MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6 review

Is it good for gaming? High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhances your gaming world with higher contrast and brighter colors than you’ve ever seen before. Ultra-high resolution (UHD) delivers 4x the resolution of 1080p content, enabling much sharper and crisper images with delicate details during gaming. The smoothest, fastest and most exciting gaming experience ever by eliminating screen tearing, display stutter and input lag. Discover more in MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6 review.

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Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Great thermals
  • Fans turn off in idle
  • Quiet cooling.
  • Backplate included
  • Founders Edition beating performance
  • Excellent performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming.

CONS

  • Power limit is quite low
  • Backplate is plastic, not metal.
  • No VirtualLink port.
  • Micron memory doesn’t overclock as well as Samsung on other cards

Specs – MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6

  • Graphics Processor Nvidia Turing TU106
  • GPU Base Clock 1365 MHz
  • DVI Outputs 0
  • HDMI Outputs 1
  • GPU Boost Clock 1710 MHz
  • Card Length 8.9 inches
  • Board Power or TDP 160 watts
  • Number of Fans 2
  • Card Width double
  • Graphics Memory Type GDDR6
  • Graphics Memory Amount 6 GB
  • DisplayPort Outputs 3
  • VirtualLink Outputs No
  • Power Connector(s) 1 8-pin

Price

MSI’s new GeForce RTX 2060 GAMING Z can be found for around $380-$390, a $30-$40 or so premium over NVIDIA’s own GeForce RTX 2060. MSI is overclocking the RTX 2060 GAMING Z out of the box by 30MHz on the base GPU clock, while boost GPU clocks rise by a larger 150MHz at a total of 1830MHz.

MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6 review

Design

The card’s 247mm of length will be accommodated by most cases, but some users will have to watch out for the extra height. The 2.5-slot design also means that three expansion slots will be taken up too, so it’s certainly bulky but not quite monstrous in size.

Ports

DVI connectivity is dropped in favour of a third DisplayPort, and HDMI is included too as usual. This makes sense for modern screens, but some customers using older display hardware might be inconvenienced – motivation for a monitor upgrade, perhaps? There is no USB Type-C VirtualLink connectivity, but this is common across RTX 2060 partner cards, and we understand Nvidia is advising partners not to include it for this GPU. Anyone wishing to use G-Sync or FreeSync will need to do so over a DisplayPort connector.

Frame rates

I can say that It’s mostly aimed towards 1440p gamers, but it will serve an even better purpose for those users who are planning to use it with their 1080p high-refresh-rate monitor setup, as it can easily reach over 100 FPS in latest titles, especially if you fiddle around with the graphical settings a bit.

Temperature

As ever we began by setting the power limit and temperature limit to the maximum values allowed in MSI Afterburner, which with this card are 105 percent and 87°C. The core voltage slider we also set to 100 percent for maximum headroom.

Cooling

The heatsink could hardly be easier to remove since it’s attached by four screws. In this design MSI deploys four 6mm copper heat pipes and dual aluminium fin stacks. The pipes are packed tightly together above the GPU and the copper contact plate, and all copper sections are nickel-plated – a nice finishing touch. 

Power consumption

The 160-watt board power rating for the GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus OC Edition is the same as that of the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition. MSI recommends a 500-watt power supply.

Overclocking

We then managed a stable overclock of 1,930MHz for the boost clock, which is a 100MHz overclock, or just over five percent. It’s also 15 percent higher than stock settings for the RTX 2060 GPU.

The MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z offers the joint-best out-of-box experience we’ve seen from an RTX 2060 in terms of clock speeds, boosting all the way to 1,980MHz and sustaining it without any faltering. This is the same as the Asus Strix OC card, but with its secondary BIOS and software-based OC Mode, Asus’ card is able to stretch further after a little user intervention. Either way, the card boosting so high is testament to its generous overclock and solid cooler design.

MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6 customer review

Great for 1080p 144FPS/1440 60FPS Ultra settings

My computer set up: This MSI Gaming Z RTX 2060 6GB graphics card, Intel Core i5-7600K CPU at 4.8Ghz and 1.265V, 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM, on Windows 10 Home version 1809 (mandatory for RTX) using Nvidia Driver 419.35.

Out of the box the card boosted to 1980 Mhz on the core clock according to GPU-Z during Metro Exodus gameplay, due to Nvidia’s GPU Boost. It hovered around 1965 when it wasn’t at 1980. The temperature reached a maximum of 67’C in my mini-ITX ThermalTake Core V1 case (accompanied by 6 other fans, mind you). Fans stay off until card reaches 60’C, and were mildly audible when they did spin. After implementing a custom fan profile in MSI Afterburner, core clock boosted to a max of 2010 Mhz and temp rose to max of 68’C.

