High clocks and a high price.
The first RTX 2060 card from one of Nvidia’s partners has arrived, and this time it’s not one of the usual suspects but PNY. The company has been in the GPU game for a long time though, and sent us its overclocked version (See it on Amazon) that’s $50 more than the Founder’s Edition (FE). The main benefit to a card like this over Nvidia’s version is better cooling and a different design. Let’s see if it’s worth the extra cash.
PNY GeForce RTX 2060 – Design and Features
If you’ve followed along with GPU news over the years, you know the deal with partner cards versus Founder’s Editions, which used to just be called the “reference” design. Nvidia’s own cards are usually offered ahead of its partners cards so that Nvidia can cash in on the early adopters who are eager to upgrade. It also usually prices its own cards higher than partner cards to avoid directly competing with them, but not this time around. For the RTX 2060 all cards theoretically start at $349 and go up from there, which is the case with PNY’s overclocked model as it’s $399.99.
PNY’s offering is a dual-slot card with a two-fan cooling apparatus, just like the FE card. Despite its somewhat simple overall design its headline feature is that it boasts quite a factory overclock compared to the FE card. Whereas Nvidia’s GPU has a Boost clock of 1,680MHz, the XLR8 version from PNY goes all the way up to 1,830, which is quite high for an out-of-the-box overclock. This is all kind of moot though, as Nvidia cards will overclock themselves beyond the official Boost clock anyway thanks to GPU Boost.
The PNY card is 9.25″ long, so just 0.25″ longer than the FE card, but is still a smallish GPU that would go nicely in a SFF build. Its output options include DVI, HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort 1.4. The card doesn’t feature an illuminated logo on the side like the FE card, but it does have a light bar that wraps around the GeForce RTX badge on the side of the card. It glows white when the GPU is powered on, and there’s no way to change its color, which is a bummer.
PNY GeForce RTX 2060 – Benchmarks
To test the XLR8 GPU I dropped it into the IGN GPU test bench, which features a Skylake Core i7-7700K CPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, an Intel SSD, Asus Prime Z270 motherboard, and an EVGA PSU. I’m comparing it to the Founder’s Edition RTX 2060, and some of the similarly priced GTX cards.
Overall the PNY board was faster than the Founder’s edition by a decent margin in several of the gaming tests, but extremely similar in others, which is not a big surprise. There was a bigger performance delta in some games than I anticipated, and it makes the PNY card a really good alternative to the Founder’s Edition. It’s a great card for 2560 x 1440 gaming at 60fps, as it was able to do that in every game I tested aside from Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Then again, the same can be said for the FE RTX 2060 as well. It’s a great card for this resolution.
For the PNY model, its overall performance places it in between a GTX 1070 Ti and a GTX 1080, which are both powerful GPUs, but keep in mind this is a $400 GPU so that’s expected really. Glancing at Newegg’s landing page for the RTX 2060 cards it looks like a decent number of partner boards will be around the same price, so the PNY board is priced competitively with other high-end offerings from Asus, Gigabyte, and EVGA. That said, there are several dual-and-triple fan boards that are less than $400, so the PNY card is priced on the higher end of the spectrum. Oddly, I checked to see if the Founder’s Edition RTX 260 was still priced at $349 and not only was it not in stock anywhere, even from Nvidia, but it was listed at $429 on Newegg.
Another feather in PNY’s cap is the XLR8 card ran cooler than the Founder’s Edition by 6C and it also clocked higher. The Founder’s Edition card ran at a steady 1860MHz under load, whereas the XLR8 GPU was humming along at 1,935MHz. I was also able to get a decent overclock out of it too using the company’s VelocityX software. My final clock was 2,025MHz, which is great for an RTX 2060. Not surprisingly the card runs quietly as well.
The PNY GeForce RTX 2060 XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition has an MSRP of $399.99 but is kind of hard to find online. There’s a few at Amazon from 3rd parties but none on Newegg as of this writing (check back in the future).