Trouble For RX 5700? RTX 2060 Super & RTX 2070 Super Review

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Well hello good people, Eber here with Hardware Canucks! After AMD announced their new Navi GPU architecture and their RX5700 XT and the RX 5700 graphics card, NVIDIA had the perfect opportunity to respond in some way and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Now instead of cutting prices of their current RTX lineup, they’re actually replacing almost the entire lineup with some new GPUs. And this our performance review of the new RTX Super series graphics cards. Even before Navi hits store shelves, it will have to compete with what NVIDIA is calling their Super series. And yeah, it’s a terrible name. I really want to know your thoughts about this Super branding, but nonetheless these new GPUs have faster clock speeds and in some cases a revised memory layout. And now NVIDIA is also pricing these GPUs aggressively, which could be the worst possible news for the RX 5700 XT and the RX 5700. Now you won’t be able to run out and pick up one of these GPUs right away, and I’ll get to that shortly.

All right, so let’s start with the bad news first. NVIDIA is taking a page out of AMD Radeon’s playbook by paper launching the RTX 2070 Super and the RTX 2060 Super. The reviews go live today and you can place an order for a Founders Edition card, but actual availability at retailers and reviews for custom cards will be on July 9th. The RTX 2080 Super will follow sometime later in July. Now, if you think about it, this is a great business move by NVIDIA. I’m not really a fan of it, but at the same time it will also give us the opportunity to use the Super series GPUs in our RX 5700 reviews. So at this point the Radeon team should be worried.

Super Series Lineup

However, there’s also some more good news this time. The Founders Edition won’t cost one penny more than NVIDIA’s reference prices. Now, sure those cards won’t come pre-overclocked, but you can do that yourselves anyways. Also, every RTX Super series cards will come with two free RTX enabled games. So in this case, you get Control and Wolfenstein Young Blood. Together they’re worth about $90, so it’s a pretty good deal. So what are the Super cards other than a really weird name? Well, let’s actually take a look at NVIDIA’s lineup and what it’s going to look like right now. The RTX 2080 Ti will keep its $1000 price tag and remain at the top of NVIDIA’s stack. However, the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2070 are being discontinued. They’re being replaced by the identically priced $700 RTX 2080 Super and the $500 RTX 2070 Super. Now the RTX 2060 Super is a bit of a different approach since it costs $400, but it isn’t replacing the RTX 2060 since that card will stick to around $350. This might seem odd, but when you look at AMD’s new cards you can understand why NVIDIA choose to discontinue the RTX 2070. They’re saving it from getting beaten by the RX 5700 XT, while also introducing a higher performing card at the same price.

Now the RX 5700 XT slots right between the RTX 2070 Super and the RTX 2060 Super. I can say the same thing for about the RX 5700, AMD’s $380 card was supposed to beat the RTX 2060 but now it has to compete against the RTX 2060 Super that’s just $20 more.

Model Specs

Now the RTX 2070 Super uses the TU104 core instead of TU106, and it has 256 more CUDA cores than the RTX 2070. It also operates at much higher core clocks and that should bring its performance to right near the RTX 2080, but power consumption has increased by about 40 watts. Also, some of the rumors were obviously wrong, memory frequencies have remained the same. However, even the RTX 2070 Super should basically give you RTX 2080 performance for RTX 2070 prices.

The RTX 2060 Super still uses the TU106 core, but it’s now being unlocked to offer almost as many cores as the older RTX 2070. Probably the most important change from the RTX 2060 is that NVIDIA equipped this card with 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a 256-bit memory interface. Without that, I don’t think it would have competed very well against the RX 5700. Power consumption hasn’t even gone up by all that much either, so that’s nice.

So what about the cards themselves? Well the ones we have are the basic Founders Editions, which don’t look all that much different from the original RTX 2070 and the RTX 2060. The heatsink and shroud build quality is just so much better than the RX 5700 series, but the only thing I don’t like is the mirror-like area NVIDIA added. When the card is installed into a case it can reflect everything from LED strips to areas where you’ve tucked away cables. I mean at this point I might as well classify the Super cards as a beauty product because it has a mirror on it. Now other than that, you have the same 8 + 6-pin power connector layout on the RTX 2070 Super and rear mounted 8-pin on the RTX2060 Super. Despite the mirror finish, in my opinion if aesthetics was my focus I would still rather go for a Founders Edition than a custom card from a board partner.

Benchmarks

All right, so if you’ve skipped to the performance segment, I do want to mention something very important before getting into the benchmarks. An actual review isn’t really possible without having looked at how the RX 5700 XT and the RX 5700 perform compared to the Super cards. So definitely stay tuned for a lot more content around when the RX 5700 series cards finally come out. Let’s do a quick rundown of our test system, it features a Core i9-9900X clocked to 4.8Ghz on all cores, an ASUS STRIX X299-E motherboard, 64GB of G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4-3600, and a Seasonic Focus Gold 850W power supply. It’s running windows 10 professional with all the latest updates installed.

Now with that out of the way, let’s start with some benchmarks, but this time is going to be a little bit different. I’m actually going to start with some of the games that people actually play these days, including Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege and yes, even Fortnite and PUBG. And as you can see from these results, the RTX 2060 Super can’t actually beat the RTX 2070 but it comes really close in some cases. It also stays out in front of the RTX 2060 by between 10 and 17%. Now NVIDIA claims that the RTX 2070 Super is pretty much an RTX 2080 for less money. And these first four games show that’s almost the case, but not quite. There’s a huge 15 to 20% improvement against the RTX 2070 and that’ll be very important when it comes to competing against the RX 5700 XT.

All right, so let’s move on to some more typical benchmark games with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5, Battlefield V, and Wolfenstein New Colossus. And as we run through all of these results, you will likely see the similarities to the last benchmarks. That means the RTX 2070 Super pretty much lines up just below or equal to the RTX 2080, and the RTX 2060 Super almost matches an RTX 2070. There really aren’t any exceptions to this either with performance scaling almost linearly between the Super and non-Super RTX cards. However will that really be enough for what’s coming from AMD? I can’t say that yet since we’re a little less than a week away from that highly anticipated launch.

Power consumption is pretty much in line with what we expected relative to performance. The RTX 2060 Super doesn’t really require all that much more juice than the RTX 2060, but the RTX 2070 Super almost has RTX 2080 power requirements, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Conclusion

So this one’s going to be a bit hard to conclude since without the RX 5700 series in the charts. There’s no way of actually knowing how good these cards are. Having said that, we can quickly go over how they compare against NVIDIA’s current offerings. What NVIDIA has accomplished with the RTX 2070 Super is big news because you’re paying the exact same price as the RTX 2070, but you’re getting a return an average of 15 to 20% better frame rates. Now, sure, a lot of people might say that $500 is still expensive and I completely agree with you. It isn’t cheap, but you’ve got to remember that the prices have still remained the same. Now with the RTX 2060 Super, I’m not really a fan of what NVIDIA did with this thing. I mean, I appreciate that the performance levels almost matched the RTX 2070, but do keep in mind that you’re paying an extra $50 over the RTX 2060 and in return you’re only getting roughly 10 to 17% better performance. Now it’s obvious that NVIDIA had to introduce this card because it’s the only way that it can outperform the RX 5700 and nothing more. So for now, I think I’m going to stop it here. A lot of these performance results don’t mean much until we know how they line up against the RX 5700 series. It’s great to see how AMD’s moves push NVIDIA to do something, but we’re just gonna have to wait and see how this is going to all play out. So definitely stick around for a lot more content in the pipeline.

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