Date: July 6, 2019
Author(s): Rob Williams
The first Turing GeForce cards released almost ten months ago, so it’s time for an upgrade – perhaps even a “SUPER” one? With a new title to hit the GeForce line, we’re getting just that with updated RTX 2060 and 2070s, and promises of an updated 2080 coming SUPER soon. Let’s see what the first new cards are made of.
If you ever feel like the graphics card market is stale, just wait a little bit longer. It seems that without fail, we’re hit with a deluge of releases all at once – a reality exasperated right now by the fact that AMD not only has its own new GPUs releasing soon, but new CPUs, as well.
Ahead of AMD’s launch, NVIDIA wanted to remind the world that it has an answer to every conceivable AMD desktop GPU, even before a new threat has the chance to arrive. This latest response to pending competition comes to us in the form of SUPER, impacting three models: RTX 2060, 2070, and soon, 2080.
The three SUPER models all feature slightly increased core counts over their respective originals, while the 2060 SUPER gains an additional boost by way of an increased framebuffer size. Considering that we’re talking about a $400 GPU here, it’s nice to see an 8GB 2060 finally available.
Presumably because of that framebuffer augmentation, the RTX 2060 SUPER is being treated as a separate model in the lineup, demanding a $50 premium over the non-SUPER, which puts it at $399. The original 2070 and 2080 models, however, are going to completely replace the previous iterations, and retain their price tags ($499 for 2070, and $699 for 2080).
Here’s a specs table to help you get a better impression of NVIDIA’s current and last-gen offerings:
|NVIDIA’s GeForce Gaming GPU Lineup|
|Cores||Base MHz||Peak FP32||Memory||Bandwidth||TDP||SRP|
|TITAN RTX||4608||1770||16.3 TFLOPS||24GB 1||672 GB/s||280W||$1,199|
|RTX 2080 Ti||4352||1350||13.4 TFLOPS||11GB 1||616 GB/s||250W||$999|
|RTX 2080 SUPER||3072||1650||11.1 TFLOPS||8GB 1||496 GB/s||250W||$699|
|RTX 2080||2944||1515||10.0 TFLOPS||8GB 1||448 GB/s||215W||$699|
|RTX 2070 SUPER||2560||1605||9.1 TFLOPS||8GB 1||448 GB/s||215W||$499|
|RTX 2070||2304||1410||7.4 TFLOPS||8GB 1||448 GB/s||175W||$499|
|RTX 2060 SUPER||2176||1470||7.2 TFLOPS||8GB 1||448 GB/s||175W||$399|
|RTX 2060||1920||1680||6.4 TFLOPS||6GB 1||336 GB/s||160W||$349|
|GTX 1660 Ti||1536||1500||5.5 TFLOPS||6GB 1||288 GB/s||120W||$279|
|GTX 1660||1408||1530||5 TFLOPS||6GB 1||192 GB/s||120W||$279|
|GTX 1650||896||1485||3 TFLOPS||4GB 1||128 GB/s||75W||$279|
|TITAN Xp||3840||1405||12.1 TFLOPS||12GB 2||548 GB/s||250W||$1,199|
|GTX 1080 Ti||3584||1480||11.3 TFLOPS||11GB 2||484 GB/s||250W||$699|
|GTX 1080||2560||1733||8.8 TFLOPS||8GB 2||320 GB/s||180W||$499|
|GTX 1070 Ti||2432||1607||8.1 TFLOPS||8GB 3||256 GB/s||180W||$449|
|GTX 1070||1920||1506||6.4 TFLOPS||8GB 3||256 GB/s||150W||$379|
|GTX 1060||1280||1700||4.3 TFLOPS||6GB 3||192 GB/s||120W||$299|
|GTX 1050 Ti||768||1392||2.1 TFLOPS||4GB 3||112 GB/s||75W||$139|
|GTX 1050||640||1455||1.8 TFLOPS||2GB 3||112 GB/s||75W||$109|
|Notes||1 GDDR6; 2 GDDR5X; 3 GDDR5; 4 HBM2|
Architecture: GTX & TITAN = Pascal; RTX = Turing
This table doesn’t take Tensor and RT cores into consideration, which NVIDIA exclusively offers on its RTX cards. With Tensor cores, gamers can take advantage of deep-learning super-sampling anti-aliasing (DLSS) in supported games, effectively enhancing the level of detail in a scene (but to hit-or-miss effect right now).
