Introduction

Well, well, well! Nvidia is not yet done with their Turing architecture as we have seen a release of RTX 2060 graphics card which is based on modified version of TU106; the same chip that has been used in the RTX 2070. Call this Turing on budget. The Turing architecture represents the biggest architectural leap forward in over a decade, providing a new core GPU architecture that enables major advances in efficiency and performance for PC gaming. Using new hardware-based accelerators and a Hybrid Rendering approach, Turing fuses rasterization, real-time ray tracing and AI to enable incredible realism in PC games, amazing new effects powered by neural networks, cinematic-quality interactive experiences, and fluid interactivity.

This modified TU106 packs 30 SMs, 1920 CUDA Cores, 240 Tensor Cores, 51.6 Tensor Flops (FP16), 30 RT Cores (for ray tracing), 120 Texture Units, 48 ROPs, 5Giga Rays under Rays Casting, 37 RTX-OPS (Tera-OPS). This GPU has 6GB GDDR6 VRAM rated at 14Gbpsor 7000MHz roughly on 192-bit memory interface having 336.1GB/s memory bandwidth at rated TDP of 160W. The boost clock is rated at 1680MHz. One can clearly see that RTX 2060 packs the same RT Core, Tensor Cores, CUDA Cores that high-end RTX GPUs boast but all this cut-down version is helping Nvidia to provide a Ray Tracing experience on lower resolution to mid resolution. This GPU is being aimed at 1080p gamers but can very well be used at 1440p resolution. In fact, our testing has confirmed that with maxed out graphics settings, the RTX 2060 is indeed performing very well.

RTX 2060’s 240 Tensor Cores deliver 52 TFLOPS of deep learning horsepower and can be used to improve gaming performance through a feature known as Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). DLSS leverages a deep neural network to extract multidimensional features of the rendered scene and intelligently combine details from multiple frames to construct a high-quality final image. This allows Turing GPUs to use a fraction of the samples for rendering and use AI to fill in information to create the final image. The result is a clear, crisp image with similar quality as traditional rendering (which typically relies on Temporal AA in most of today’s latest games), but with higher performance.

The Founders Edition card is rated at $349 whereas the RTX 2070 is rated at $500. Is this price tag enough to warrant the users’ bucks and what sort of performance levels does this GPU offers? Today, I will be spinning the AIB version of the RTX 2060 provided by the Gigabyte which is Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Pro. Nvidia is claiming this card to match the rivalry of their popular GTX 1080 from Pascal architecture. Since I have already covered the base of Turing architecture when I had reviewed Asus GeForce RTX 2080 O8G, I won’t be going into the architecture details.

When it comes to PC components manufacturing, Gigabyte needs no introduction. Their major product lines include motherboards for Intel and AMD platforms, graphics cards for Nvidia and AMD platform, PC Server solutions. They are among the top manufacturers of this industry and rightly so. Gigabyte through their gaming brand Aorus has expanded the Ecosystem by launching more product lines including PC Chassis, CPU Coolers, Storage Solutions, PC RAM, PSU, and PC Peripherals. This trend is in bloom these days as other manufacturers are also picking on it. GIGABYTE was founded in 1986 and is committed to providing top-notch solutions. Gigabyte has continuously brought unique new ways of digital worlds and created marvelous products that empower users with meaningful and charming experiences. Aorus is a pinnacle of Gigabyte hardware excellence, to provide a full spectrum of innovative gaming products that deliver the ultimate performance and exemplify PC’s capability of bringing gamers unprecedented delights.

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Pro is an overclocked version based on the modified TU106 chip. This graphics card is factory overclocked to massive 1830MHz boost clock speed which is way ahead of reference design’s 1680MHz. It features the Gigabyte’s ever-popular WINDFORCE 3X cooling solution using 3 80mm fans in a counter-clockwise rotation to ensure the effective airflow for better heat dissipation. We have a metal backplate on the backside of the PCB and shroud is made of plastic finished in black and gray color textures which really adds to the overall looks. Gigabyte has provided an RGB illumination as well on the top side of the card. The card is using a single 8-pin power connector and packs 6+2 power phases. The card remains silent even under loads and under no load, the fans stop spinning. Being the budget-friendly Turing graphics solution, the GTX 2060 does not have USB C and NVLink support so say bye bye to the SLI. This is Nvidia’s imposed limitation and AIB partners of the Nvidia have to follow the design.

