GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition

Last-Gen RTX 2060 Is Nvidia’s Best GPU Value Right Now

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It’s an interesting time for the best graphics cards, what with Nvidia’s RTX 40-series Ada GPUs and AMD’s RX 7000-series RDNA 3 GPUs both expected to launch within the next couple of months. Some might say it’s a terrible time to buy a graphics card, but I sailed on that boat right before the Ampere launch and learned a valuable lesson: Predicting the future isn’t an exact science. Besides, Ada and RDNA 3 will almost certainly start at the highest end of the graphics card market, which means even if cards are in stock at MSRP, they’re likely far more expensive than most gamers are willing to pay.

A look at the latest Steam Hardware Survey confirms this. GTX 1650, a GPU that we didn’t even particularly care for at launch, now ranks as the most popular individual GPU — tied with the GTX 1060 that keeps hanging around, over six years after it initially launched. The older 1060 6GB actually delivers superior performance in most games, though it also costs a bit more even today. But the third most popular GPU on Steam is today’s topic, the GeForce RTX 2060.

Three and a half years after its debut in January 2019, the RTX 2060 is staging a comeback. Most of the other RTX 20-series GPUs have long since gone out of stock at retail, but a couple months back the RTX 2060 started showing up on EVGA’s store and has since proliferated onto Newegg, Amazon, and other places. Originally priced at $349 and later officially discounted to $299 (to combat the RX 5600 XT launch), like every other GPU the RTX 2060 was nearly impossible to find at a reasonable price during most of the past two years. That has now changed, in a big way.

Right now, the GeForce RTX 2060 can be had for just $229 at Amazon (opens in new tab), Newegg (opens in new tab), or direct from EVGA. We’ve even seen it go for less on occasion. The card has a few limitations, specifically the 6GB of VRAM, but that’s still at least equal to similar cards like the GTX 1660 Super and RX 5600 XT. Plus, you can also find the RTX 2060 12GB for $279, if you really insist on having more VRAM.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

To be clear, we’re absolutely not saying the RTX 2060 represents the best value among all graphics cards right now. That honor goes to the Radeon RX 6600, which you can find for $249 at Amazon (opens in new tab). (There must be something about that number, as old time gamers will still fondly recall Nvidia’s 6600 GT.) But not everyone wants to buy an AMD GPU, and the RTX 2060 provides full support for DLSS — something you can’t get in any other similarly priced GPU.

Strangely, Nvidia’s newer GeForce RTX 3050 still carries a rather large price premium. It might be a reasonable alternative if it were selling at the official $249 MSRP, but the cheapest 3050 right now costs $299. What’s more, outside of a few cases where we exceeded the 6GB VRAM on the 2060, the RTX 2060 delivers better performance in most games — and the 12GB variant would shore up any exceptions while still saving you money.

This is basically a microcosm of what AMD and Nvidia will be facing in the near future with their new GPUs. Performance might be higher, but there are reports of large numbers of current generation GPUs sitting on shelves and in warehouses. As GPU prices continue to drop, older GPUs might still be the better value, particularly in the midrange and budget sectors.

The RTX 3060 as a different example currently costs $369 (opens in new tab) or more, and performance lands midway between the older RTX 2070 and RTX 2070 Super. If those older GPUs were still readily available for $299 or less, paying more for the RTX 3060 wouldn’t make much sense, and that’s exactly what the RTX 2060 is doing to the RTX 3050 and GTX 1660 Super.

GeForce RTX 2060 Performance

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