Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 AMP 6 GB Review 32

Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 AMP 6 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2060 AMP will retail for $379.
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Only small price increase over Founders Edition
  • Gaming performance exceeds Vega 64 and GTX 1080
  • Samsung GDDR6 has great overclocking potential
  • Energy efficient
  • RTX Technology
  • Deep-learning feature set
  • DLSS an effective new AA method
  • Backplate included
  • Anthem/Battlefield V included
  • VESA Adaptive-Sync, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, 8K support
  • High gaming fan noise
  • No idle fan stop
  • No USB-C VirtualLink, no DVI to make up for that either
  • 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
ZOTAC's GeForce RTX 2060 AMP comes overclocked out of the box, to a rated boost frequency of 1800 MHz, which is 120 MHz higher than the NVIDIA Founders Edition. This overclock is average in size considering the other RTX 2060 cards that have been announced so far. I guess ZOTAC is reserving even higher clocks for the upcoming AMP Extreme. With these clocks, the card runs at 1973 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 3% faster than the Founders Edition, 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, too. Compared to AMD's fastest, the RX Vega 64, the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP is 4% 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 the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP at 180 W, which is just 15 W higher than the Founders Edition, or 10%. Since performance isn't increased by those same 10%, overall performance per watt is slightly down, but that's not unexpected 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. ZOTAC did increase the board power limit of their card slightly, up by 10 W, which does help with additional 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. It's surprising that ZOTAC disabled any manual power limit increases, though. Both the default and manual power limit are set to the same 170 W; we've never seen that before. It's probably just a configuration error, and the company will release an updated BIOS soon.

Update: Zotac has released a BIOS update for the RTX 2060 AMP, which brings the TDP adjustment limit to 190 W, to match the Founders Edition. The out of the box default power limit is unchanged at 170 W.

Just like the Founders Edition, ZOTAC uses a dual-slot cooler design that is slightly shorter than the FE. It seems the chosen thermal solution is a little bit weak for the heat, reaching noise levels of 40 dBA in gaming, which is a ton more than the 32 dBA we measured on the Founders Edition. The situation is made worse by the aggressive fan profile on the card, which seems to focus on lowering temperatures. With 72°C under load, the card runs just as warm as the Founders Edition, but is much noisier at the same time, which is clear evidence that the FE comes with a more powerful thermal solution. It would have been a better choice for ZOTAC's card to allow higher temperatures but with lower fan noise, especially since the Founders Edition is already very quiet, and the high noise levels could be a dealbreaker for some. Just like the Founders Edition, the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP lacks the fan-stop feature that turns off the card's fans completely in idle and during light gaming for a perfect noise-free experience. With 29 dBA, idle noise levels are alright, but slightly audible, and the Founders Edition is quieter.

Our manual overclocking tests worked well, and we gained an additional 7% real-life performance. The memory overclocked crazy well, reaching 2130 MHz, which is among the highest we've ever seen. This is thanks to the use of Samsung GDDR6 memory, which overclocks about 100 MHz higher than the GDDR6 chips from Micron.

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 a lot of 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.

The ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP is expected to retail for $379, which is a $30 increase over the Founders Edition. In return, you get the overclock out of the box, and RGB lighting on the ZOTAC logo. At that price point, I find the card a tough sell, especially against other custom-design cards we are already reviewing. My biggest concerns are with fan noise and the lack of idle-fan-stop, and overclockers will definitely want to see an adjustable power limit on their cards. 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, which will certainly help offset the cost of the card. Compared to AMD's Vega lineup, the ZOTAC RTX 2060 AMP is a definite winner. It is cheaper, more compact, runs faster, quieter, and uses less power—and it offers RTX and DLSS technology.
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