It’s been a huge day for hardware fans. Nvidia spoiled us in the run-up to CES 2019 with a reveal of its eagerly anticipated GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. We’ve finally got real-time ray-tracing at the far more palatable price point of $349/£329 for the GeForce RTX 2060. It’s not cheap but it definitely beats the asking price of the RTX 2070.
Since then it’s been an even busier time thanks to hordes of reviews and benchmarks of the RTX 2060 6GB. But the big questions now are whether the GeForce RTX 2060 is a noteworthy improvement over the previous generation, and whether it’s a worthwhile upgrade for the hordes of GeForce GTX 1060 owners out there.
Well, with our new benchmark database here on GD we should be able to answer both of those questions. We’ve got a whole host of GeForce RTX 2060 benchmark results available, covering just about all the major AAA game releases of recent years at both 1080p and 4K resolutions.
You can see the full game FPS benchmark results for each graphics card over on the GPU pages here on GD, as well as directly compare how multiple cards stack up against one another using our hardware comparison tool.
So, is the $349 GeForce RTX 2060 a worthwhile upgrade from the $299 GeForce GTX 1060?
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB vs Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 1080p Game FPS Benchmarks
Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 6GB is, by all accounts, a fine graphics card, but there's certainly reason to be cautious for those hoping to make a like-for-like upgrade from the GeForce GTX 1060. Most PC gamers in this ballpark will be looking primarily at 1080p performance, and in this front, the RTX 2060, unsurprisingly, has the beating of the GTX 1060 in every benchmark test. It is, flat out, a much faster graphics card.
However, the dramatic uptick in specs doesn't necessarily translate to a night and day improvement in frame rates at 1080p. In a few of these benchmarks, we're looking at about 10-20% higher FPS, although some, such as The Witcher 3 and Battlefield 1, show some pretty large gains.
If you're gaming on a 144Hz monitor there are certainly some benefits to be had by making the upgrade, but if you're playing at 60Hz there's not a great deal to be gained. However, in a lot of newer AAA titles, the RTX 2060 does make the difference between a locked 60 fps and dips. Just Cause 4, for example, hits an average FPs of 70.9 with an RTX 2060, while this plummets to 55 FPS with a GTX 1060. This represents much more stable performance on Nvidia's new graphics card. Likewise, the GTX 1060 can struggle with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, averaging 50.5 FPS on 1080p Ultra, while the RTX 2060 breezes by on 76.8 FPS.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB vs Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 4K Game FPS Benchmarks
At this sub $400 price range, 4K Ultra benchmarks only really serve as proof of concept more than anything. Neither the GeForce RTX 2060 or GTX 1060 are suited to gaming at these settings and it shows. What these benchmarks don't account for is those willing to drop a few graphics settings. It seems perfectly feasible that the GeForce RTX 2060 can achieve 4K 60fps in a ton of games at graphics settings equivalent to the Xbox One X. Console games typically hover around Medium settings on PC, which would dramatically improve the frame rates on the RTX 2060 6GB. It's not optimal for playing at 4K but it's certainly feasible.
With the results in hand, it becomes a tricky prospect to recommend an upgrade for current GeForce GTX 1060 owners. Unless you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, the GTX 1060 is still absolutely doing the job at 1080p. The RTX 2060 does still have the untapped benefits of DLSS to come, as well as the entry-level raytracing support, but in terms of the here and now it's quite a big jump in price for a more moderate improvement in frame rates. For those feeling frugal, the sensible options to be to hold out on the upgrade for now and wait and see what Nvidia or AMD are cooking up with the next-generation of gaming GPUs.
A reminder as well that you can see these FPS game benchmark results for just about every major graphics card here on GD. You can compare any two AMD or Nvidia GPUs at both 1080p and 4K and get an instant readout on performance. Just head to any graphics card page to get the ball rolling, or use our Graphics Card Performance Head to Head page.