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The graphics card is shipped inside a cardboard box which is encapsulated inside a paperboard packing. The front side of the outer packing box has a Gigabyte brand name printed on the top left. Eagle eye brand logo is printed on the main section. GeForce RTX 2060 is printed on the bottom right side. The model of the card which is Gaming OC Pro 6G is printed on the left side. This is OC edition card featuring Windforce 3X cooling using RGB Fusion 2.0.

The backside of the packing box shows salient features of the graphics card. Windforce cooling solution is featured on this graphics card. 3X here means that this card has 3 fans in the cooling solution. The copper plate is making contact with GPU and VRAM as well as there is a dedicated copper plate for MOSFETs. RGB Fusion 2.0 is employed for RGB illumination and a solid metal backplate adds to the rigidness and overall sturdiness of the card.

The top side has Gigabyte printed on the left side with GeForce RTX 2060 printed on the right side.

The rear side of the outer packing box has salient highlights printed in 13 different languages.

The left side of the outer packing box has Gigabyte printed on the top section followed by the VRAM information and 3x Fans in the cooling solution. GeForce RTX 2060 is printed at the bottom.

Gigabyte is printed at the top. 3X Fans and 6GB GDDR6 are printed followed by the GeForce RTX 2060 on the bottom.

There is another box inside the outer packing box made of cardboard. It has a Gigabyte brand logo printed on the top.

Opening that box would reveal accessory box placed inside it. Taking it out would show the graphics card wrapped inside the anti-static sheet.

Accessories

Following are included:

  • User manual/guide
  • Installation disk

Closer Look

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC is among the top tier graphics solution in this category from the Gigabyte (Non-Aorus). This card features 6GB GDDR6 VRAM from Micron. This is the first time that I am seeing a Micron chip overclocking that well in my experience. More on it later in the section. This card packs 1920 shader units using 87.8 GPixel/s pixel fill rate and 219.6 GT/s texture fill rate. The base clock of the card is 1365MHz whereas boost clock is 1830MHz making this card factory overclocked one; hence the term OC in the model. Memory is clocked at 7001MHz.

Above is the picture of GPU-Z showing the basic information of the graphics card and its sensors telemetry.  Gigabyte has provided maximum power limit or target to be 113% with a maximum thermal limit of 87°C. Default power target is 100% which the user can increase using Aorus Engine or any other graphics setting and monitoring software like Afterburner. As has been the case with other Turing cards that I have tested, this one was no exception to when it comes to hitting power limit as it was continuously hitting the power limit despite. Even increasing the power target to 113% does not resolve as it was still hitting the power limit.

It is time to take a look at a closer look at the design of the graphics card and then I will be discussing the results of the gaming and synthetic benchmarks. Above is a symbolic picture of the graphics card showing its main components. The black color PCB is sandwiched between the metal back plate and heatsink plus shroud.

We have a black and gray colored plastic made shroud covering the aluminum heatsink. The shroud has groves and sharp looking edges across the length giving it one heck of a bold look and style. The gray color textures are on the bottom and the top side of the shroud which complements the overall look and feel of the shroud. The card has 2 slot design having a dimension of 280.35×116.45×40.24mm (LxHxW).

The WINDFORCE 3X cooling system features 3x 80mm unique blade fans, alternate spinning fan, 4 composite copper heat pipes, heat-pipe direct touch, and 3D active fan functionality, together delivering an effective heat dissipation capacity for higher performance at lower temperatures. These are 80mm fans with the middle fan set to rotate clockwise unlike the exterior fans which rotate counter-clockwise. This alternate spinning is to ensure effective airflow without any turbulence. The GIGABYTE patent “Alternate Spinning” is the only solution that can solve the turbulent airflow of three fans. The biggest problem with the three fans is turbulence. Since the fans rotate in the same direction, the airflow direction is opposite between the fans, which will cause turbulent airflow and reduce heat dissipation efficiency. GIGABYTE turns the middle fan in the opposite direction, so that the airflow direction between the two fans is the same, reducing the turbulence and enhancing the airflow pressure.

