RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070 – Which Should You Choose?

The best graphics card you can get right now is RTX 2080 Ti, but what if you want something more affordable which also has the ray tracing support? Both RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 are very good candidates but will likely appeal differently to you depending on your needs. So we’re going to weigh in on the RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070 debate and help you figure out what’s best for you.

If you’re looking to build a gaming rig or simply upgrade your GPU with a new one, you’re likely willing to spend a certain amount of money to get the performance you want. However, there’s been an interesting trend in the GPU market, especially from Nvidia’s side, where the price points are more spread apart than the performance marks.

geforce rtx 2080 ti

On a glance, it might seem like a no-brainer to go with the RTX 2070 simply because the model number is bigger and even if you look just a little bit further and notice the price gap, you might get assured of your previous belief and get that GPU. Still, there are certain points that you should consider before doing.

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Specification

As the name suggests, both of these GPUs come from Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 20 line, and both are made using the 12nm manufacturing process which is in fact an optimized 14nm node from TSMC. They also each have 10.8 billion transistors and their die size is identical at 445 mm2, and that, for the large part, is where the similarities end.

Let’s take a look at some technical specifications for both of these first and analyze where differences lie and why some matter more.

Model NameShader ProcessorsTexture Mapping UnitsRender Output UnitsRay Tracing CoresTensor Cores
GeForce RTX 206019201224830240
GeForce RTX 207023041446536288
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

It may seem that roughly 400 more shader processors will make RTX 2070 be a lot better at the shading process, but the truth is that this is not enough to make a noticeable difference. Sure, shading will be a tougher job for RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070, but it’s not a key difference, performance-wise.

However, where things are harder to miss is at the number of texture mapping units. Although RTX 2070 comes off stronger, it’s very important to note that even their score of 144 is not on the level of many other cards in the same price range. And RTX 2060 ranks the lowest in this category in their tier in our GPU hierarchy and is a lot closer to the tier below.

So while there’s some margin between these two in that department, neither can really be proud of their texture mapping units.

Where RTX 2070 shows more of its shine is in the number ROPs and in the number of ray tracing cores. Both of these are directly responsible for a better output that you see on your monitor and when all of these little advantages are put together, there’s a clearer advantage.

Another disadvantage for RTX 2060 is in the number of tensor cores, but neither of these GPUs will be truly powerful when taking advantage of this tech as DLSS is still a very young idea and by the time the game developers fully embrace it (and if), there are likely going to be more powerful GPUs out there. However, the rumors around the RTX 3000 series are curiously putting the number of tensor cores at a lower number than where it would be if there are some significant improvements at play. Still, it’s encouraging that the technology is developing, albeit slow and steady.

Slight difference in RT cores is almost negligible when compared to the powerhouse that is RTX 2080 Ti. Still, both of these GPUs offer ray tracing which is not something a lot of GPUs out there can boast about.

ModelL2 Cache (MB)Base core clock (MHz)Boost core clock
(MHz)
Memory Size (GB)Bandwidth
(GB/s)
Bus width
(bits)
RTX 20603136516806336192
RTX 20704141016208448256
rtx2070

Because there’s only a slight disparity between the amount of cache memory, you might be tempted to think that it doesn’t matter as much, but specifically L2 cache is very important for the computing speed. Actually, RTX 2070 is in line with every other RTX 20 series GPU, bar the mammoth 5.5 for RTX 2080 Ti, and equally crazy 6 MB for Titan RTX.

The next interesting point for comparison is clock speed. The base core clock metric doesn’t offer many surprises in favor of RTX 2070, but boost clock will certainly draw more attention as this is the only number that gives an advantage to RTX 2060, but it can be deceiving. If every other metric in this RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070 comparison was level, then 2060’s boost clock might be advantageous, but that is simply not the case.

The reason why this metric doesn’t matter as much is that there need to be several different factors involved in order for RTX 2060 to reach that 1680 MHz burst and that will simply not happen a lot.

Next up is the area in which RTX 2070 dominates and removes all doubt about which card is better. They both use GDDR6 which is commendable, but the advantages in size, bandwidth, and bus width make RTX 2070 a far better choice for stuff like 4K gaming and video editing.

Neither of these support NVLink nor SLI so there’s no room for performance improvement that way.

Gaming Performance

The reason why many people are getting a good GPU is to have a more enjoyable gaming experience and if you think you won’t be able to get a top-notch performance out of either RTX 2060 or RTX 2070, you’d be wrong. Below is a good comparison video for how both of these GPUs perform in relatively modern games.

With a simple eye test, we can tell that the rough 10% difference is noticeable, but that it also depends on the game being played. The gap is a lot smaller in games with more linear level design. It was somewhat expected that RTX 2060 will perform better in those types of games, but it’s also interesting that RTX 2070 doesn’t increase its performance there as well.

Below is a more comprehensive test that highlights the FPS performance of RTX 2060 when compared to RTX 2070.

FPS Performance For RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070

There is a noticeable difference across the board, as expected, but it’s also important to note that outliers don’t make things look good for RTX 2060. On the other hand, RTX 2070 had a clear advantage in the spec section and it simply outperforms its opponent in the gaming performance department as well.

Dollar Value

rtx2060

It’s time for RTX 2060 to finally show why it’s a worthy contender for your next GPU. At $349, it’s significantly cheaper than RTX 2070 which goes from $499. While RTX 2070 is without a doubt a better card, it’s the fact that it’s approximately 30% expensive while only bringing a 10-15% performance that should really be the deciding factor when choosing between these two.

Another point of interest is 2060’s 165W power need which is below 2070’s 185W which would translate to the former needing a 500W PSU, while the latter would need to bump it up to 550W. The power consumption might seem less significant, but when it comes to the choice of needing to upgrade your PSU to accommodate the GPU, it will definitely be simpler to go for a lower-consuming card.

RTX 2060 vs RTX 2070: The Verdict

rtx2070

Overall, it’s not hard to see that RTX 2070 is the superior card in this duel, but the question should really lie in the performance-per-dollar metric, and in that category, RTX 2060 is simply a better choice. Of course, if you’re looking for superior performance, then RTX 2070 is a clear choice.

However, if you’re willing to spend $500 for a GPU, then it might be better to compare the price points of RTX 2070 and RTX 2070 Super, but if you’re on a tighter budget, then it will probably be a better choice to go for RTX 2060.

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Aleksandar Cosic

Alex is a Computer Science student and a former game designer. That has enabled him to develop skills in critical thinking and fair analysis. As a CS student, Aleksandar has very in-depth technical knowledge about computers, and he also likes to stay current with new technologies.