Review GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 Super Review: Nvidia Preemptively Strikes Navi

jimmysmitty

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So short of a handful of games the RTX 2070 Super outperforms or matches the Radeon VII and comes in at $150 less ( more depending on which one you get). Thats a solid win.

Guess now we wait for Navi to see if they have anything decent to counter.
 

Giroro

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I think if Nvidia could have dropped the price of the RTX 2060, they probably would have done that instead of releasing the RTX 2060 super for $50 more.
Unfortunately, all those leftover RT and AI cores make for a giant and expensive to manufacture die. I'm not sure if we'll ever see an RTX card for under $350, but AMD could probably drop the 5700 down well below that if they were really pressed.

As for the value proposition of Ray Tracing itself... That's still really dubious. The overall number of upcoming RTX games is still lower than the overall number of RTX -laptops- on the market. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not exactly lining up to spend $400+ for somewhat prettier graphics in the 2-3 games I find interesting. I have a feeling that most of the early adopters banking on the promise of future support probably bought an RTX card months ago.

So, cool on Nvidia for flexing their muscles and remaining the strongest, I just don't see it winning over that many new customers.
 
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fraserlawrence

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Thank goodness we are starting to see value swing back towards the gamer and away from the cryptomining bubble. I may finally upgrade my gtx 970 ($339 in late 2014) to take advantage of 1440p gaming. Will an Intel Core i5-4690K temporarily work OK with an RTX 2060 Super until I upgrade the rest of my rig? Mostly playing AAA single player games like AC Odyssey, Far Cry 5, Sekiro and Shadow of Tomb Raider. Thank you Tom's Hardware for all the help getting started and balancing a gaming PC build with excellent reviews and best value discussions.
 
Inserted right between the $350 GeForce RTX 2060 and $500 RTX 2070 Super, we can’t imagine that anyone actually asked for a $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super.
A better way to look at it is that the 2060 Super is offering near-2070 performance for $100 less. It performs within a few percent or so of the 2070, so this is almost like Nvidia lopping $100 off the 2070's MSRP. You do lose around 5% of the graphics cores, but retain the full 8GB of VRAM and memory bandwidth of that card. This is more like the kind of pricing we should have seen from the 20-series to begin with, and I think the cards would have been a lot better received if that had been the case.

Back when there weren’t any ray tracing- or DLSS-enabled games to show off the Turing architecture’s most prominent features, those were unforgiving comparisons.
DLSS has proven to be more or less useless, being little more than a mediocre upscaling method in practice. It might not be bad if it looked or performed better than all other forms of upscaling, but it doesn't. A number of games use other upscaling methods that are not only better, but also don't require any special hardware, allowing them to run on any card while offering better performance than DLSS for a given level of image quality. So, as far as that feature is concerned, the comparisons are even worse now than they were when people didn't know what DLSS had to offer. It's gone from being a potentially useful feature to being a non-feature.

And there are still only a few games released so far that support raytraced lighting effects, and enabling them still kills performance at the resolutions most people are likely buying these cards for. Raytraced effects have the potential to improve visuals, but the current cards don't have nearly enough RT cores to run them well. I suppose the Super lineup helps a bit by making slightly more RT cores available at a given price point, but it's not nearly enough to prevent the performance hit from being substantial relative to the minor improvements to visuals. Perhaps next year's cards will make hybrid raytracing more viable.

Still, I do agree that if two cards otherwise offer similar performance at a given price level, hardware raytracing support is definitely something that can help differentiate one card from another. Enabling those effects might cause a big hit to performance, but at least the option is there. For that reason, I think the 5700 and 5700 XT may have a hard time justifying their launch prices compared to the Super cards, unless they perform significantly better than expected. The pricing seemed a bit underwhelming from the start, and even without the Super cards available, I felt each of those Navi cards should have been priced about $50 lower. The initial 20-series pricing was underwhelming from the start, and AMD didn't seem to be pushing value much beyond that, despite these cards launching the better part of a year later. AMD had the opportunity to build some hype for their new generation of cards through competitive pricing, but appear to have followed Nvidia's lead in price-gouging their new cards, despite not bringing anything really new to the table. Better pricing from the start could have prevented Nvidia from raining on their parade with the Super cards.