The airflow is split by the triangular fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow. The 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, and the fans will remain off when the GPU is in a low load or low power game. It allows gamers to enjoy the gameplay in complete silence when the system is running light or idle. In my testing, I have enjoyed silent gaming with excellent thermals on the graphics card clearly evidencing the power and effectiveness of the WINFORCE 3X cooling solution.

Wait, I am not yet finished with the WINDFORCE 3X cooling solution as we have only looked at the fans in the overall solution. This graphics card employs aluminum fin stack for heat dissipation. To ensure the maximum coverage of critical areas like GPU, VRAM, and  MOSFET, the Gigabyte has used copper plates which make direct contact with these areas. There is a single large size copper plate (nickel plated) making contact with the VRAM and GPU. There is a second copper plate making direct contact with the MOSFETs (Power delivery components). These plates are connected to a massive aluminum heatsink which is actually comprised of three heat sinks jointed using 4 copper based heat pipes.

The shape of the pure copper heat pipes maximizes the direct contact area with the GPU, enhancing heat transfer. The heat pipes also cover the VRAM through a large metal plate contact to ensure proper cooling. The composite heat-pipes combines thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the heat transfer between two solid interfaces which increases cooling capacity. From the looks of it, these heat pipes seem to be of 8mm thickness.

Looking at the top side of the graphics card, the center of the shroud has a gray color area with RGB LEDs underneath it. The GIGABYTE text illuminates when powered on using RGB Fusion 2.0 to control the RGB lighting effects on this graphics card. GeForce RTX is printed on the right side of this illuminated portion. The shroud is not fully covering the graphics card from this side. This is done to ensure ample ventilation for effective heat dissipation. There is a black color power connector which seems to be powering the RGB LEDs.

Looking at the base of the graphics card, the PCIe connector can clearly be seen. One can spot white color thermal pads being used between the copper cold plate and the heatsink. Apparently, a fan power connector in black color is located towards the rightmost side of the PCB. The heatsink portion towards the rear IO section is making no contact with the PCB as there is a gap between both which is understandable as the critical areas are already well covered up.

Gigabyte is using a solid metallic backplate on the back side of the PCB to add more strength in the overall design and also to serve for the better aesthetics of the card. GIGABYTE in the white color text is printed in the center of the plate. There is no warranty void sticker pasted on any of the four GPU spring-loaded screws. A serial no sticker is pasted towards the power connector side. There is no NVLink connector on the PCB.

This graphics card is using a single 8-pin power connector. Looking closely at the PCB, it is evident that the PCB is designed to handle up to two 8-pin connectors but only one has been used for this graphics card. It is likely that the same PCB could be in use for high-end models of RTX 2070 which may be using dual 8-pin connectors.

Right below the power connector, there is an LED marked as LED 2. The smart power LED indicator alerts the user when any PCI-E power supply is abnormal. This LED has a white color. It has three modes:

Power LED Mode Description
Light On Power Cable is not connected
Light Off Stable power connection
Light Blinking Shows some issue with the power source

 

The left and rightmost ends of the shroud resemble with the carbon fiber wrap finishing though it is just the finishing that actually gives that impression. There are two large size cutouts on both ends to ensure proper ventilation for effective heat dissipation. The shroud part has actually extended over the PCB and covers the front side as well. This makes the overall look and feel of the graphics card in harmony with the overall design.

The above picture is better showing what I have stated above that the shroud has extended over the PCB. One can see the 4 composite heat pipes coming out of the heat sink and terminating here.

Following connectivity options are available at the user’s disposal:

  • 1x HDMI port 2.0 b
  • 3x DP ports 1.4

No USB-C option is provided in the RTX 2060 which is Nvidia’s imposed limitation.

Due to limitation from the source, I did not open the card to take a look at the PCB and the power delivery system. This graphics card uses the 6+2 power phase design to allow the MOSFET to operate at a lower temperature, and over-temperature protection design and load balancing for each MOSFET, plus the Ultra Durable certified chokes and capacitors, to provide excellent performance and longer system life. The reference card is using a 4+2 power phase.

