ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2060 OC Edition 6GB GDDR6 review — not cheaping out on the good stuff!
The GeForce RTX 2060 offers some limited yet still usable raytracing capabilities, and slots in at a much more affordable price point compared to the other GeForce RTX GPUs previously launched. Despite it being the lowest-end GeForce RTX GPU out there now, ASUS does not treat the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 any differently from its higher end models, giving it the best they have for one of the quietest and highest clocked GeForce RTX 2060 card you can find.
+ Aggressive design language looks better than competing GeForce RTX 2060 cards
+ Real-time raytracing is possible with a much lower budget now!
+ Silent even under load
+ Excellent cooling allows for high boost clocks
- Premium pricing versus the competition
When NVIDIA launched their GeForce RTX cards, most people complained about how the cards were way too expensive, and didn’t offer that much of an upgrade over the previous generation. The GeForce RTX 2080 delivered performance on par with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and the GeForce RTX 2070 was comparable with a GeForce GTX 1080. We might have something different with the latest GeForce RTX 2060 though, as it was pointed to be faster than a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. Instead of the previous 1-step difference, we are now looking at somewhat of a 1.5-step leap. We have here today the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2060 OC Edition 6GB GDDR6, which is overclocked out of the factory and slapped with a large 2.5-slot cooler for better performance. Does it offer better bang-for-buck than its more powerful brethren?
After reviewing all of ASUS’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX cards so far, I can say the packaging’s appearance is pretty consistent across the board. The GeForce RTX 2060’s box is just a bit smaller than the others though, probably to reflect its smaller VRAM?
On the back we see the highlight features of the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060. No Axial-tech fans here, so just plain ol’ Wing-Blade fans. They are still plenty silent though.
The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 itself comes wrapped in an ESD bag. Also in the box are the ROG velcro cable ties, a DVD and a quick installation guide. Interestingly there is no 2-6-pin-to-8-pin PCIe adapter here.
If you have seen a recent GeForce GTX or GeForce RTX card, you would probably find the cooler on the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 pretty familiar. ASUS has yet to refresh the design of their ROG Strix coolers since the GTX 10-series.
The backplate will also be quite familiar. Interestingly, the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 comes with an RGB ROG logo, while the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 doesn’t. That’s an upgrade for you right there. It seems like ASUS just reused the PCB from their ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070, but cut back on some components as you can see the blank solder pads here.
The side of the card features the GeForce RTX branding, and you can see a bit of the metal frame. The metal frame on the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 is slightly different from the one on the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 though. Nonetheless, its presence should prevent the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 from sagging. The power requirements of this baby here is also lower, with only one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector.
Here’s where it gets a bit more interesting. All the previous GeForce RTX GPUs featured a new USB-C port to support next-gen VR headsets. The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 here doesn’t. Interestingly, the Founders Edition has one.
Once we plug in this baby, we get some nice lights piped around the fans. It’s just RGB here, no ARGB magic yet. Perhaps we need to wait for the next generation of GPUs for ASUS to revamp their design. With that said, most other vendors are actually cheaping out on their designs for the GeForce RTX 2060, so while the design is old, it still looks better than a lot of the competition.
Over on the back is the illuminated ROG logo. The PCIe power connectors also feature LEDs to help remind you to connect them. When unconnected, they glow red, turning white only when you attach the power connector. I kinda wish there was a way to turn it off as they are really bright.
ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 OC Edition 6GB GDDR6
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (TU106)|
Boost – 1860 MHz; Base – 1365 MHz
Boost – 1830 MHz; Base – 1365 MHz
|Cores||1920 CUDA cores|
|Memory Clocks||14 000 MHz|
|Display outputs||2 x DisplayPort 1.4|
2 x HDMI 2.0b
|Power connector(s)||1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin|
|Dimensions||30 x 13.2 x 5 cm|
The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 sports a massive overclock over NVIDIA’s Founders Edition, to the tune of +150 MHz, so you might be seeing a little less headroom on the core here. VRAM clocks are still the stock 14000 MHz though, so you might be able to squeeze quite a bit more performance out of it.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.125 GHz|
|Motherboard||ROG Rampage V Extreme|
|Memory||4 x 4GB Kingston HyperX Predator 3000 MHz CL15|
|Storage||Kimtigo 120GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master V850|
|GPU Driver||GeForce 417.54|
So the drivers we are using to test the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 are beta drivers privately released by NVIDIA to allow reviewers to run the GeForce RTX 2060.
