It’s been almost a year since Nvidia started re-releasing older GPUs, like the GeForce RTX 2060 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, to help deal with the world’s great shortage of graphics cards. More recently, Nvidia has gone further by quietly launching a brand new version of the RTX 2060 that doubles its VRAM to 12 GB.
Put the emphasis on the ‘quiet’ mind – even if you’ve regularly checked your GPU stock available or looked at our guide to graphics card offerings, you probably won’t even notice there’s an RTX 2060 from. 12 GB that hits. So what’s the deal with this mysterious card, and should you even consider buying an RTX 20 series card these days?
After all, it’s still based on the old Turing architecture, so while you still get support for DLSS and basic ray tracing, the 12GB RTX 2060 won’t offer comparable overall performance to those of Ampere GPUs like the RTX 3060. Again, there is some logic in bringing back old GPUs: with production costs recovered long ago, they can (in theory) sell at lower prices than the RTX 30 series or Radeon RX 6000 series from AMD. A potential tonic for the massive inflation plagued by other models – perhaps not one of the best graphics cards right now, but a capable kit for most games.
Sadly, the 12GB RTX 2060 immediately has a different but still familiar issue – there’s hardly any stock for it. After probably spending too much time searching, I found precisely one UK listing that actually comes at a price, via Perforation technology. To analyse has the same model made by Zotac, with no price given. Both are out of stock.
It’s tempting to attribute this to the usual scalping bots and cryptocurrency miners, although it’s also not clear how many 12GB RTX 2060s were produced in the first place. Again, Nvidia really, really didn’t do a song and dance of the release, with its UK official website not even recognizing that the new specification exists.
But even if new stock left the factory in droves, the 12GB RTX 2060 isn’t that cheap. Punch Technology’s asking price is Â£ 515, almost double the cost of the original 6GB RTX 2060 at launch, while in the US it’s available (yes) for $ 772 (aww). The only positive thing I can think of about this is that the original RTX 2060 is hardly in a better place, costing anywhere from $ 700 to $ 1,000, depending on your willingness to import. The bloated RTX 2060 Super, with its 8GB of VRAM, is even more expensive, although back in the UK you can at least get a 6GB RTX 2060 for under Â£ 450.
It’s a situation that leaves one wondering if the new model was ever really meant to be an affordable gaming GPU to begin with. Perhaps revealing, the 12GB RTX 2060 doesn’t ship with Nvidia’s usual hash rate limiter, which is typically included on their newer GPUs to limit the efficiency of crypto mining. From what I understand, the RTX 2060 was never an incredible mining card to begin with, although it seems likely that the 12GB version was designed to feed the crypto crowd as much as PC builders. difficult.
It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If miners buy mining cards, it means they are buying fewer GPUs specifically dedicated to games, leaving more of them available. There is clearly not a whole lot of benefit, however, if there is almost no stock to start with.
It’s such a shame, especially since the 6GB RTX 2060 can still hold up quite well to performance. At 1080p, we recorded it beyond the 60fps averages in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Warhammer II, Monster Hunter: World, and The Witcher III, all at their maximum graphics settings. Ditto for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on its Very High setting, while the RTX 2060 Super typically added around 10 frames per second to each of these when Katharine was testing it.
Like (apparently) most other tech hacks, I had no luck finding a 12GB RTX 2060 for review, but since it probably wouldn’t perform worse than those other two GPUs, it should also be a good one. decent 1080p option. Alas, far from bringing relief, this new version seems to have been immediately drawn into the hell that is the contemporary PC graphics market. Welcome and goodbye.