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Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Review

Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Review

zt-t20610e-10m_image1The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super is the green team’s latest mid-range salvo, and the Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super is the first time we’ve seen one of these new GPUs. This new design replaces the original RTX 2060 and promises more graphical power for barely any extra cost – and we’re always keen to see that happen. The RTX 2060 Super turns up with exciting prices – this GPU starts at just £380 in the UK and $400 in the US.

However, the cheaper, weaker RTX 2060 Super faces strong competition from two new AMD cards. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT are powerful, affordable options in the mid-range, and both are cheaper than the RTX 2060 Super.

Can the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super cut the mustard? Read our Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super review to find out.

The RTX 2060 Super Core

The RTX 2060 Super is one of three new Nvidia cards. It retains the same TU106 cores as the original RTX 2060, which means it has 10.8 billion transistors on a 445mm2 die. That’s still an impressive amount, although the RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super obviously go further.

The same core means the RTX 2060 Super also has the same Turing architecture. And, while nothing is new here, that’s not necessarily a problem – it means you still get the 12nm manufacturing process, ray-tracing, VRS and DLSS technologies and Nvidia’s various other improvements.

zt-t20610e-10m_image5Instead of using a new architecture or a new core, the RTX 2060 Super gets its gains by making the most of existing hardware.

Nvidia has unlocked more stream processors on the RTX 2060 Super’s TU106 core – this card has 2,176 stream processors rather than the 1,920 included in the original RTX 2060. And adding more stream processors means that the RTX 2060 Super has more RT and Tensor cores, too. The RTX 2060 Super has 34 RT cores for ray-tracing and 272 cores for DLSS – 4 and 32 more than the original GPU.

Elsewhere, Nvidia has given the memory a significant upgrade. The original card had 6GB of memory, but the RTX 2060 Super has 8GB. That brings it into line with the rest of Nvidia’s range, and its speed remains at a rapid 14Gbps. Only the RTX 2080 Super has faster GDDR6.

Clock speeds have obviously been tweaked, but this is one area where the new card isn’t necessarily better than the old GPU. The RTX 2060 Super’s new base clock of 1,470MHz is an improvement on the original’s 1,365MHz pace. However, the new card runs at 1,650MHz – which is 30MHz slower than the original RTX 2060.

Nvidia obviously reckons that a slightly slower boost clock won’t impact performance too much thanks to improvements elsewhere. And it’s worth bearing in mind that board partners will overclock their GPUs anyway.

zt-t20610e-10m_image6The various improvements on this card means that the RTX 2060 Super has a TDP of 175W, which is 15W more than the original card. However, it’s still short of Nvidia’s other new cards, and the RTX 2060 Super still only requires a single eight-pin power connector – so you won’t need a PSU upgrade.

Elsewhere, Nvidia packages the RTX 2060 Super with its new FrameView tool, which is a handy utility for benchmarking, trouble-shooting and overclocking. You also get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remastered free with some RTX 2060 Super cards.

The RTX 2060 Super has been given a big boost when compared to the original card, but bear in mind that Nvidia’s other new GPUs remain more powerful. The RTX 2070 Super has 2,560 stream processors and a 1,770MHz boost clock. The range-topping RTX 2080 Super has 3,072 stream processors and is the only Nvidia GPU that runs memory at 15.5Gbps – everything else is locked to 14Gbps.

And then, of course, there are AMD’s new cards.

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is the beefier of the two new GPUs. It’s got 2,560 stream processors, 8GB of GDDR6 memory and runs with base and boost clocks of 1,605MHz and 1,905MHz.

The cheaper AMD Radeon RX 5700 has 2,304 processors and clock speeds of 1,465MHz and 1,725MHz. It’s also got 8GB of RAM.

Neither of those AMD cards have Ray-Tracing, obviously, but in other departments they’re formidable opponents for the RTX 2060 Super.

Head Here for our full guide to AMD Ryzen 3000 and AMD X570 motherboards

Zotac’s Card

rtx 2060 super zotac 02The Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super we’ve reviewed here is the firm’s Super Mini card. As the name suggests, it’s one of the smallest RTX 2060 Super GPUs that’s available right now.