We will be running in-game benchmarks where available, at the specified resolution(s) and at the maximum graphics preset, unless otherwise specified. Average framerates during gameplay will be recorded with Fraps, in the event of a benchmarked game not having an in-game benchmarking tool. Temperatures will be recorded with HWiNFO, and the maximum temperature in a 45-minute long Superposition stress test run will be reported. Fan speeds will be according to the default fan curve as defined by the manufacturer. At 4K we will turn off anti-aliasing (AA) as it is unrealistic and unnecessary to use it at that resolution. The latest drivers available will be used, unless otherwise specified. Default clocks will be used, unless otherwise specified.
3DMark Port Royal is the world’s first DirectX Raytracing (DXR) benchmark, so we have decided to add it to our list of benchmarks. Other cards won’t even run this benchmark, so you won’t see their scores here. No surprises here, the GeForce RTX 2060 is the slowest of the four RTX cards launched.
In Superposition, the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 barely beats the older GTX 1070 Ti, and comes in below the GeForce RTX 2070. We can see that the performance seems to scale quite linearly from the GeForce RTX 2060 up to the GeForce RTX 2080.
The Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a very beautiful game. It has yet to get raytracing added despite it being demoed at the GeForce RTX launch. We do see the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 best the GTX 1070 Ti by just a single frame.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is where we see the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 fall behind the GTX 1070 Ti. Once again they are both neck and neck.
Rainbow Six Siege is a pretty interesting game. The high-res texture pack actually pushes the VRAM usage above 7GB, but it doesn’t affect neither the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 nor the GTX 1060 we tested here. This is also where we see the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 widen the gap between itself and its supposed equivalent from the last generation.
Far Cry 5 see the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 come ahead by just 3 fps…
…and lose to the GTX 1070 Ti by exactly 3 fps in The Division.
The only game that supports raytracing at the moment, Battlefield V is a pretty interesting case. So we see the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti come up ahead of the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 at 4K. If you game on a lower resolution display, you will actually be able to enjoy DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in Battlefield V. We still wouldn’t recommend trading pure fps for visual fidelity in a fast-paced first person shooter, but you can if you want to. The reason why we only enable DXR at 1440p is because NVIDIA themselves recommend the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti to run comfortably above 60 fps at 1440p with DXR Ultra.
In general, the GeForce RTX 2060 trades punches with the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, but the GeForce RTX 2060 does come with Tensor cores and RT cores, and the former is still untapped by Deep Learning Supersampling (DLSS). We might actually have quite a bit more performance that will be unlocked when games support them. RT cores do seem pretty cool, and while I didn’t really enjoy DXR in Battlefield V, it is definitely nice to have, especially if RPGs like Shadow of the Tomb Raider starts supporting it (some day).
The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 easily maintains temperatures of below 67°C throughout the 45 minutes of Superposition. If you are willing to bear with a little more noise, you can easily adjust the fan speeds, as the fans are practically silent even when under load. With NVIDIA’s GPU Boost algorithms, lower temperatures mean higher clocks, and the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 maintains 1960 MHz throughout our tests.
So software-wise we aren’t seeing anything new from ASUS yet. We still get GPU Tweak II, and AURA for RGB controls. On the back of the card you also get the LED ON/OFF switch and the P/Q-mode toggle to switch fan profiles. You can always create your own in GPU Tweak II though.
So what do we think of the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060? The GeForce RTX 2060 is a pretty great GPU if you upgrading from anything lesser than the GeForce GTX 1070. ASUS’ design is a fair bit pricier than the competition though. With that said, ASUS did throw in all of their technologies like ASUS FanConnect II, AURA SYNC and also one of the best coolers you can find in the market right now. It does cost a cool RM2380 though. It is still less pricey if compared against the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition at launch though.
If you are short on change but still want to experience RTX for yourself, you can want to look into ASUS’ more affordable variants. There is a GeForce RTX 2060 Advanced Edition 6GB GDDR6 which will feature slightly lower clocks for less money, but you will be getting the same great cooler as the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 we tested. An option, but if you want ASUS’ best GeForce RTX 2060 card, which might very well be the best in the market right now, this is it.
Our thanks to ASUS Malaysia for providing us with the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060, the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition 8GB GDDR5 and also the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 OC Edition 6GB GDDR5 for our testing.