Gamers the world over were on their toes last year when Nvidia launched its GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. Based on a new architecture codenamed Ampere, these were the most advanced graphics cards yet seen, capable of delivering unheard of performance in games.
So it makes sense that the likes of Nvidia’s RTX 3080 became highly coveted items, as this is a high-end card that lets PC gamers run their video games at 4K resolution with ray tracing and all the other eye candy you can imagine…
The thing is, most cards in Nvidia’s RTX 30 series line-up have been very hard to get since launch. This is something that Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang touched on last year given the low availability of the latest graphics cards.
It seems that Bitcoin mining (for which Nvidia’s RTX 30 series graphics cards are ideally suited) and the effect of the pandemic on supply lines has made, and will keep making, getting hold of a graphics card a difficult proposition.
However, Nvidia appears to be doing something to remedy the situation besides improving production of its RTX 30 series cards.
Actually, the company is releasing a variant of one of its RTX 20 series cards, the previous generation of cards based on the Turing architecture, which were the first to bring real-time ray tracing to the masses back in 2018.
The original GeForce RTX 2060 launched in January 2019, and was followed by the more powerful GeForce RTX 2060 Super in summer 2019. Nvidia’s new RTX 2060 is scheduled to launch on December 7 according to videocardz.com, and falls between Nvidia’s original RTX 2060 and the RTX 2060 Super when it comes to specs.
It does come with more memory than the RTX 2060 Super out of the box though: the new RTX 2060 will boast 12 GB of memory, while the Super shipped with 8 GB. The RTX 2060 Super does have faster memory, as it runs on a 256-bit bus, while Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 2060 variant has a 192-bit bus like the original card did. This gives it a memory bandwidth of 336 GB/s compared to the Super’s 448 GB/s memory bandwidth.
The new RTX 2060 does have as many CUDA cores (individual processing units which take care of graphics-related calculations) as the RTX 2060 Super, a total of 2176 vs the 1920 found in the original RTX 2060.
Strangely, though, the new RTX 2060 will have a higher power requirement than the Super variant, this coming in at 184 Watts vs the 175 Watts power requirement of the RTX 2060 Super.
This means that while not performing as well as the RTX 2060 Super, the new RTX 2060 should be able to handle any game at 1080p resolution with most settings maxed, and many games at 1440p if you dial down the graphics settings.
Also, Nvidia’s upgraded RTX 2060 card will have more ray tracing cores than the original model: 64 vs 48, meaning it should handle games like Control better with ray tracing enabled. This coupled with the fact the card will be clocked higher out of the box (1470 MHz vs 1365 MHz) should make it an even better deal than the original RTX 2060 was at launch.
Nonetheless, the new GeForce RTX 2060 being a great deal this Christmas depends on availability and pricing, though.
The more powerful GeForce RTX 3060 card came out this year, in February. Its power for running PC games coupled with its attractive MSRP of $329 US dollars made it look like the card to get for gamers on a budget. Except the RTX 3060 has suffered from the same supply problems and inflated prices as the other RTX 30 series cards.
So Nvidia should price the new RTX 2060 card at less than $300 US dollars like the original card, while both Nvidia and its partners make sure there are plenty of the new RTX 2060 to go around come the Christmas holiday season.
Otherwise there will be plenty of disgruntled PC gamers as the graphics card drought has lasted long enough already, that’s for sure.
GeForce series 20 graphics cards (Nvidia Corporation)