Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition review: Ray tracing and 1440p gaming get more affordable

Ray tracing goes mainstream as prices go upstream.

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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity ($40 on Humble) was one of the very first DX12 games, and it remains a flagbearer for the technology to this day thanks to the extreme scalability of Oxide Games’ next-gen Nitrous engine. With hundreds of units onscreen simultaneously and some serious graphics effects in play, the Crazy preset can make graphics cards sweat. Ashes runs in both DX11 and DX12, but we only test in DX12, as it delivers the best results for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

aots Brad Chacos/IDG

Surprise! The GTX 1070 Ti actually winds up faster than the RTX 2060 FE across the board, albeit barely. The overclocked GTX 1060 remains far behind, eating the dust of these more powerful—and more expensive—graphics options.

GTA V

We’re going to wrap things up with a couple of older games that aren’t really visual barnburners, but still top the Steam charts day-in and day-out. These are games that a lot of people play. First up: Grand Theft Auto V ($30 on Humble) with all options turned to Very High, all Advanced Graphics options except extended shadows enabled, and FXAA. GTA V runs on the RAGE engine and has received substantial updates since its initial launch.

gtav Brad Chacos/IDG

Again, the GTX 1070 Ti is technically a hair faster than the RTX 2060 in raw average frame rates, but really it’s a dead heat. The GTX 1070 and Vega 56 hang around the same ballpark, too.

Rainbow Six Siege

Finally, let’s take a peek at Rainbow Six Siege ($40 on Humble), a game whose audience just keeps on growing, and one that still feels like the only truly next-gen shooter after all these years.

rainbow six siege Brad Chacos/IDG

Like Ghost Recon Wildlands, this game runs on Ubisoft’s AnvilNext 2.0 engine, but Rainbow Six Siege responds especially well to graphics cards that support async compute—like the RTX 2060 Founders Edition. It opens a sizeable lead over comparable Nvidia GPUs, though AMD’s Radeon cards perform even better. They cost more money, though.

Next page: Power, thermals, and bottom line

At a Glance
  • The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition delivers superb 1440p and 1080p gaming as well as real-time ray tracing in an affordable package. The design of the graphics card is stunning, too.

    Pros

    • Great 1440p and 1080p gaming performance
    • RTX hardware for ray tracing and DLSS
    • Stunning Founders Edition aesthetic design
    • Very cool under load

    Cons

    • Much more expensive than GTX 1060
    • Ray tracing and DLSS not widely available in games
    • Mild performance gains compared to similarly priced GTX 1070
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