Testing

Following is the information regarding the test system and drivers that I have used to test this graphics card:

  • Intel i7 8700k @ 5.0GHz
  • Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB kit @ 3000MHz
  • Alphacool Hurrican Eiisturm 360 Cooling Kit
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 3.5” 2 TB HDD
  • Thermaltake TP iRGB 1250W Titanium PSU
  • Thermaltake View 71

Drivers

  • Nvidia driver 417.71 for Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060
  • Nvidia driver 411. For other RTX graphics cards
  • Nvidia driver 398.35 for GTX graphics cards
  • Nvidia driver 417.71 for GTX 1080 [Required for Battlefield V]

Monitoring Software

MSI Afterburner 4.60 was used to monitor and record the FPS for the games without in-built benchmarks. Three runs per game per API per resolution were made and the average is being shown on the graphs. The tough ordeal for the tester!

Synthetic Benchmarks

Following synthetic benchmarks have been used:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
  • 3DMark Time Spy
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme
  • 3DMark Port Royal
  • 3DMark Nvidia DLSS Feature Test
  • Unigine Superposition

Games

Following games have been benched:

  • Ashes of the Singularity [DX11, DX12]
  • Battlefield 1 [DX11, DX12]
  • Battlefield 2 (DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Metro Last Light Redux [DX11]
  • Metro Exodus [DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Assassin’s Creed Origin [DX11]
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX11, DX12]
  • Grand Theft Auto – V [DX11]
  • Final Fantasy – XV
  • Far Cry 5 – [DX11]
  • Middle Earth – Shadow of War [DX11]
  • The Witcher 3 [DX11]
  • DOOM [Vulkan]
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Vulkan]

Our testing includes Ray Tracing and DLSS as well. I will be covering the RT and DLSS in a separate section.

Synthetic Benchmarks

In all three Fire Strike benchmarks, the RTX 2060 is sitting between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti.

In 3DMark Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme benchmarks, the RTX 2060 has taken a lead over the GTX 1080.

The graph of Unigine Superposition is sorted on the 1080p Extreme preset. On 1080p Extreme preset the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC has beaten the GTX 1080 but on 4k optimized and 8k optimized presets, it is behind the GTX 1080. On 8k optimized preset, it is behind the GTX 1070Ti.

Gaming Benchmarks

Battlefield 1 DX11

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 is sitting comfortably between the GeForce GTX 1070Ti and GTX 1080. There is a 4.9% difference between the RTX 2060 and GTX 2080 and the GTX 1070.

Battlefield 1 DX12

In DX12 the scenario is changed significantly as the RTX 2060 managed to reduce the gap and was almost neck-to-neck against the GTX 1080 as it was behind by 1.2 FPS only at 1080p and took a lead by 2.4 FPS on 1440p. It was again trailing behind the GTX 1080 on 2160p by 2.4 FPS. This is marginal gain or loss hence I have used the term neck-to-neck.

Battlefield V DX11

This is a new title in our test suite hence only the available graphics cards could be tested. On 1080p and 1440p, the RTX 2060 is sitting behind the GTX 1080 by 6.0% margin whereas this margin is 7% on 4k. This is still a very comparable performance and by no means, RTX 2060 is offering low performance on its destined resolutions which are 1080p and 1440p.

Battlefield V DX12

In DX12 the overall score is further improved and RTX 2060 manages to reduce the gap further. On 1080p, there is a performance margin of 5% whereas, on 1440p, this margin was 3.45%. On 4k this margin was at 8%.

Metro Last Light Redux

Again, we are seeing the RTX 2060 sitting comfortably between the GTX 1070Ti and GTX 1080 only on 1080p with performance margin of approximately 4% whereas it is just 1 FPS behind the GTX 1080 on 1440p and is at par with the GTX 1080 on 4k. Now, this is quite a stunning performance from the Gigabyte RTX 2060 Gaming OC Pro.

Metro Exodus DX11

This is a new title in our test suite hence only the available graphics cards could be tested. The game’s in-built benchmark utility was used to measure the performance across three graphics cards. Again, the RTX 2060 is touching the base of GTX 1080 here and almost going neck-to-neck with Pascal card.

Metro Exodus DX12

DX12 was no exception to the results from DX11 of this game and RTX 2060 again fighting with the GTX 1080 hands full.

Ashes of the Singularity DX11

The Ashes of the Singularity was the very first title with the DX12 and I have tested the game with DX11 and DX12 using the game’s in-built benchmark. This is the first time that the RTX 2060 has gone down and is sitting between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti though it was neck-to-neck with the GTX 1070Ti definitely it could not come close to the might of the GTX 1080 in this game.

