We have with us the EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO graphics card, priced at an attractive $299, just $20 from the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and AMD's new Radeon RX 5600 XT. In its CES 2020 reveal, AMD claimed that the RX 5600 XT is significantly faster than the GTX 1660 Ti, which would mean NVIDIA is no longer king of the $200–$300 segment. Any price cuts to the GTX 1660 Ti would have a cascading effect on pricing of the GTX 1660 Super and GTX 1660. NVIDIA had to do something. It tapped into some very clever engineering choices it made during the development of the "Turing" family of GPUs, which enabled the creation of the first sub-$300 RTX 2060. Part of the equation is the bet that people will willingly pay the extra $20 over the RX 5600 XT and buy the RTX 2060 instead, for future-proofing with ray-tracing.
The GeForce RTX 2060 is an interesting SKU. It's capable of 1440p gaming, but also has RTX real-time ray-tracing hardware, and is designed for RTX AAA gameplay at 1080p. For e-Sports titles that lack ray-tracing, it enables high frame-rates at 1080p, touching 100 FPS or more. With e-Sports, frame-rate is king, hence the rush for higher refresh-rates on gaming monitors these days. The RTX 2060 launched at $349 originally and and largely stuck to it because NVIDIA counted on RTX to make up for its 5% performance deficit to the $349 Radeon RX 5700. There's no such fig-leaf for the GTX 16-series, and if AMD manages to beat the GTX 1660 Ti at $279, NVIDIA is left with little choice but to lower prices on its RTX 2060, which is exactly what the RTX 2060 KO from EVGA is. The "KO" brand extension belongs to EVGA. Marketing materials of the card mention something along the lines of this card "knocking out any challenger," an unsubtle reference to the RX 5600 XT.
The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO is made possible because of the way NVIDIA engineered three of its key "Turing" family GPUs, the TU104, TU106, and TU116. The three feature very different die-sizes, but the size of their fiberglass substrate (package) is the same. This is because NVIDIA decided to give them a common pin-map. This enables graphics card designers to share PCB designs among the three GPUs, reducing R&D costs, all while NVIDIA gets to better harvest its GPU dies. The EVGA KO in this review is one of the first RTX 2060 (non-Super) cards to be based on a larger "TU104" silicon, while the PCB design of this card is identical to that of EVGA's GTX 1660 Ti Ultra graphics cards. See what we mean? NVIDIA created an RTX 2060 out of a TU104 for EVGA by enabling 30 out of 48 streaming multiprocessors. Most RTX 2060 cards are TU106-based (30 out of 36 SMs enabled). The RTX 2060 KO from EVGA has the exact same specs as the RTX 2060, and you neither miss out on nor gain any features from the card being TU104-based.
The EVGA RTX 2060 KO features a compact dual-fan cooling solution and pulls power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. It sticks to NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of 1680 MHz GPU Boost and 14 Gbps memory (GDDR6-effective). However, EVGA also has a factory-overclocked variant of this card priced at $319 in the KO Ultra. The RTX 2060 offers 1,920 CUDA cores, 30 RT cores, and 240 tensor cores. Other key GPU specs include 120 TMUs and 48 ROPs. The card offers 6 GB of 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit wide memory bus, with 336 GB/s of bandwidth on tap. In this review, we take the EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO for a spin so see how the new price affects the value proposition, and whether the card being TU104-based has any bearing on the power or thermals.
|GTX 1060||$210||1280||48||1506 MHz||1708 MHz||2002 MHz||GP106||4400M||6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit|
|RX 590||$200||2304||32||1469 MHz||1545 MHz||2000 MHz||Polaris 30||5700M||8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit|
|GTX 1660||$200||1408||48||1530 MHz||1785 MHz||2000 MHz||TU116||6600M||6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit|
|GTX 1070||$300||1920||64||1506 MHz||1683 MHz||2002 MHz||GP104||7200M||8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit|
|RX Vega 56||$260||3584||64||1156 MHz||1471 MHz||800 MHz||Vega 10||12500M||8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit|
|GTX 1660 Super||$230||1408||48||1530 MHz||1785 MHz||1750 MHz||TU116||6600M||6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit|
|GTX 1660 Ti||$270||1536||48||1500 MHz||1770 MHz||1500 MHz||TU116||6600M||6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit|
|GTX 1070 Ti||$450||2432||64||1607 MHz||1683 MHz||2000 MHz||GP104||7200M||8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit|
|RTX 2060||$300||1920||48||1365 MHz||1680 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit|
|EVGA RTX 2060 KO||$300||1920||48||1365 MHz||1680 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit|
|RX 5700||$330||2304||64||1465 MHz||1625 MHz||1750 MHz||Navi 10||10300M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|GTX 1080||$500||2560||64||1607 MHz||1733 MHz||1251 MHz||GP104||7200M||8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit|
|RTX 2060 Super||$400||2176||64||1470 MHz||1650 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX Vega 64||$375||4096||64||1247 MHz||1546 MHz||953 MHz||Vega 10||12500M||8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit|
|GTX 1080 Ti||$700||3584||88||1481 MHz||1582 MHz||1376 MHz||GP102||12000M||11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit|
|RX 5700 XT||$380||2560||64||1605 MHz||1755 MHz||1750 MHz||Navi 10||10300M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070||$400||2304||64||1410 MHz||1620 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070 Super||$500||2560||64||1605 MHz||1770 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
Visually, the EVGA RTX 2060 KO looks identical to some of the company's GTX 1660 Ti models, which isn't surprising as they are using a GTX 1660 Super SC cooler and PCB design as the foundation for the RTX 2060 KO. On the back, you'll find a metal backplate.
Dimensions of the card are 20.0 cm x 10.0 cm.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.0b, and dual-link DVI-D. This DVI connector lacks analog pins; should you still have an analog VGA monitor, you'll have to buy an active DVI-to-VGA adapter.
NVIDIA has updated their display engine with the Turing microarchitecture, which now supports DisplayPort 1.4a with support for VESA's nearly lossless Display Stream Compression (DSC). Combined, this enables support for 8K@30Hz with a single cable or 8K@60Hz when DSC is turned on. For context, DisplayPort 1.4a is the latest version of the standard that was published in April, 2018.
At CES 2019, NVIDIA announced that all their graphics cards will now support VESA Adaptive Sync (aka FreeSync). While only a small number of FreeSync monitors have been fully qualified with G-SYNC, users can enable the feature in NVIDIA's control panel regardless of whether the monitor is certified or not.
The board uses one 8-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 225 watts of power draw.
GeForce RTX 2060 does not support SLI.
The cooler uses an aluminium fin-stack heatsink. A copper base plate makes contact with the GPU, and two flattened copper heat pipes spread heat across the heatsink. Thick thermal pads pull some heat from the memory chips. Two 90 mm fans ventilate the heatsink.
The metal backplate protects the card against damage during installation and handling.
Interesting design choice. Not only did EVGA use thermal pads as thick as pencil erasers, but they stacked up two near the main cluster of memory chips, to reach between the two flattened heat pipes. Perhaps they did so to disperse retention force rather than convey heat. Now, this thick thermal pad of course doesn't transfer heat from the memory chips to the heatsink all that well as a lot of heat will migrate through the BGA solder balls and into the PCB instead.
High-resolution PCB PicturesThese pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.
High-res versions are also available (front, back).
Our Patreon Silver Supporters can read articles in single-page format.