The RTX 2060 was announced at a CES live conference back in Jan 2019 and since it’s release has yet to disappoint thanks to its excellent performance rating and fantastic pricing. The 2060 was released alongside the rest of the 20 series (2070, 2080) and is said to be the equivalent, if not better, upgrade to the ever-popular 1070 TI. What separates the RTX range from the 10 series is its ability to efficiently perform real-time ray tracing, which in a nutshell is a better way to render light and shadow effects. The big problem with real-time ray tracing is how much computational power it actually required to pull off in real-time whilst still offering decent FPS. However, Nvidia seems to have provided a product that is both effective and affordable.
In the following article we are going to look at the best RTX 2060’s available in today’s market, how does the 2060 stand up to the RTX 2080 and which one is best suited to your needs. Underneath you will find a list of RTX 2060’s that are going to be looked at and a brief description of what we thought:
Our Top Picks
Watch Our Video Rundown
Best RTX 2060: First Look
I don’t think many will be surprised when they hear the ASUS ROG comes up trumps in our tests when measuring the performance of these cards. Not only does this card come with one of the highest clock speeds of any aftermarket 2060’s but it also comes equipped with 3 fantastic looking RGB fans, highest FPS readings on many games and very low DB output.
The ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2060 will offer the best out-of-the-box performance of all the cards on this list, making it a great purchase for consumers who aren’t comfortable making further tweaks to their GPU.
The Ultra gaming RTX 2060 is another brilliant GPU from the guys at EVGA and you’ll not be surprised to see it rank highly on our list of top recommendations. It comes in at slightly cheaper than the ASUS ROG and has very similar performance stats. However only equipped with 2 fans makes the ultra gaming slightly louder than its ASUS competition.
The Ultra Gaming series is known for it’s fantastic performance figures, jam-packed features, and very attractive designs whilst not being ridiculously large. The EVGA is our top all-rounder and for good reason, one of the highest out of the box clock speeds is paired with EVGA’s superb cooling system which has a great low power draw.
This is potentially Zotac’s highest performance version of the RTX 2060 boasting 1.8ghz of processing power, solid dual fan setup and an impressive price tag to match. Not considered to be the greatest brand out there but certainly one of the most affordable.
Zotac is no stranger when it comes to creating affordable hardware offerings and their RTX 2060 might just be our favourite addition yet. It has fantastic out-of-the-box boosted clock speed and an extremely efficient fan setup which keeps the 2060 cool without creating masses of noise.
MSI’s Gaming Z was brought to shelves to compete with the higher clock speed versions of the 2060 and is basically the Venus OC in a slightly bigger shell. It sits $40 cheaper than the top spec’d ASUS ROG and has similarly fewer performance stats.
MSI is one of the nation’s favourite hardware manufacturers and for good reason, they consistently churn out quality products at affordable prices. Exactly the reason why you see MSI products all across our site.
Their RTX 2060 is a fantastic, well-rounded GPU with quality and longevity in mind, thanks to there newly designed backplate and heat sink.
If a small form factor is high on your list of priorities then the Gigabyte Mini ITX aftermarket version of the 2060 must be a contender and certainly high on our list. It still packs a solid performance punch but is packaged in a much smaller body.
If the mini is your thing, then look no further. Even though most of these cards will fit in a mini ITX form case, the Gigabyte is obviously best suited. It has a single fan heat sink which is efficient, but quite noisy.
However, the punching power you get from such a small card is quite impressive. For the price, you’ll struggle to find a better mini 2060.
One of the questions you’re probably asking yourself at this stage is how well do these cards perform on both a gaming level and a work level. Well firstly, be aware that these graphics cards will be able to smash about every work task you throw at them. When referencing work you really need to be concentrating on CPU and RAM and make sure they are up to scratch.
Having said that, when you’re referencing gaming, the GPU will have a massive impact on the overall performance. Nvidia boasts about the potential for up to 6x the performance levels of previous generations, which for now we’ll take with a pinch of salt but if claims are true is a huge step forward in technological advancements.