Ashes of the Singularity DX12

In DX12 the toll was even more as the gap has increased between the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1070Ti. The GTX 1070 was fighting neck-to-neck with the RTX 2060.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX11

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested using the game’s in-built benchmark at the highest quality settings. DX11 has always been strange to me in this game and this time’s testing was no exception as on 1080p the GTX 1080 and RTX 2060 was just one FPS behind the RTX 2070. The performance gap was only increased at a higher resolution but on those resolutions, there was a tie between the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1080.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX12

In DX12, the RTX 2060 was behind the GTX 1080 by just 2 FPs on all resolutions.

Assassin’s Creed Origin DX11

In this game, the RTX 2060 is again sitting between the GTX 1070Ti and the GTX 1080 but the performance gap is much narrower with respect to the GTX 1080 with just 3 FPS difference on the 1080p, 2 FPS difference on the 1440p, and 1 FPS difference on 2160p. Is this schematic reduction a coincidence!

DOOM Vulkan

The first Vulkan based game that I have used is DOOM. As the graph is sorted on 1080p gaming results so you are seeing GTX 1080 sitting above the RTX 2070. 1080p testing is pointless in this game for the high-end graphics cards and the RTX 2060 – surprisingly –  is no exception to that, after all, it is a cut-down version of the RTX 2070. On the higher resolutions, the RTX 2060 is sitting between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti. There is a performance margin of 6.74% between the GTX 1070Ti and the RTX 2060 on 1440p and this margin is reduced on 2160p as it was just 2.84%.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Vulkan

This is the second title in our graphs with the Vulkan API. We have some interesting results for sure here. On 1080p, the GTX 1080 has a lead by approximately 4.36% but on higher resolutions, it changed as the RTX 2060 take over the GTX 1080 by 4.51% on 1440p and 2.48%.

Far Cry 5 DX11

This game was tested using the game’s in-built benchmark. Here, we can see the RTX 2060 sitting comfortably between the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070Ti. There is 5 FPS difference between the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1080 on the 1080p, 4 FPS difference on the 1440p and 3 FPs on the 2160p.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV was benched using the game’s dedicated benchmark. FPS were benched from the same benchmark. As this is a new title so I was only able to test it with the available graphics cards. Here, we are seeing some good competition between the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2060 though the GTX 1080 is leading with a marginal gain.

Final Fantasy XV Benchmark

The Final Fantasy XV benchmark outputs the result in terms of the score instead of the FPS. The graph is showing tight competition between the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2060 with the GTX 1080 taking a marginal lead.

Grand Theft Auto – V DX11

Grand Theft Auto – V does not have any graphics quality Presets. I have used maximum settings where and what available with 4x MSAA. The game was tested using the in-built benchmark. In this game, the RTX 2060 is neck-to-neck with the GTX 1070Ti with a very marginal lead over the GTX 1070Ti.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War DX11

This game was tested using the in-built benchmark using Ultra settings. In this game, the RTX 2060 took lead over the GTX 1080 on the 1440p and 2160p resolutions whereas both cards were tied at 1080p.

The Witcher 3 DX11

The Witcher 3 is the last title on our graphs. Here we have mixed results. On 1080p, the GTX 1080 was leading by a mere 1.2 FPS. On 1440p the GTX 1080 was leading by 8 FPS (6.95%) and on 2160p it was the RTX 2060 taking the lead by 5.32%.

In terms of the overall performance, the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC has performed exceptionally well though in a few titles it was lurking between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti most of the times it was much closer to the GTX 1080 and performance margin was low. It is evident that we have a new champion from the Nvidia for the 1080p and 1440p gaming.

Ray Tracing and DLSS Benchmarks

Let’s start with the synthetic benchmarks.

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC has secured 3967 overall score. Since there is no other RTX 2060 in the graph at the moment hence no comparison can be made.

3DMark has recently introduced the DLSS feature test to measure the performance gain if any using the DLSS based on Port Royal benchmark. The test repeats itself without DLSS and with DLSS. The user can select from three resolutions.

