this was possible. DLSS is essentially an AI-powered way to improve visuals. It can take a lower-res image and learn what pixels need to be added, thereby improving what’s on the screen while achieving higher frame rates. In an onstage demo of Battlefield V at 1440p, the system reached nearly 70 FPS with RTX off. With ray tracing enabled, performance dropped to about 55 FPS. But when they added DLSS to the mix, performance bounced back to where it was with ray tracing disabled.

It’s impressive stuff, but of course these were just demos optimized to illustrate a point. We’ll have to see what the RTX 2060 can really do when we get a chance to test it.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 cards will be available next week, on January 15, from a variety of partners. There's also going to be an RTX 2060 Founder's Edition with stock specs that will be available the same day.

As an extra incentive, you can get either Battlefield V or Anthem, an upcoming action RPG from Bioware that releases February 15, with the purchase of an RTX 2060 or 2070.  If you buy an RTX 2080 Ti or 2080, you get both. 

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Comments closed
    • ozzuneoj
    • 9 months ago

    Okay, so its a brand new GPU equipped with the same amount of memory as the uninteresting mid range card from 2016 AND it’s likely not fast enough to use its most distinguishing feature in real games? All for the low low price of three hundred fifty US dollars? Cease speaking and kindly receive my currency!

    … but more seriously, I’m beginning to suspect that they’re deliberately trying to make these less attractive so they can keep selling off last generation GPUs without looking like they’re doing nothing. When a used 8GB GTX 1070 is selling for $220 these days, with new ones frequently selling for under $300 on sale, this is a tough sell. If the whole RTX lineup were bumped down $100 it’d seem like they actually wanted to sell them. At the very least if this had 8GB of memory it’d seem somewhat viable at $350, but it doesn’t.

    • gmskking
    • 9 months ago

    It just works…drops mic.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 months ago

    Nvidia lying about RTX performance yet again.

    [b<]1440p DLSS is not 1440p[/b<]. It's 1080p rendering and intentionally comparing performance of 1080p with DLSS against other cards rendering at 1440p is grossly misleading. [i<][b<][/b<]Oh wow, there's some smoke and mirrors going on for sure here. Live demo of "an RTX 2060" running 1440p BF5 at 55fps with raytracing, when there's already a full review of the Founder Edition RTX2060 over at [url=https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/geforce-rtx-2060-review-(founder),12.html<]Guru3D[/url<] and the real-world tested number is 38fps. Are Nvidia using potato-settings to justify RTX performance, or just running the stage demo on a 2080 after all and just claiming it's a 2060?[/i<] The 2070 is obsolete already though. The 2060 is really powerful for them money because Nvidia knew that hacking too much off the 2070 would leave the 2060 unable to run RTX features even at 1080p. Suddenly the $600 2070 looks like a terrible deal against the $350 2060, which provides 80% or more of the performance. Please Nvidia, stop with the RTX marketing guff and just release the 1160 already. The midrange needs a $200 product that isn't 2016's Polaris or Pascal.

      • Krogoth
      • 9 months ago

      RTX rendering is just Nvidia’s gambit on trying to keep customer-tier discrete GPU market relevant. Integrated GPUs are going to be eating away at lion’s share of value and mid-range discrete market by being “good enough” with much less hassle.

        • NTMBK
        • 9 months ago

        Eh, this happens towards the end of every console generation. Games target console specs, so it becomes harder and harder to justify spending massive money on games designed for much slower hardware.

        Once the PS5 launches, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of awesome new graphics tech to justify bigger GPUs.

          • Krogoth
          • 9 months ago

          Expect PS5 will be utilizing Navi which will also find a home in AMD’s next generation of APU units. Intel is also upping their game as well.

        • Klimax
        • 9 months ago

        Sounds familiar. Like if it was (or could have been) sort of case already in 2007/8…

        See GeForce 8300 GS (Not tested, but 9300 would likely be similar case) versus GMA 4500.

