It’s summer, a time for warmth and a time of refreshing, literally. NVIDIA is no stranger to refreshes, and the refreshes NVIDIA is announcing today seem to have some teeth to them. These are refreshes you can get behind. First let’s quickly summarize what we’ve got, then we’ll look at performance and finally our thoughts.
Today, July 2nd, 2019 NVIDIA is announcing the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER. The GeForce RTX 2070 and 2060 SUPER will be available July 9th. The RTX 2080 SUPER will be available July 23rd. The GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER will be $699, the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER will be $499 and the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER will be $399. Eventually you’ll see these video cards take over and the original RTX 2070 and 2080 kicked to the curb, or at least increasingly hard to find. The GeForce RTX 2060 is not going anywhere however, and it will be $349.
What makes these refreshes unique is the fact that it’s not just one upgraded component, like faster memory or something. Oh no, NVIDIA has gone all out and improved each video card in multiple ways. It’s still the same Turing architecture, but now you’ll find more CUDA Cores, more ROPs, more TMUs, more RT Cores more Tensor Cores higher clock speeds, more VRAM, higher memory bandwidth, higher memory bus.
The GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER has the most changes with CUDA Core improvements, ROPs, TMUs, RT Cores, Tensor cores. It also has a robust upgrade to the memory configuration, 8GB of VRAM, 256-bit bus, faster memory, much higher memory bandwidth. The RTX 2070 SUPER has higher clock speeds, more CUDA Cores, more RT Cores, more Tensor Cores, more TMUs. NVIDIA puts the RTX 2070 SUPER up against the GTX 1080 Ti claiming better performance. NVIDIA also claims the RTX 2060 SUPER is close to RTX 2070 performance.
The first thing we want to talk about are those claims from NVIDIA. Let’s actually get word-for-word what NVIDIA claimed exactly, and our results we got in the real-world. These performance quotes come directly from NVIDIA.
- GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER is up to 24% faster (avg 16%) than the GeForce RTX 2070 for the same price. It beats a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
- GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER is up to 22% faster (avg 15%) than RTX 2060, and it has 8GB of memory instead of 6GB. It’s faster than GTX 1080, and it nearly matches RTX 2070 performance, for $399.
- GeForce RTX 2060 lives on as the first step up to RTX performance and feature set, for $349.
According to our performance results NVIDIA is correct about the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER beating the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It isn’t a major defeat, but I don’t think anyone was expecting that. It’s generally about 5% faster. Remember, our GTX 1080 Ti was based on a custom video card with custom cooling so its GPU Boost clocks are running higher than a bog-standard reference design GTX 1080 Ti would perform. Still, the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER did beat it most of the time, and other times were right on par with its performance. That claim therefore seems to stand true. The GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER at $499 is matching (slightly besting) a video card that is $699 MSRP and even more expensive based on current street pricing.
The second claim is that the RTX 2070 SUPER is 16% faster on average compared to GeForce RTX 2070 for the same price. Keep in mind our GeForce RTX 2070 used for comparison is a Founders Edition, so it has a boost to its clock speed. You can think of this as a mild factory overclocked card in that way. Knowing that, it is even more impressive that we actually did experience the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER performing about 12%-15% on average above our GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition video card. That’s a $499 video card providing about 12%-15% better performance over the $599 Founders Edition RTX 2070.
The next claim is that the RTX 2060 SUPER is average 16% faster than the original RTX 2060. Once again, these claims were true. We experienced performance ranging from 12%-19%, yes we saw a 19% faster result in there, compared to the RTX 2060, the average is around 15%. The RTX 2060 SUPER is $50 more expensive than the RTX 2060, but you are getting 15% performance improvement average, and more VRAM (8GB) for better and smoother 1440p gameplay with higher memory bandwidth.
Lastly, the claim was that RTX 2060 SUPER nearly matches RTX 2070 performance. Once again, we are using a Founders Edition RTX 2070, so it runs a little faster. Still, in our evaluation we saw that the RTX 2060 SUPER was indeed very close to the performance of the RTX 2070 FE. It was right on its heels all the time. A $399 video card performing nearly as fast as $499-$599 RTX 2070/FE.
What Goes Where?
We often talk about what video card works best for what resolution and gameplay settings. It is clear from our testing in today’s games that the original release GeForce RTX 2060 is best suited for high or near maximum game settings at 1080p in today’s games. It falls off a bit at trying to pull off 1440p with maximum game settings. However, this is where the new GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER picks it up. It is able to handle 1440p much better and games play very well at high to maximum settings. The extra VRAM at 8GB helps to make 1440p more viable as well.
The GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER naturally does extremely well at 1440p allowing maximum game settings. It’s not a 4K card, so don’t confuse things there, but at 1440p the RTX 2070 SUPER provides an exceptional 1440p experience. The RTX 2060 SUPER offers a good 1440p experience, some rougher games you may have to lower a setting here or there. The original release RTX 2060, stick to 1080p.
In terms of ray tracing performance, we have more testing to do there. Our testing confirms that ray tracing performance is faster on the SUPER cards for sure, they have more Tensor Cores and RT Cores. However, games are still demanding with ray tracing turned on. In Metro Exodus no video card here was really playable at 1080p with “Extreme” settings and “Ultra” ray tracing. We’d have to lower settings on every video card to be playable. Shadow of the Tomb Raider played better, you can pull off “Ultra” shadow ray tracing on the RTX 2070 SUPER at 1080p very well, even the RTX 2070 will do fine. The RTX 2060 SUPER is right on the line, there may be some slower spots, but it may mostly be ok.
The fact is, ray tracing is still a hard thing to do and needs a lot of performance. Though these video cards provide an upgrade in performance that you will notice, you still may find yourself yearning for a faster RTX 2080/Super or 2080 Ti level video card for ray tracing. Though we do have more testing to do with these video cards when it comes to ray tracing and DLSS.
Please keep in mind we had a strict timeline for this evaluation today. We have not had a chance to cover everything we want to cover and we have many more reviews planned with these video cards to explore other aspects of performance. Overclocking, ray tracing/DLSS, more games, other card comparisons, we know these are things you want to see. These reviews will come, stick around and check back with us weekly to see what new reviews and articles we’ve posted.