On 1080p, there is a 44.99% improvement using the DLSS. The improvement in 1440p is 49.72%. 4k seems pointless for this graphics card though the improvement is over 100%.

Let’s take a look at the gaming benchmarks.

Battlefield V DXR

I turned on the Ray Tracing and performance hit was quite apparent in terms of the FPS. RTX 2080 was locked out on 1080p when it comes to using DLSS with Ray Tracing. In Battlefield V, we can’t enable DLSS without enabling the Ray Tracing.

Turning the Ray Tracing on resulted in 49.89% performance hit on the 1080p. This was even more on 1440p with 51.57%. 51.46% was the performance hit on the 2160p. This is quite a performance hit, to be honest.

Next step was to enable the DLSS and test the game again using Ray Tracing with DLSS and to check how much percentage improvement was there. On 1080p, there was almost 10% improvement in the existing performance hit. 13.56% improvement was seen on 1440p. 33.22% improvement was seen on the 2160p. Though, we are seeing improvement by using DLSS with the DXR but overall, there is still quite a margin in the performance with and without Ray Tracing. Hopefully, with further drivers’ optimization, we may see further improvement.

Metro Exodus DXR

Time to test the Ray Tracing and DLSS and this game seem to be giving less performance hit than the Battlefield V when it comes to gaming with Ray Tracing. I have tested the game with Ray Tracing set to Ultra and High and both times with and without DLSS to have some numbers for factual representation of what is going on with the Ray Tracing and at various quality settings. The graph is self-explanatory, to be honest as it is obvious that gaming with Ray Tracing has performance hit though less than what we have seen in the Battlefield V. DLSS is definitely making up for the gap that is coming due to the performance hit. For comparison of our readers, I have included the results of the RTX 2080 in the graph.

Final Fantasy XV DLSS

Final Fantasy XV is one game that has DLSS settings at the user’s disposal to test in the game. Same is also available in the Benchmark utility. Following settings were used for the benching on DLSS. The game was benched on same custom settings with and without DLSS for the results.

With DLSS we are seeing approximately 27.24% performance improvement.

VRAM Usage Analysis

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC has 6GB GDDR6 of onboard memory from the Micron (from our sample) running at 7001MHz. Since the games are becoming more and more demanding with every day counting, it was only imperative to test if the 6GB would be enough to drive your gaming requirement on the 1080p and the 1440p resolutions. Since I was at it, I decided to include the 2160p results as well. All of our games have been tested using the maximum possible graphics settings. It would give a better understanding of where this graphics card falls when it comes to the utilization of the VRAM. I have included the DX11, DX12, DXR, Vulkan results in the graph for better comparison. Only three games namely Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX11, and Final Fantasy XV were found using and/or crossing the complete 6GB VRAM of the graphics card on 4k. Other than it is safe to say this graphics card can handle the maxed out games up to 1440p resolution using its 6GB VRAM without hitting any performance. Interestingly you will find some titles using 5GB VRAM on 1080p. Maybe game optimization would bring improvement. I have mentioned the maximum used VRAM on each resolution during the testing of the games.

Boost Clocks

Now that we have taken a look at the gaming and synthetic benchmark results along with the VRAM analysis, it is time to take a look at the maximum boost clocks.

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC has boosted to 1980MHz out of the box without any tweaking. The sustained clocks were on average 1950MHz which is quite impressive.

Overclocking, Power Consumption and Thermals

For overclocking, the MSI Afterburner was used. I started with overclocking the VRAM only without touching the voltage slider and core clock. I was able to push the memory clock by another +1100MHz (1.1GHz) which is quite impressive as this was done without setting the voltage at 100% though at 1100MHz the Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme score gets lowered clearly indicating that any further overclocking attempt would be futile. To make sure the case, the voltage was then set at 100% and the test was repeated but it met with the result indicating that we have reached the limit on the memory overclocking.

Next, I started with the core clock overclocking. I met with no such good luck on the silicon as I was only able to push the core clock to +110MHz for which I have to tune down the memory overclock. +110MHz on Core clock and +750MHz on the memory clock gave me the best score.  The chip did reach 2100MHz but unfortunately, it was a failed attempt. 2070MHz is what was achieved with stable overclock.

