EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO Review 89

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO Review

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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.

GeForce RTX 2060 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 1060$2101280481506 MHz1708 MHz2002 MHzGP1064400M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
RX 590$2002304321469 MHz1545 MHz2000 MHzPolaris 305700M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
GTX 1660$200 1408481530 MHz1785 MHz2000 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
GTX 1070$3001920641506 MHz1683 MHz2002 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX Vega 56$2603584641156 MHz1471 MHz800 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1660 Super$2301408481530 MHz1785 MHz1750 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1660 Ti$2701536481500 MHz1770 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1070 Ti$4502432641607 MHz1683 MHz2000 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RTX 2060$3001920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
EVGA RTX 2060 KO$3001920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5700$3302304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
GTX 1080$5002560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$4002176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$375 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$7003584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3802560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$4002304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$5002560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit


Package Front
Package Back

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

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.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 20.0 cm x 10.0 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

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.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The board uses one 8-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 225 watts of power draw.

Multi-GPU Area

GeForce RTX 2060 does not support SLI.


Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

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 Pictures

These 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.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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