The great thing about these cards is their affordability. Now I know $400 dollars is a lot of money to fork out for one hardware component but were talking about TOP level high-end gaming rigs here and $400 is relatively affordable in the large scale of things. Just compare that to something like the RTX 2080Ti which retails at nearly $1300. You’re going to be able to push most games at 1440p with high settings and achieve 60fps or more. Most of the cards above perform similarly but there are subtle differences that we will discuss very shortly before giving our final verdict.
If you aren’t familiar with the 1070 TI then where have you been the last couple of years? At the time of release, it was Nvidia’s latest HD, VR gaming GPU and successor to the number one GPU by market share, the GTX 1070. It featured 8GB of GDDR5 memory with a 256-bit interface producing a total memory bandwidth of 256GB/s and a clock speed of 1.68GHz as standard. Geforce has come out and said that the RTX 2060 is a direct competitor to the 1070 TI but with the latest AI-enhanced graphics and real-time ray tracing which will be touched on later.
So how do the new 20 series compare to the 1070 TI? Well on paper they’re extremely close in terms of performance but overall the 1070 TI just edges the RTX 2060. The 1070 TI boasts slightly better 3D speed, texture detail, and complex splatter whereas the 2060 possesses much faster multi rendering and overall better FPS across a plethora of games. All this coupled with the fact that the RTX 2060 is 20% cheaper than the 1070 gives consumers a real tough decision to make when asking themselves which GPU to go for. However, with the new real-time ray tracing that will be more heavily implemented into games you are definitely future-proofing yourself by going for the 20 series.
Table Key and Terms
- Clock Speed – Clock speed refers to the internal, “core” clock of the graphics processor. The higher the clock speed, the better your performance.
- VRAM – VRAM refers to the “video RAM”, or memory available to the GPU. Discrete GPUs tend to come with their own VRAM– in the 1080’s case, this is GDDR5X VRAM, which is a bit faster than the industry standard GDDR5. The more VRAM you have, the better your card be at handling high resolutions and HD textures.
- Overclock – Overclocking refers to pushing the clock speed of a component higher to get more performance. Usually, this is done by the user, but the cards we’re listing here today all boast “factory overclocks”, which is overclocking done by the manufacturer and proven stable.
Since the RTX 2060 is such a powerful card, you really can’t go wrong concerning performance. However, as covered in the intro, there are a lot of companies making their own aftermarket 2060’s, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, so we decided to do the legwork for you and start our search for the best RTX 2060 model.
During this search, we established the following rules to help us narrow down our options:
- The brand must be trustworthy and established
- Reviews should indicate a low rate of failure
- Cards should fit into one of the five categories below
For the categories just mentioned, we chose the most meaningful criteria for distinguishing GPUs, as well as a category balanced between all the others. We’ve listed these below:
- Top Performance – The best out-of-box performance. This corresponds pretty closely to factory overclocks.
- Top All-Rounder – The top all-rounder must do pretty much what it says on the tin. It mustn’t just excel in one area, it must excel across the board and beat out the other competition. The top all-rounder will be powerful, cool, quiet and affordable.
- Best Budget – The cheapest we could find that was still of respectable build quality from a trusted manufacturer. If you want to pinch pennies, but still get a high-end graphical experience, this is the choice for you.
- Best Balanced – A “balanced” pick, balancing things like performance and cooling to make a good middle-road pick for those who want a well-balanced graphics card.
- Best Small form – Size isn’t everything, you know (but sometimes the lack of size can be). This is for the smallest cards, making them most-suited for installation into Mini ITX and Micro ATX PC builds.
Best RTX 2060
Very efficient triple fan configuration
Overclocked to 1860Mhz for rapid processing
Quality customer support from ASUS
One of the pricier models in this list
The Asus ROG STRIX range is always a little controversial for some people as many feel their money is being spent on a brand name and some fancy RGB that makes absolutely no difference to the performance of the GPU. However with the RTX 2060 things are a little different, even though it does come equipped with a fancy design and lights that would put a trance gig to shame, it also has some fantastic performance stats that make you seriously put everything into consideration. When tested alongside some of the other mentions it boasts the greatest FPS (only marginally, however), the highest clock speed, fantastic potential to overclock if paired with the correct MOBO, and overall the lowest temps across the board.