And on that note, the Radeon VII is the real loser compared to the Super lineup. Its value was already a bit questionable for anyone not utilizing its 16GB of VRAM for certain professional applications, since the RTX 2080 was already offering more gaming performance and dedicated RT hardware with lower power demands for about the same price, but now the 2070 Super will be offering similar performance along with RT hardware for almost $200 less. That makes the VII a no-go for just about anyone interested in it for gaming, and due to its large amount of expensive HBM2 VRAM, I doubt AMD could drop its price by $200 to compete.
 

cangelini

Contributing Editor
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Jul 4, 2008
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A better way to look at it is that the 2060 Super is offering near-2070 performance for $100 less. It performs within a few percent or so of the 2070, so this is almost like Nvidia lopping $100 off the 2070's MSRP. You do lose around 5% of the graphics cores, but retain the full 8GB of VRAM and memory bandwidth of that card. This is more like the kind of pricing we should have seen from the 20-series to begin with, and I think the cards would have been a lot better received if that had been the case.
That's another way to look at it, yes. I see it as where 2070 should have been at launch, agreed!
 
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bit_user

Splendid
Herald
DLSS has proven to be more or less useless, being little more than a mediocre upscaling method in practice. It might not be bad if it looked or performed better than all other forms of upscaling, but it doesn't.
I think the problem is they tried to do too much with it. The more sophisticated the model, the longer inferencing takes and the less time is left for conventional rendering. So, they could either go with a sophisticated model designed to enhance low-quality AA, or a simple model that's basically just an improved scaler and able to be paired with decent AA. Because the former is easier to sell, they went with that. However, maybe they should've just gone with the latter.

Anyway, it's essentially a software feature (although it depends on the tensor cores). So, there's always a chance they'll reverse course.

AMD had the opportunity to build some hype for their new generation of cards through competitive pricing, but appear to have followed Nvidia's lead in price-gouging their new cards, despite not bringing anything really new to the table. Better pricing from the start could have prevented Nvidia from raining on their parade with the Super cards.
First, it's much easier to lower prices than to raise them. So, AMD could quickly come down from its launch pricing.

Second, I see the Super cards as pretty much inevitable, no matter what AMD did with pricing. The only real variable was whether and how Nvidia adjusted their pricing. The big question is whose price floor is higher. If it does come to a price war, how much can they each drop?

I've always seen the RTX features as very much about creating enough differentiation to justify higher pricing. However, they're far from the must-haves Nvidia surely hoped. As such, I think they're not yet sufficient to keep the RTX cards out of a price war. Maybe in the next gen, but not now.

the Radeon VII is the real loser compared to the Super lineup.
It's true and a fair point, but you surely know it wasn't designed as a gaming card. The way to think of it is as a Titan - something of a specialty product that's soon to be surpassed by the next generation. Like the Kepler Titan and the Titan V, it's a professional GPU that they let gamers and prosumers have at a more accessible price point.
 

alextheblue

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cangelini said:
...wouldn’t want to play the game at any detail preset that has Keanu look like less than the beautiful man he is.
You meant to say "breathtaking", of course.

Second, I see the Super cards as pretty much inevitable, no matter what AMD did with pricing.
Inevitable, absolutely. But when, in what form, and at what price points? Would they have been satisfied to just sell FE or FE+ as "Super" if there was no competition? Or even if they pushed further than that, would the 2060 Super be unlocked to near-2070 levels, or would they still have gimped it slightly - retain the narrower memory interface perhaps? I mean it's all kind of academic at this point but it's an interesting thought exercise. I believe the timing and other decisions were influenced by Navi. With that being said the Super models as-spec'd are a substantial boost and should really make this an interesting fight!

Anyway yeah, the pricing may shift around a bit in the coming months. Having a high price floor is one of the things that bit AMD in the hind with their Vega lineup. This time AMD has both a moderate sized chip and conventional GDDR, though the new process is doubtless more expensive at the moment. The other wildcard is drivers - RDNA is supposedly different enough that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's decent room for optimization. That's not really a positive at launch though, but it's something else to chew on.
It's true and a fair point, but you surely know it wasn't designed as a gaming card. The way to think of it is as a Titan - something of a specialty product that's soon to be surpassed by the next generation. Like the Kepler Titan and the Titan V, it's a professional GPU that they let gamers and prosumers have at a more accessible price point.
Indeed, it's got a ton of crunching horsepower for a relatively low price. The FP64 performance in particular is untouchable at that price.
 
