ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini Review 14

ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The Zotac RTX 2060 Super EX comes in at $400, matching the NVIDIA Founders Edition.
  • Much faster than RTX 2060
  • No price increase over Founders Edition
  • Almost matches RTX 2070 performance, right behind RX 5700 XT
  • VRAM size upgraded to 8 GB
  • Physically short card
  • Backplate included
  • RTX Raytracing and DLSS
  • Game bundle includes both Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • VESA Adaptive-Sync, HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort 1.4, 8K support
  • Not overclocked out of the box
  • Higher gaming noise than Founders Edition
  • No idle-fan-stop
  • Power limit not increased
  • No manual power limit increases possible
  • Always running in power limiter, which complicates overclocking, too
Unlike all other RTX Super card we've reviewed so far, the Zotac RTX 2060 Super Mini doesn't come with an overclock out of the box. It's also one of few cards without an increased board power limit, which kind of sets the expectations for the review. Compared to the NVIDIA Founders Edition, performance is pretty much identical with small swings up or down depending on the benchmark, which is due to random variation and small changes in boosting behavior (mostly due to temperatures). Overall performance at 1080p ends up right in the middle of the new AMD cards—7% faster than the RX 5700 and 6% slower than the RX 5700 XT. The difference to the slightly faster RTX 2070 is only 4%. AMD's top dog, the Radeon VII, is another 8% quicker. Compared to the non-Super RTX 2060, the performance uplift is a nice 12%, and the RTX 2070 Super gives 15% higher FPS. With those performance numbers, we can easily recommend the card for gaming at 1440p.

Zotac's thermal solution is relatively compact, which makes the card shorter, so it can fit into more cases. The length difference to the FE is only 1.5 cm, so I am not sure if it really makes much of a difference for compatibility. We expect "mini" branded graphics cards to be under 20 cm in length, which this card isn't at 21 cm. Our testing shows that the dual-fan cooler isn't as good as NVIDIA's Founders Edition cooler. Zotac decided that their card should match Founders Edition temperatures of 76°C. While the card achieves that, it does so with more noise because the smaller fans have to run faster to compensate for the weaker cooler. Noise levels are still acceptable, though, especially when compared with AMD's offerings—the RX 5700 Series runs much noisier. Another missed opportunity is the lack of idle fan stop, a feature that's missing on the Founders Edition, too, turning it into a unique selling point for custom designs. Especially given the Founders Edition's sexy looks, people who want low noise will be more willing to look beyond the shiny if a card rewards them with a noise-free environment during desktop work, Internet browsing, and light gaming.

Gaming power consumption is similar, but slightly increased over the Founders Edition. This is slightly surprising because both cards are configured to the same 175 W out of the box power limit—other custom designs give you higher limits that will automagically translate into performance improvements because NVIDIA's Boost algorithm can boost higher for longer. Zotac's card is the only RTX Super card we've seen so far that doesn't allow any manual power limit increases. Both the default and manual power limit are set to 175 W.

Overclocking our card resulted in slightly lower clocks than on other RTX 2060 Super cards, but the differences are small and mostly due to the silicon lottery. I'm not sure why Zotac chose to skip all the possibilities for gaining an advantage over the Founders Edition: no out of the box overclock on either GPU or memory, no idle fan stop, no power limit increases—these are exactly why custom designs are built in the first place, and why people buy them. Zotac's card does have one edge, though, as it comes at no price increase over the $400 Founders Edition, making it the cheapest entry into the RTX 2060 Super crowd. This is especially important for markets in which NVIDIA doesn't offer their Founders Edition. If you are choosing between the Founders Edition and Zotac's Mini, I would definitely go for the former. Not only for looks, but also because it offers the same performance with better noise levels and similar temperatures. If you are already willing to spend $400, maybe look at cards up to $420 or $430, too, as those may have features that can justify the small price increase. If you are considering the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, I'd definitely pick the Zotac card because of better power, heat, noise, and a driver without any issues. Zotac did hint that their RTX 2060 Super Mini could drop further in price soon. I'd say at around $370 or $380, it could be interesting enough price/performance-wise that I'd be willing to overlook its shortcomings.
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