So far, it seems like many more game developers are more jazzed over real-time ray tracing. That’s especially the case when you look back at E3, which saw a handful of great games vow their support. That includes Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Control, and Watch Dogs: Legion. We ultimately hoped to tackle RTX performance for this review, but some software fought with us too much (more in the methodology section), so it will come later.
For creators, RTX’s RT cores will deliver real-time ray tracing to give immediate feedback on scene updates. This kind of interactive rendering used to be abysmally slow, but real-time ray tracing can speed it up to the point of acceptable performance. More software is coming out with this support all of the time, and we’d expect that by the winter, all of the major consumer rendering solutions will include RTX support in some way.
All three of the new SUPER cards give a boost to performance on all RTX fronts, including “rays cast” and TFLOPS performance for deep-learning. So, even without the general GPU core boost, these cards will enable even greater ray tracing performance. That may still only mean a few FPS at each tick, given how computationally demanding it is, but that added performance is even more critical at the sub-60 FPS range.
We’ll take a look at creator and ray tracing gaming performance in the weeks ahead. For now, let’s quickly explore our gaming test system and suite, and then get right into a look at the performance.
|Techgage Gaming GPU Test PC|
|Processor||Intel Core i9-9900K (3.6GHz Base, 5.0GHz Turbo, 8C/16T)|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING|
CPU tested with BIOS 1005 (April 10, 2019)
|Memory||G.SKILL TridentZ (F4-3400C16-8GSXW) 8GB x 2|
Operates at DDR4-3200 14-14-14 (1.35V)
|AMD Graphics||AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (8GB; Radeon 19.6.3)|
AMD Radeon RX 590 (8GB; Radeon 19.6.3)
|NVIDIA Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (8GB; GeForce 430.86)|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (8GB; GeForce 430.86)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB; GeForce 430.86)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB; GeForce 430.86)
|Storage||Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB (SATA 6Gbps)|
|Power Supply||Corsair RM650x (650W)|
|Chassis||NZXT S340 Elite Mid-tower|
|Cooling||Corsair Hydro H100i V2 AIO Liquid Cooler (240mm)|
|Et cetera||Windows 10 Pro (64-bit; build 18362)|
All GPUs have been tested with up-to-date drivers, and for the first time for our gaming suite, in the updated Windows 10 May Update. Our OS install is kept as clean and optimized as possible to reduce possible benchmark interference, ensuring accurate results. V-Sync, G-SYNC and FreeSync are disabled at the monitor and driver level.
A total of ten games are included in our current test suite. Recent additions include Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for some super-high FPS eSports testing, as well as the new F1 2019, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Total War: Three Kingdoms. Meanwhile, Battlefield V, Far Cry 5, Monster Hunter: World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and the usual assortment of synthetics make a return in our updated suite.
Here’s the full list of tested synthetic benchmarks, games, and developer allegiances:
This collection of games gives us a nice blend of DirectX 11 and 12 APIs, but it unfortunately lacks both Vulkan and ray tracing testing. We tried to include Rage 2 for a Vulkan performance angle, until a patch stopped the game from working on our NVIDIA install (even after an OS reinstall). We then moved on with World War Z, which doesn’t let you screenshot its results screen, and can randomly boot up as DX11 instead of Vulkan. We often don’t know when to accept defeat, but with so much testing going on right now, we had to just scrap Vulkan for now.
Note: You can download all of the tested setting images at once here (ZIP, 7MB).
On the ray tracing side, we planned to use Battlefield V until activation DRM stepped in. We then tried to use Metro Exodus‘ external benchmark tool, but it would crash before the content could open, which is the same issue we had at its launch. Suffice to say, this article lacks certain results we wanted to get in, but there are many more to help make up for it. And with that, let’s get right to it, starting with Drmfield V.
From the get-go, we can see some clear improvements SUPER brings to the table. Both respective models provide a nice boost to performance over the non-SUPERs, but ultimately, the entire collection here is suitable enough for either 1080p or 1440p. An exception might be with the RX 590, since its minimum falls a fair bit below 60, and since our benchmark doesn’t represent online play, we’d expect the going to get much tougher there.
All of NVIDIA’s GPUs listed here handle Battlefield V fine at ultrawide, but AMD’s cards struggle. Oddly, the Vega 64 gave us an almost crippled minimum FPS, of half its average. The RX 590 didn’t fare the same way, but its overall performance at that resolution is lacking.
