Our test system
Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.
- Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($350 on Amazon)
- EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
- Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($395 on Amazon)
- 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($420 on Amazon)
- EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($230 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($130 on Amazon)
- 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($78 each on Amazon)
We’re reviewing both the $300 EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO and the $320 RTX 2060 KO Ultra. Because the cards are identical other than clock speeds, EVGA supplied us with the KO Ultra as well as a VBIOS that transforms the card into the cheaper model.
The RTX 2060 is a known quantity at this point, so we’re comparing EVGA’s card only against its most direct rivals: The $280 Radeon RX 5600 XT, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition (which itself recently dropped in price to $300), and AMD’s reference $350 Radeon RX 5700.
The Radeon RX 5600 XT had a messy launch due to a last-second VBIOS upgrade that won’t be applicable to every model, and often won’t be applied to the first wave of stock on store shelves even if you’re getting a faster version. We’ve included results for both the reference configuration and the faster VBIOS provided for the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT.
Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets unless otherwise noted, with VSync, frame rate caps, real-time ray tracing or DLSS effects, and FreeSync/G-Sync disabled. We’ve enabled temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) to push these cards to their limits. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.
Gaming performance benchmarks
One of the best games of 2019, Metro Exodus is one of the best-looking games around, too. The latest version of the 4A Engine provides incredibly luscious, ultra-detailed visuals, with one of the most stunning real-time ray tracing implementations released yet. We test in DirectX 12 mode with ray tracing and DLSS disabled.
Borderlands is back! Gearbox’s game defaults to DX12, so we do as well, and gives us a glimpse at the ultra-popular Unreal Engine 4’s performance—though this game’s implementation leans heavily in AMD’s favor.
The Division 2 is one of the best looter-shooters ever created. The luscious visuals generated by Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine make it even easier to get lost in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. The built-in benchmark cycles through four “zones” to test an array of environments, and we test with the DirectX 12 renderer enabled.
Next page: Gaming benchmarks continue