Power Consumption

To measure the power draw, I am taking a different route as HWInfo64 shows the GPU Power and this is exactly what I have been showing on my graphs instead of overall system power draw. To monitor the idle power draw, the system was left on idle for 30 minutes with closing as many background apps as possible. To monitor the maximum power draw, I am using The Witcher 3 4k run of 30 minutes and then record the reported power draw from the HWInfo64. This way any user can check their graphics card for power consumption easily.

This card like the other RTX graphics cards that I have tested was constantly hitting the power target. Even increasing the slider to 113% saw no effect. A little more headroom in terms of power target could have been beneficial.

Thermal Performance

I am not using Furmark or any other stress app for thermal performance checking. Instead, the reported temperatures are actually from the gaming session using The Witcher 3 at 4k resolution for a minimum of 30 minutes. MSI Afterburner is used to record the temperatures during the gaming session. The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC was idling at 38°C. On stock clocks, it maxed to 66°C and with overclocking it maxed to 69°C. This is quite impressive thermal performance as the graphics card was tested inside a chassis, not on an open-air test bench.

Software

RGB Fusion

Gigabyte has provided RGB LEDs lighting on their RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC. The lighting effects could be controlled using their RGB Fusion 2.0 app. Following lighting modes are available on this graphics card:

  • Cycle
  • Static Color
  • Flash
  • Double Flash
  • Breathing

Aorus Engine

Aorus Engine is the name of the utility app that can be used to monitor and manipulate the control settings of the Gigabyte graphics cards. The application has a user-friendly interface.

On loading the application, the available profiles are shown on the main page. The user can select an appropriate profile to load the corresponding settings. It is like a one-click operation. The graphics card model will be shown on the top left side. GPU Boost clock and Memory clocks are shown below the profiles. Please, note that displayed clocks are not of the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC. Clicking on Semi-Passive will load the corresponding fan speed profile. Clicking on the home button will load the default or main screen.

Clicking on Professional mode on the main screen will load the settings like voltage control, power limit control, core clock, memory clock, fan speed control etc which the user can manipulate manually. Settings are self-explanatory.

Clicking on Monitoring button will load another screen with the graph plots showing various variables like Core Clock, Memory Clock, GPU Temperature etc. Clicking on Edit will load the options window from where the user can select or choose which parameter to monitor.

Clicking on the settings icon on the top right side will load another window with the utility related setting options like setting to automatically start the utility app when windows start and to start is minimized etc.

Conclusion

Nvidia has recently released the budget-friendly Turing graphics card named RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 graphics card is based on a modified version of TU106; the same chip that has been used in the RTX 2070. Call this Turing on budget. This modified TU106 packs 30 SMs, 1920 CUDA Cores, 240 Tensor Cores, 51.6 Tensor Flops (FP16), 30 RT Cores (for ray tracing), 120 Texture Units, 48 ROPs, 5Giga Rays under Rays Casting, 37 RTX-OPS (Tera-OPS). This GPU has 6GB GDDR6 VRAM rated at 14Gbpsor 7000MHz roughly on 192-bit memory interface having 336.1GB/s memory bandwidth at rated TDP of 160W. The boost clock is rated at 1680MHz.

We have tested our first RTX 2060 from Gigabyte. The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC is among the high-end graphics solutions in this category from the Gigabyte. This graphics card falls under non Aorus branding. The card has 2 slot design having a dimension of 280.35×116.45×40.24mm (LxHxW). This card features 6GB GDDR6 VRAM from Micron. This card packs 1920 shader units using 87.8 GPixel/s pixel fill rate and 219.6 GT/s texture fill rate. The base clock of the card is 1365MHz whereas boost clock is 1830MHz making this card factory overclocked one; hence the term OC in the model. Memory is clocked at 7001MHz. The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 supports OpenGL and DX_12. It has an ATX size black color PCB. Recommended PSU for this graphics card is 500W. The maximum supported digital resolution is 7680×4320 @ 60Hz.