      • PixelArmy
      • 9 months ago

      wrt the live demo vs Guru3D, a well read TR member such as yourself understands the importance of different test platforms/test settings when assessing numbers/benchmarks (rtx off, Guru3D actually scores [i<]higher[/i<] than the demo). [i<]Surely you'd never misrepresent such things to bolster your argument.[/i<] wrt 2070 vs 2060, the 2070 was available at MSRP $500 at launch week (actually launch day) and [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601321572%208000&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=96<]the majority (~2/3rd) of them are under the $600 price you've listed[/url<], (they've been on sale frequently for < $500, and a Zotac one is currently $450 after promo code). [i<]Surely you'd never misrepresent such things to bolster your argument.[/i<]

        • Chrispy_
        • 9 months ago

        Launch price MSRP vs launch price MSRP.
        Street price is irrelevant when talking about the 2060 because you can’t buy any yet.

    • DoomGuy64
    • 9 months ago

    Well, at least it supposedly can handle 1440p, unlike the 1060. However, it is priced against the 1070, so that is the card it has to beat. If not, there is little point to the 2060 if you already have a 1070, or 1070 Ti. Aside from DLSS, which from what I’ve seen has difficulty handling fine lines like power cables and shimmers all over the place. Until that is fixed, DLSS isn’t as “smart” as Nvidia claims.

    Alternatively, mCable has great upsampling as well, with no performance loss, but doesn’t support 1440p or freesync, making it pointless outside of consoles or low end GPUs that run 1080p. They could easily break into the PC market by supporting those features, as I’m sure Nvidia users would love to have freesync support.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 9 months ago

      Did you read [i<]ptsant[/i<]'s thread here? [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=121668[/url<]

        • DoomGuy64
        • 9 months ago

        No, I don’t follow forum posts for news, and that’s a ridiculous assertion that I should have to. Especially since it seems that TR has written a news article about it, albeit after my post.

        That said, we already know how AMD rolled out adaptive, and it did NOT support their older cards. I’m sure Nvidia has done the same, in which only RTX cards support it, but I have not read any explicit details on the subject.

        Either way, it doesn’t matter, because it is irrelevant. The point was about mCable not supporting newer features. Nvidia supporting freesync isn’t relevant to that point. The only relevancy is how mCable is becoming pointless by not updating their hardware, and will soon go out of business once everyone else catches up. mCable has a very small window of opportunity to capitalize on their product, and then it will be gone. Which I find disappointing, since their product holds a lot of promise for revitalizing older platforms.

          • Krogoth
          • 9 months ago

          Nvidia could be cheeky and have their VESA VRR implemention for desktop GPUs be only supported on RTX, but in light of threat posed by Navi. I suspect desktop versions of Pascal and Maxwell will get it as well.

          Kepler crowd is SOL since the platform predates Displayport 1.2 spec.

            • jihadjoe
            • 9 months ago

            [quote<]Kepler crowd is SOL since the platform predates Displayport 1.2 spec.[/quote<] *shakes fist* Damn you, NGREEDIA!

    • ptsant
    • 9 months ago

    What are these demos? They look a lot like warframe. Or maybe Mass effect?

    That being said, warframe is light enough to run on old hardware so could afford to add the ray-tracing overhead for those with RTX cards. Would still probably run acceptably (60+ fps instead of 999fps).

      • auxy
      • 9 months ago

      Steve Sinclair (lead developer at Digital Extremes) told me personally ([i<]edit: responding to my question on a stream, I don't know the guy[/i<]) that he's not that interested in RTX until it is available on all platforms. He's more interested in deploying Vulkan as a graphics API for portability, and says he doesn't like being tied to Windows as a platform.

      • EzioAs
      • 9 months ago

      I think it’s the soon to be released Anthem.

    • NTMBK
    • 9 months ago

    The RTX 2060 – for when you want to raytrace at 720p

      • cmrcmk
      • 9 months ago

      Or when you want a gorgeous 4K slideshow!

        • DoomGuy64
        • 9 months ago

        Well, if you pre-render your games and play back the videos like Myst, you can have the illusion of 4k gaming. XD

      • Leader952
      • 9 months ago

      Mr Troll I direct you to Tom’s Review of the RTX 2060:

      [url<]https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2060-ray-tracing-turing,5960.html[/url<] [quote<]What’s more, recent updates to Battlefield V make Nvidia’s hybrid rasterization/real-time ray tracing approach playable on lower-end hardware. We averaged 68 frames per second (FPS) on the 2060 through our benchmark at 1920x1080 with graphics options, including DXR Reflection Quality, set to Ultra. [/quote<]

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