The SUPER cards continue to outpace their predecessors to a fair degree, with the 146 FPS result of the 2070 SUPER at 1080p being quite attractive. It can be argued that a game like F1 doesn’t need super high-frame rates, and that might be true for competitive play, but if you have a 144Hz monitor, you definitely want to take full advantage of it.
As we move up the resolution ladder, the pain gets more real, but every GPU other than the RX 590 delivers suitable performance. These charts are going to look a lot more interesting once the RX 5700 series get added.
With the performance delivered by the RTX 2070 SUPER, it’s the most suitable 4K gaming card of this bunch. Admittedly, that resolution could have been tested on that GPU and the few below it, but testing all of the hardware we have on hand can’t get done quick enough. We’ll be sure to add 4K for a bunch of these games in time for the 2080 SUPER look.
Notably, this is the first game so far that puts the Vega 64 ahead of the original RTX 2060, so hopefully that bodes good things for Navi testing. With SUPER in particular, we’re continuing to see fair gains over the non-SUPERs, but the gains seen on the 2060 SUPER seem to be even more impressive than those on the 2070 SUPER. That’s all just SUPER.
“But can it run Metro Exodus?” should be a question anyone who enjoys this series asks, because like every other Metro title leading up to the latest, a secondary reason for this game’s existence is to punish unsuspecting graphics hardware. Even at 1080p, the minimums on the 2070 SUPER drop well below 60 FPS. Ignoring those harsh minimums, the averages are fair for the entire stack – again except for the RX 590.
It’s important to note that we’re using the Ultra profile for this testing, which is apparently quite aggressive. We may tone down the detail for the next round of testing, or go the manual route if we can score a save game. Either way, the game requires huge horsepower if you want to take advantage of all of its bells and whistles, and very few GPUs can even pull that off at 1080p!
Performance scaling doesn’t change-up much with Monster Hunter: World. At 1080p, every single one of these GPUs can run the game at very high detail with the high-res texture pack, with even the RX 590 keeping ahead of 60 FPS minimum. That GPU falls a bit too far behind at 1440p, while only NVIDIA’s SUPERs and the RTX 2070 manage to keep safely above 60 FPS. The Vega 64 and original RTX 2060 don’t fall too far behind.
We’re skipping minimums with this one, since some of what we saw made no sense, and we obviously need to refine how we test this game. Nonetheless, all of the cards deliver strong performance at up to 1440p, which even includes the RX 590. That’s not bad for a modern game that sports many graphical effects (including ray tracing, but that wasn’t tested here).
The Division 2 is an AMD’d partnered game, but NVIDIA’s GPUs perform exceptionally well with it. But, at top-end graphics settings, ultrawide does get a little iffy even for the RTX 2070 SUPER, peaking at 55 FPS. Thankfully, this game has a billion (give or take) graphics settings to tweak, so if you’re desperate for 60 FPS, it shouldn’t take much tweaking to get there.
Three Kingdoms is the latest in the Total War franchise, and as we found out at Intel’s Odyssey event in Taiwan during Computex, the game’s developer focused a lot on eking as much performance out of people’s systems as possible. It’s meant to look great, and run great, and for the most part, that seems to be the case, with even Intel touting its gameplay on its integrated graphics.
With discrete cards, the graphics will obviously improve significantly, and for 1080p gaming, you don’t need a really high-end card to get great framerates. Even the Vega 64 hits (close to) 60 FPS at 1080p. After that point, though, it’s like some GPUs run into a wall. Neither of the Radeons are suitable with the chosen graphics settings, but like some of the other games in our suite, this one has many graphical knobs to turn.
Even the RTX 2070 SUPER cries a little bit at 3440×1440. For some, 47 FPS average might be suitable, but if not for you, a couple of changes in the settings will rectify that pretty quickly. Thankfully, the game’s built-in benchmark makes it easy to test out your tweaks.
Counter-Strike is a game we never thought we’d benchmark, for the simple fact that the frame rates go through the roof. But, that happens to be important to eSports gamers, and it’s easy to understand why. Ultimately, in competition, latency anywhere matters, whether it’s the lag between a host and a client over a network, or the lag from a mouse click to reaction on the screen.
144Hz is a typical goal for competitive gamers, but as evidenced above, it won’t be hard to take full advantage of 200Hz monitors in this game. 240Hz comes close, with some of the cards hitting 235 FPS. We’re hitting an obvious bottleneck somewhere, likely with the CPU, and since we’re already hitting a Turbo clock of 5GHz, 240Hz might have to wait to see improvement.