This graphics card has Gigabyte’s legendary and ever-popular WINDFORCE 3X cooling solution. 3X designates 3 fans on the cooler. This graphics card is using 3x 80mm fans which spin in an alternate direction which according to Gigabyte is the only way to handle the turbulence that may come using all the fans spinning in the same direction. The airflow is spilt by the triangular fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow. The 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, and the fans will remain off when the GPU is in a low load or low power game. It allows gamers to enjoy the gameplay in complete silence when the system is running light or idle. The aluminum heatsink consists of three sinks which are interconnected using 4 composite heat pipes which seem to be 8mm thick each. The critical areas like VRAM, GPU and MOSFETs have metal copper plate making direct contact with them. These plates come in contact with the aluminum heatsink using the thermal pads and rest of the job is handled by the heat pipes which are designed to ensure the maximum heat dissipation.

There is a sturdy metal back plate to provide further strength and better aesthetics on the card. There is no NVLink and USB C connectivity on the RTX 2060 hence no SLI is possible on the RTX 2060. This card has a single 8-pin power connector which has LED below it to indicate the three possible power status like no power, stable power, and problematic power. The LED is in white color. In terms of the connectivity options, this graphics card has a single HDMI 2.0b port and 3 DP 1.4 ports. Gigabyte has provided RGB LED lighting solution as the GIGABYTE text on the top side of the graphics card illuminates when powered up. The lighting effect can be controlled using the RGB Fusion 2.0 app and overall settings and monitoring can be done using the Aorus Engine app. Both can be downloaded from the Gigabyte’s website.

In terms of the performance, this graphics card has performed very well indeed. I have tested 14 games with DX11, DX12, DXR, and Vulkan APIs. In many games, the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC was touching the base of the GTX 1080 and the performance margin was quite low between these two cards. In a few games, this graphics card was sitting between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1070Ti. The memory of the graphics card was overclocked to +1100MHz which is impressive though the core clock overclocking was somehow proven to be silicon bound which seems to be average. Still, during the overclocking session, the card touches the 2100MHz on the core clock though it was not stable. 2070MHz is what was possible with the stable overclock. The thermal performance is too good on this graphics card as it was sitting at 64°C during all but one game. The Witcher 3 on 4k resolution pushed it to 66°C. With overclocking the maximum gaming temperature was 69°C. This is impressive as the graphics card was tested inside the Thermaltake View 71 chassis. Much like the other RTX graphics cards, this card was also hitting the power limit constantly which could not be improved by increasing the power target to 113%. 194.217W was the reading from the HWInfo64 under the GPU Power while gaming at 4k resolution in the Witcher 3 game.

This graphics card has not yet been launched in Pakistan but Gigabyte will soon be launching it here. Here is a list of retail pricing of the graphics cards taken from the Easetec, the authorized distributor of Gigabyte in Pakistan. These are the official pricing.

Graphics Card Price (Rs.)
Gigabyte GTX 1070 Gaming G1 65,500
Gigabyte GTX 1070 WINDFORCE OC 66,800
Gigabyte RTX 2060 GV-N2060OC-6GD 68,000
Gigabyte RTX 2060 GV-N2060WF2OC-6GD 70,000
Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti WINDFORCE 71,500
Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming 8G 75,000
Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 78,500

 

Given the above price table, Rs.74,000 seems to be good value for your bucks as clearly, we have a new champ in the market for the 1080p and 1440p gaming experience with high to Ultra graphics settings as per our testing. I am still hoping that in coming days Ray Tracing with DLSS makes it point stronger than what it is this day. Pascal is now coming close to its third year ever since its launch and going for a GTX 1070 or GTX 1070Ti might not be a wise move despite having 8GB of VRAM onboard. Our VRAM usage analysis is clearly showing that 6GB of GTX 2060 should be enough for 1080p and 1440p gaming. An interesting selection would be between the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2060 as GTX 1080 is still ahead of the RTX 2060 but the gap is reducing. At this point in time, I would not buy a three-year-old generation graphics card unless it costs less than the new generation card (again the comparison is coming to the very basic factor of pricing). This is my personal opinion.

With its superb performance, excellent thermals, decent overclocking on core clock but better overclocking on the memory, competitive pricing, I see no reason why a gamer who is in the market looking for a graphics card that would allow the gamer to game at 1080p and 1440p using high to ultra graphics quality settings without any hiccup, would not pick up the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 WINDFORCE 3X Gaming Pro OC 6G. After all, we have Turing on the budget in our reach now.

I am thankful to Gigabyte for giving me the opportunity to review their GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC 6G graphics card.

 

aTech4Gamers Performance Award