I think the problem is they tried to do too much with it. The more sophisticated the model, the longer inferencing takes and the less time is left for conventional rendering.
I think they could turn it around, but probably not with this generation of hardware. On a smaller process node, they could toss more Tensor cores into the same area, which might allow DLSS to outperform other forms of upscaling. So, perhaps it could be a decent feature for the 30-series cards, but that's only assuming the space couldn't be better utilized by graphics cores. The same goes for RTX, though that at least offers something over the competition in its current form.

First, it's much easier to lower prices than to raise them. So, AMD could quickly come down from its launch pricing.
True, but first impressions matter, and if the 5700 cards only end up offering similar performance-per-dollar as their 2070 Super and 2060 Super counterparts, while lacking any sort of decent raytracing solution, people are going to be underwhelmed, and AMD will continue struggling to make much headway in the graphics card market. You would think they might want to better establish their presence before Intel joins the fray next year. And once Nvidia makes the jump to a smaller process node, I suspect AMD may once again fall behind in terms of efficiency.

The big question is whose price floor is higher. If it does come to a price war, how much can they each drop?
My guess would be that Nvidia's much larger chips put them at a disadvantage for the time being, though it's possible that the newer process used by the RX 5000 series could negate some of that advantage. I suspect that they could have easily priced the 5700 below the 2060 though, and it would have been better to see it launch as an "RTX 2060 killer" rather than just another card offering somewhat more performance at a somewhat higher price while lacking a certain headlining feature.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
I think they could turn it around, but probably not with this generation of hardware.
Maybe they can. What I was trying to say is that current DLSS seems to use a fairly large model that's customized to the game. If all they wanted to do was make a better scaler than bicubic or whatever is the current leading contender, that shouldn't take such a big network and therefore could run in less time, leaving the SW more room for conventional AA.

Moreover, a smaller network would have less to gain by being custom-trained for each game. It's more like you'd have a handful that are tailored to different styles of graphics.

AMD will continue struggling to make much headway in the graphics card market. You would think they might want to better establish their presence before Intel joins the fray next year. And once Nvidia makes the jump to a smaller process node, I suspect AMD may once again fall behind in terms of efficiency.
On the flip side, those are arguments to try and make some bank now, while they can. They have to fund efforts to improve their competitiveness. Of course, they also need to offer value. So, I expect Nvidia's launch of the Super cards will not go unanswered.
 

abhipw

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Ncogneto

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I kind of chuckle at the tone of the recent slew of Tom's hardware articles and reports on various leaks. We know Tom's has had the new Ryzen Cpu's as well as the Navi Gpu's for sometime now, and are just waiting until the release date to go public with their results. In the meantime, their reporting is colored by what they already know. From this it looks like we can gather that the new ryzen cpu's will be the real deal, while the Navi video cards, while closing the gap, are still going to play second fiddle to Nvidia and will need to be priced accordingly.
 

alextheblue

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And memory size & bandwidth.
Definitely. One of the other benefits of the card's pedigree. I was kind of shocked to see them release a prosumer variant.
Maybe they can. What I was trying to say is that current DLSS seems to use a fairly large model that's customized to the game.
In general I'd say they oversold DLSS. Much like their raycasting block, it has the appearance of being shoehorned into the consumer segment a tad bit too early. Likely because the blocks were already present in Turing and they wanted to turn them from dead weight into bullet points.

The upshot it is that it does pave the way for vastly improved versions on 7nm, and as you said in the case of the Tensor cores they could potentially optimize the software end of things.
On the flip side, those are arguments to try and make some bank now, while they can. They have to fund efforts to improve their competitiveness.
Definitely, although at least now the company is much stronger overall. I'd love to see AMD stay competitive after such a long-shot comeback.
 
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alextheblue

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From this it looks like we can gather that the new ryzen cpu's will be the real deal, while the Navi video cards, while closing the gap, are still going to play second fiddle to Nvidia and will need to be priced accordingly.
Navi was ALWAYS intended to hit mid-range and upper-mid, and it's a given that Nvidia would respond to the impending launch. With that being said, without a competitive Navi, I don't believe the Super cards would have been as large as an update - or even if they were, they would have cost substantially more. If you look at the price/performance of the new Super cards, this is the boost we were expecting back when Nvidia launched Turing. When RTX launched, price/performance was no better than their older cards. Nvidia can't afford to maintain that with Navi... for example the 2060 Super, it's darn near a 2070. No matter who you buy from, this is a better looking lineup.

Next AMD needs to release a 5600 to shake things up below $300. Who knows when that might happen, though.
 

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