At 4K, the Vega 64 and RTX 2060 come close to 144 FPS, while the top three obliterate that mark. Even the RX 590 hits nearly 100 FPS at 4K, so if you’re a fan of this game, you can relish the fact that you won’t have to break the bank to get great performance.
We weren’t able to exceed 240 FPS with CS: GO, but it happened with Siege, and that’s despite it being a more graphically-intensive game – as evidenced by the high-resolution graphs. All six of the tested graphics cards exceed 144 FPS at 1080p, and all but the RX 590 hit that at 1080p. At 4K, you’ll need one of the top three cards to hover around 100 FPS.
The RTX 2070 SUPER struts its stuff well in all three of these UL benchmarks, placing well ahead of the rest of the lineup – including of course the GPU it’s replacing. Likewise, the 2060 SUPER sees a big uptick in performance over the RTX 2060, which is partly why NVIDIA is adding this as an additional SKU for $50 more, rather than replace the original 2060.
The more we look at these results, the more we know they’d look so much better with AMD’s Navi added in, as it’s going to give us a more reflective view of what you’re going to be able to buy soon. Fortunately, those results are coming super-soon.
Wrapping things up, the 2070 SUPER once again exhibits some huge strengths over its predecessor, while the RX Vega 64 continues to put forth a valiant effort against the original RTX 2060. Ultimately, we’re seeing some serious strength from the green team – but competition is coming.
We admittedly bit off more than we could chew in recent weeks, the result of inefficiently tackling a number of test suite upgrades all at once. Working against us, we had to keep troubleshooting select games, and swapping out GPUs more than necessary due to game DRM. We’re happy to say that things have resolved themselves nicely, though we still regret that this particular review took days long to release than it really should have.
At this point, we have AMD’s Radeon Navi benchmarked and ready to publish results for, but we haven’t actually compiled those results yet to make sure we weren’t influenced by them in writing this conclusion. Our conclusion now is the same as it would have been days ago… that AMD has caused some disruption here. NVIDIA didn’t just pull SUPER out of a hat as a response to Navi. It’s undoubtedly been sitting in the wings. The actual timing itself to release is undeniably a way to jab AMD, and it is what it is. Companies sure do seem to have fun trading blows.
When we tested the original RTX 2060, we considered it the most attractive model of the entire RTX lineup, because for its price, it packed in all of the goods, and delivered a great gaming punch. The SUPER extends that, but becomes a bit more future-proof by bumping the framebuffer to 8GB. It would have been really SUPER to see the new 2060 priced the same, but alas, we apparently can’t have it all. At least the FE comes with a great-looking shroud, and not to mention a backplate.
We haven’t tackled overclocking on these cards yet, but out-of-the-box, the performance on both is really strong. It is quite nice to see that the RTX 2070 SUPER replaces the original, giving gamers who were eying that price point a nice boost to performance. The RTX 2060 SUPER makes for an excellent 1440p card, while the 2070 SUPER extends that to ultrawide, and inches into 4K territory.
As mentioned earlier, we unfortunately lacked RTX performance in this article due to running into too many software issues, but that will be rectified soon, along with our usual creator-type benchmarks. While our CPU and gaming GPU collection is largely up to date now, we need to start from scratch with workstation, so we plan to deliver that look later in the week.
From a value perspective, and ignoring AMD’s GPUs which are pending launch, NVIDIA’s SUPER GPUs offer a lot of value. If you need any sort of proof, just look at the fact that AMD dropped pricing for both cards ahead of their launch. The RX 5700 XT drops from $450 to $400, while the RX 5700 falls $30 to hit $349. A fuller picture will be seen once results can be published for Navi, coming “soon”. Stay tuned.
July 8 Addendum: Because this article was published so close to the release of AMD’s new Navi GPUs, it was impossible to draw up immediate conclusions given that we weren’t sure what AMD was bringing to the table. Well, we’ve now taken an in-depth look at team red’s latest offerings, and after now seeing a fuller picture, we believe the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER, with all that it offers at $399, its worthy of an Editor’s Choice award. Likewise, AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 took the honor at the $349 slot, as it delivers great competitive performance and offers an additional 2GB on the framebuffer. We must reiterate: it is a great time to be looking at purchasing a new mid-range GPU.
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