EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC Ultra 6 GB Review 25

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC Ultra 6 GB Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The EVGA RTX 2060 XC Ultra will retail for $380.
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Gaming performance exceeds Vega 64 and GTX 1080
  • Idle fan-stop included
  • Better temperatures than Founders Edition
  • Energy efficient
  • RTX Technology
  • Deep-learning feature set
  • EVGA Precision X1 OC software
  • DLSS an effective new AA method
  • 3-year warranty
  • Anthem/Battlefield V included
  • VESA Adaptive-Sync, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, 8K support
  • Large price increase over FE
  • Fan noise higher than Founders Edition
  • No backplate
  • Micron memory doesn't overclock as well as Samsung on other cards
  • No USB-C VirtualLink
  • Bogged down by power limits
  • Power efficiency could be a little bit better
  • No Windows 7 support for RTX, requires Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update
  • No NVLink SLI support
EVGA's GeForce RTX 2060 XC Ultra comes with the largest out of the box overclock currently available for the RTX 2060. The rated boost frequency is 1830 MHz, which is 150 MHz higher than the NVIDIA Founders Edition. With these clocks, the card runs at 1949 MHz on average (FE averages 1865 MHz). Unfortunately, the memory isn't overclocked even though the chips could certainly take it, as our manual overclocking section shows. Out of the box, the card is 4% faster than the Founders Edition at 1440p, which is not a whole lot. Compared to the GTX 1060, the performance increase is a staggering 60%, but you have to consider the much higher price of the RTX 2060. Compared to AMD's fastest, the RX Vega 64, the EVGA RTX 2060 XC Ultra is 5% faster with better power/heat/noise at the same time. The GeForce RTX 2060 is an excellent choice for 1440p gaming at full details, or 1080p if you want to drive a high-refresh-rate monitor.

We measured gaming power consumption of EVGA's RTX 2060 XC Ultra at 190 W, which is around 15% higher than the Founders Edition. Since performance isn't increased by those same 15%, overall performance per watt is slightly down, but that's as expected for a factory overclocked card, and the difference is relatively small anyway. Compared to AMD's offerings, the RTX 2060 is more than 50% more power efficient with better performance at the same time. EVGA did increase their card's board power limit from 160 W to 190 W, which definitely nets extra performance because NVIDIA's Turing cards are designed to always run in their power-limited state, which allows NVIDIA to operate the GPU at its best efficiency point. Unlike the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP, manual increases to the board power limit are possible, up to 217 W in EVGA's case, which is close enough to the 225 W power delivery capability of the 8-pin PCIe power input.

Just like the Founders Edition, EVGA uses a dual-slot cooler design, but it is a bit larger, which translates into more cooling performance. Temperatures are good with 70°C, which is slightly lower than the Founders Edition. Unfortunately, this means that fan noise is higher than on the NVIDIA reference design—it looks as though EVGA's fan settings are slightly more temperature focused, which explains the trade-off between lower temperatures and higher fan noise. While not noisy by any means, the card is still noisier than the Founders Edition, which we weren't expecting from a more expensive custom design. A significant improvement over the Founders Edition is EVGA's inclusion of the idle-fan-stop feature with their card, which shuts off the fans completely in idle and light gaming for a perfect noise-free experience.

Compared to other RTX 2060 cards, manual overclocking was slightly held back by the card's memory chips. While maximum GPU clocks matched the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP exactly, memory ended up over 100 MHz lower, which is because EVGA uses Micron memory chips. The two other RTX 2060 cards we tested so far (NVIDIA Founders Edition and Zotac AMP) both came with Samsung memory, so this at least confirms that there is no guarantee for Samsung memory. You have to put things into perspective, however, as 100 MHz on memory translate into maybe 2–3 % performance gained by overclocking—not enough to worry about unless you're a professional overclocker.

A unique feature of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX Series is support for ray tracing and DLSS. RTX Technology adds real-time ray-tracing capability in games that support it, while DLSS is a new form of AI-accelerated anti-aliasing that improves performance while still maintaining visual quality that's comparable to other anti-aliasing methods. The adoption rate for both technologies has been much slower than expected, but many developers have pledged support, so these features might actually matter in the coming months. For a few years, AMD has offered support for VESA Adaptive Sync with their cards, while NVIDIA's G-SYNC monitors came with a substantial price increase—this has been addressed now and all NVIDIA cards support Adaptive Sync.

EVGA's RTX 2060 XC Ultra will retail for $380, which is a $30 increase over the Founders Edition, or 8.5%. Out of the box performance alone won't be able to justify that because it translates into a 4% performance increase. The higher power limit does prove useful for overclockers, and low-noise enthusiasts definitely prefer the idle-fan-off capability. Why there is no backplate is a little bit surprising, as that shouldn't cost much, and NVIDIA can afford one on the Founders Edition, too. NVIDIA recently announced a game bundle with the RTX 2060, which lets you pick either Anthem or Battlefield V with a qualifying purchase of the RTX 2060 and certainly helps offset the cost of the card. Compared to AMD's Vega lineup, the EVGA RTX 2060 XC Ultra is a definite winner. It is cheaper, more compact, runs faster, quieter, and uses less power—it also offers RTX and DLSS technology.

Update 11:50 PM CET: EVGA informed us that the launch price for the RTX 2060 XC Ultra is $380; the review and charts have been updated accordingly.
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