It’s a dual-slot design that’s only 211mm long, so it’s ideal for cramming inside smaller systems. It’ll fit inside PCs that use micro-ATX or mini-ITX designs.

The smaller card still looks good, with a heatsink cover that’s made from two-tone plastic. The rear is bolstered by a slab of metal to strengthen the card and protect the internals.

It’s got two fans to ensure good cooling. At the rear it has three DisplayPort sockets and an HDMI output. Power is delivered by a single eight-pin connector.

It’s a reference card, so you don’t get any overclocking. For that, you’ll have to head to Zotac’s larger AMP and AMP Extreme models. It’s missing some features elsewhere, too: there is no RGB LED lighting, no VirtualLink for VR headsets, and no SLI support.

Those omissions are all common across many RTX 2060 cards, though, so you’re not necessarily missing out by picking up this Zotac model.

Need more news on the latest kit? Click here to check out the latest headlines.

Pricing

The Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Mini costs £410 in the UK and $400 in the US, which makes it among the cheapest RTX 2060 Super cards available.

rtx 2060 super zotac 03It’s not necessarily the cheapest way to get your hands on an RTX 2060 Super, though. In the UK, prices for entry-level models start at £380 and £390. In the US, the Zotac card is right at the most affordable spot on the market.

That’s barely any different from the original RTX 2060, which was just a few pounds or dollars cheaper.

And, because Zotac’s model has been made smaller than most of its affordable rivals, there are compromises elsewhere. This card runs at stock speeds, but cards with similar prices are being sold with overclocks. At this end of the market, it’s not uncommon to find affordable RTX 2060 Super cards with the boost clock improved to 1,665MHz, 1,695MHz or 1,710MHz.

As usual, spending more cash will net you a more ambitious version of the card. In the UK, prices top out at around £450. Up here you’ll find cards that are overclocked to speeds of 1,725MHz and beyond 1,800MHz. In the US, cards like this cost $450.

However, we wouldn’t recommend spending lots of money on one of these expensive RTX 2060 Super variants. The GPU is less powerful, so it doesn’t need particularly extravagant cooling. Those overclocks will only deliver small gaming improvements – sometimes so small that you won’t even notice them.

Buying a more affordable card at this level, like the Zotac model, will be far better value when there’s so little to gain from an expensive model.

And, if you’re considering a more expensive card, hold fire. The RTX 2070 Super is more powerful still, and they start at £500 or $500.

As ever, AMD’s new cards wait in the wings. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT starts at £380 or $390, which matches right up with the cheapest RTX 2060 Super cards. The RX 5700 starts at £320 or $350.

Here’s Our Guide to the Best PCs for Work, Play and Everything In Between

Performance

Our Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super review demonstrated that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super delivers a huge performance gain over the original RTX 2060 – but also that AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT offers comparable pace.

At 1080p the RTX 2060 Super delivered average framerates that always skipped past the important 60fps barrier. In six games it even got past 100fps. Those results are important – the former figure means that today’s toughest games will always run well at 1080p. The latter means the esports games and other games will run at framerates high enough for 144Hz monitors and beyond – so twitchy gameplay can be run rapidly and smoothly.

It’s a good start, and the RTX 2060 Super is often between ten and twenty frames quicker than the original RTX 2060. Nvidia’s changes have clearly worked.

The RTX 2060 Super continued to perform well at 1440p. The new card’s averages got beyond 60fps in eight games, and they never dipped below 50fps. So, if you’re playing single-player games, you’ll be able to run them smoothly at this resolution.

As before, esports titles and other less-demanding applications will run fast enough for high refresh-rate screens, as well. However, if you want to play tough games at beyond 100fps, you may have to compromise on graphical settings.

And, unsurprisingly, the RTX 2060 Super continued to hold a commanding lead over the original RTX 2060 in these tests.