This was in a room with ambient temperature of 72’F. Overclocking the card by adding +100 Mhz to core and +800 Mhz to memory in Afterburner resulted in a stable 5.6% performance increase at 1465 Mhz core clock (shown as 1980 boost clock in AF) and 2055 Mhz memory clock (shown as 7801 Mhz in AF) with power slider at 105%. Normal power consumption during Metro Exodus was around 194W at stock settings, and around 204W when overclocked, peaking at 70’C.

It has been able to handle nearly all games at ultra settings at a minimum average of 60 fps (most between 100-144) at 1080p with the exception of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which averaged 58 fps on ultra (with volumetric clouds on medium). Faster ram or CPU (7700k or 8th/9th gen 6/8-core CPU) may result in averages above 60 in this single game, or by overclocking (which did make the average 61 fps). Other games like RE7, Prey, Forza Horizon 4, STEEP, Shadow Warrior 2, Gears of War 4, Apex Legends, Vermintide 2, played above 60 fps at 1440p ultra settings some reaching closer to 100. Even Metro Exodus (which was redeemed with the purchase of this card) played at 1440p 60FPS using this card at ultra (DX11, RTX off, Tessellation off, Hairworks off, and DLSS off) with some lows into the 50s.

The card also supports the new NVENC encoder in OBS and I tried the Max Quality preset for streaming which seemed to be equivalent to x264’s Faster Quality preset, so x264 on Fast or better will still produce a higher quality stream. The advantage is reduced CPU usage with NVENC. Fortunately, streams had about 0.1% dropped frames/no latency at 720p 60fps or 1080p 60fps at 6000Mpbs, and the card’s usage remained at about 80% utilization with 4.5/6GB of VRAM used during NVENC streaming.

I opted to not use RTX or DLSS during Metro Exodus to avoid experiencing stutters or frame rate drops (it increases VRAM usage by 800Mb) but when activated in-game, sunlight was more defined, darker areas look harsher and fps dropped from 85 fps average on Ultra to 61 fps average with RTX. Game looks great normally, and even better with ReShade which I believe is what most people should use instead of RTX in this game.

Overall, great design and cooling provides really good performance for triple A games at 1080p and 1440p. It would be comparable to GTX 1080 but with less VRAM. It is the best RTX 2060 model out of the bunch, and I personally believe it’s a better value at $389.99-$399 than RTX 2070s at $529+, whether or not you overclock it.

By Duffman at Best Buy

Alternate of MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card – 6GB GDDR6

MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio

CUDA Cores: 8704 | Base Clock: 1,440MHz | Boost Clock: 1,815MHz | Video Memory: 10GB GDDR6X | Memory Speed: 19Gbps | Memory Bus: 320-bit | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.1 | Size: 12.72″ x 5.51″ x 2.2″

If you’re looking at the RTX 3080, you definitely are looking for speed. The MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio takes the already excellent GPU card, and makes it even faster. In our testing, it was one of the faster RTX 3080 models. Those speeds come right out of the box as well, so with some tweaking, you could potentially see even more.

The MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio is fairly beefy, as it’s stacking on a triple-fan cooler to keep temperatures in check, and it’ll require you to have three 8-pin connectors. That extra power may come in handy if you’re trying to overclock this card for even more performance than the stock boost clock speed of 1815MHz. MSI tops it all off with a bit of RGB lighting. All that’s on offer here makes up for the $50 price hike over the Nvidia reference RTX 3080.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

Stream Processors: 4,608 | Base Clock: 2,015MHz | Boost Clock: 2,250MHz | Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 16Gbps | Memory Bus: 256-bit | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x USB-C | Size: 10.5″ x 2.5-slot

At $649, AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT clears a niche for itself in the market of recently released graphic cards. It’s more affordable than Nvidia’s RTX 3080, and it’s only a bit more expensive than the non-XT RX 6800 while increasing the number of compute units and clock speeds. The 16GB of GDDR6 memory is unmatched by most competitors. All of this makes it an especially potent choice for anyone that’s optimizing for value.

The RX 6800 XT can hold its own against the RTX 3080 in a lot of cases, with exceptional performance at 1080p and 1440p plus decent chops in 4K. It may not have much to offer when it comes to ray tracing, but that’s still not a widely implemented feature in games, and the RX 6800 XT may yet regain some ground when AMD eventually launches its FidelityFX Super Resolution feature. So, if you’re not overly concerned about uncertain performance in ray-tracing, the Radeon RX 6800 XT offers a compelling alternative to Nvidia’s RTX 3080 while costing less and drawing less power from your wall.

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