Now all this doesn’t come cheap, $412.99 is roughly what you’re looking at for the ROG which is at the high end of what RTX 2060’s go for. But for that, you get unmatched cooling, fantastic performance, and quality RGB/design. What more could you ask for?
Very attractive design
Powerful dual fan heatsink
One of the fastest clock speeds in this list
Can become warm if stressed
EVGA products are always high on our lists when it comes to performance, quality and longevity, and their RTX iteration is absolutely no different. It gets our top all-rounder award for that exact reason and continues to impress us on all levels. It comes to the table with an excellent boost clock speed of 1830 MHz and the ability to overclock even further with minimal pressure on the cards cooling system. It comes in at under $400 as well which is great value for money.
Excellent Price to performance value
Very powerful boost clock speed
One of the cheapest on our list
Can get warm when under stress
Only has a dual fan setup
The AMP Gaming 2060 by Zotac was one of the first iterations to be released after the initial models hit the shelves and has stayed pretty steady in terms of value ever since. Like all AMP badged products in Zotac’s collection the 2060 comes overclocked at 1800MHz and has one of the smallest forms in this 2060 article. It sits at 21cm long and 12cm tall meaning it becomes compatible with a huge variety of cases making it extremely versatile. It comes with a dual fan setup and Zotac’s Icestorm 2.0 cooling system which can become slightly noisey but nothing that would be considered annoying. Overall for the price and the performance we would consider this the top budget model in the range.
Aesthetically very pleasing
Excellent out of the box clock speed
2 zones of RGB
Only 2 fans so can get warm under stress
Noise levels increase under pressure
Our first honourable mention goes to MSI’s Gaming Z edition of the 2060 and for good reason. Boasting 1800MHz boost clock speed, Dual fan setup with fantastic cooling and a beautiful design all come together to create a brilliant overall GPU. Performance is fantastic across the spectrum of 2060’s and MSI’s is no different. Slightly smaller in profile than some of the more expensive models and $20 dollars cheaper secures its position in our honourable mentions.
Small form factor helps keep build tidy
Power for the size
Cheapest in our list
The least powerful of all the cards
Can become quite noisey under pressure
An honorable mention has to go to the Gigabyte Mini ITX as it’s the only small form card in this article. If you’re building a small form PC then this is surely the only model worth considering, built specifically with Mini ITX Motherboards in mind you will not get the same performance power and size anywhere else. It comes in at a reasonable price, produces solid FPS across a wide spectrum, and is relatively quiet in the larger scheme of things.
Modern technology is moving quicker than ever and to keep up with the high demand games are now putting on computers and graphics means developers are constantly battling to provide solid hardware components that are going to live up to the task. The 2060 is the latest arrival to the 20 series and is much more affordable than its neighbors the 2070 and 2080 respectively.
Every card we’ve tested has performed extremely well across the range of games we use and have their own specific set of pros and cons. If you are seriously considering purchasing a 2060 it really boils down to the following categories:
- Performance – If what you care about above all else is cutting-edge performance, and you don’t want to do your own overclocking, the ASUS ROG Strix OC is the GPU for you.
- All round choice – If you’re for an all-round, well-balanced, high-end 2060 then look no further than the EVGA Xc ultra Gaming 2060. It knocks on the door of the ROG strix but has a bunch of other attractive features that make it more balanced.
- Budget – Want a 2060 but also want to save as much money as possible getting one? Get our budget pick: Zotac RTX Gaming AMP.
- Balanced – Maybe you just want a well-balanced card and don’t want to lean too hard into one particular benefit? Snag the MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z…it’ll serve you well for years to come.
- Low Profile – Last but not least, let’s say you’re building a small PC and don’t have room for big graphics cards? Just go ahead and get the Gigabyte RTX 2060 Mini ITX. It’s perfect for exactly this purpose.
So hopefully this gives you enough information to go out there and make an informed decision on which best suits your requirements and start reaping the rewards of the excellent RTX 2060.
Feel free to comment below and let us know which card you went with, or what you think of our picks. You can also just ask for help if you need it– we’re serious about monitoring our comments and making sure our community is being well-served.
You can check out our GPU Hierarchy right here.