The RTX 2060 Super continued to deliver a lead over its predecessor in 4K benchmarks. However, these results illustrated that the new card isn’t really cut out for 4K gaming. Its averages often dipped into the low- and mid-thirty frames-per-second range. Its minimums were usually below 30fps. To get games running at 4K on this card you’ll need to tone down the graphics settings quite dramatically, and that seems counterproductive.

Indeed, if you want to play games smoothly at 4K then you’re going to have to pay more. The RTX 2070 Super can manage it. The RTX 2080 Super is even better. And, obviously, the RTX 2070 Super is faster in all other areas as well – including in VR.

So, the RTX 2060 Super is superb for 1080p and 1440p gaming, and it’ll also handle screens with high refresh-rates and some widescreens too.

That’s great, but it won’t play 4K particularly well, and it’ll struggle with VR headsets and with widescreens at higher resolutions.

And, of course, there’s the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. Our benchmarks show that AMD’s card keeps pace with the Nvidia chip at 1080p, 1440p and 4K – and that it’s often a frame or two faster.

Theoretical benchmarks illustrate what’s going on. AMD’s card is quicker in all of the 3D Mark Fire Strike tests, for instance – often by a solid margin. However, the RTX 2060 Super closes the game in 3D Mark Time Spy. That’s a DirectX 12-based benchmark that uses more modern technologies.

And, true to form, Nvidia’s card was virtually as quick as the AMD GPU in most of the future-proofed VR Mark tests.

It neatly illustrates the two diverged paths being taken by Nvidia and AMD.

Right now, the RTX 2060 Super and Radeon RX 5700 XT offer very close performance in games. No matter which you buy you’re going to get very good performance. Theoretical tests and those benchmark results indicate that AMD does have a slight lead over the RTX 2060 Super.

However, the Nvidia card is better in tougher, future-facing benchmarks. Nvidia’s GPU also supports ray-tracing, DLSS and VRS. With these technologies slowly gaining popularity and with ray-tracing set to be included in future consoles, Nvidia’s GPUs look like a better bet for the long term.

More power required? Click here for our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti coverage!

Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super Review – Conclusion

Our Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super review demonstrates that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super is a great mid-range graphics card – but it also shows that it may not be the best option.

Let’s start with the positives. It’ll play anything at 1080p and 1440p, including today’s toughest single-player games and the twitchiest esports titles that demand triple-figure framerates. It’ll handle some VR and widescreen gameplay too, and it delivers a huge boost over the original RTX 2060 for virtually no extra cost.

rtx 2060 super zotac 01Zotac’s card looks the part, with a solid external design. It’s far smaller than most rivals – so it’s more suitable for a wider range of systems. It’s joined on the market by loads of alternative board partner options.

However, Nvidia’s latest doesn’t earn a wholehearted recommendation. While Nvidia’s GPU is good, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is a little faster in today’s top games – and it doesn’t cost any more.

The AMD card doesn’t have Nvidia’s new technologies, though, like ray-tracing, DLSS and VRS. With those set to be adopted further by PC and console manufacturers and developers, it may be something that you don’t want to miss out on.

Whether you buy Nvidia or AMD does really come down to what you’re looking for from a new GPU. If you want the most speed available right now, then the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is better than this card.

However, if you want a lot of single-screen speed and also want future-proofed technologies that AMD can’t offer, then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super is an excellent option – and far better than its predecessor.

The Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super costs £410 in the UK and $400 in the USDiscuss our Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The GoodRecommended Award

  • Great 1080p and 1440p power
  • Ray-tracing, DLSS and VRS included
  • Affordable, small, neat card design

The Bad

  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is slightly quicker
  • Can’t handle 4K gaming
  • No overclock on this model

The Specs

Stream processors: 2,176
Base clock: 1,470MHz
Boost clock: 1,650MHz
Memory: 8GB, 256-bit 14Gbps GDDR6
Connectivity: PCI Express 3.0
Display Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x VirtualLink
Max Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
TDP: 175W
Power connections: 1 x 8-pin
Supported APIs: DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.2, Vulkan 1.1, CUDA 7.5

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Zotac GeForce RTX 2060 Super

About Author

Mike Jennings

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