EVGA Reportedly Shipping GeForce RTX 2060 KO With More Powerful Turing TU104 GPUs
It appears at least some of EVGA's newly minted GeForce RTX 2060 KO and GeForce RTX 2060 KO Ultra graphics cards are shipping with Turing-based TU104-150 dies, rather than the TU106 dies that other GeForce RTX 2060 cards have used up to this point. It's not clear if this is specific to EVGA, though.
In case you missed it, EVGA launched its GeForce RTX 2060 KO models two weeks ago. The cards preceded an official price drop to the regular (read: non-Super) GeForce RTX 2060 family, as NVIDIA has since lowered the cost on its Founders Edition model to $299 on its website. Most custom models on the market are still selling for $330 and up, though we expect that will change in the coming weeks.
Why the price drop? NVIDIA was reacting to AMD's Radeon RX 5600 XT launch. EVGA seemingly got first dibs, and on top of that, its GeForce RTX 2060 KO temporarily sold for even less than the MSRP, at $279 versus $299. Likewise, the faster GeForce RTX 2060 KO was marked down to $299 from $319 during the initial launch.
Even at now-regular pricing, the KO models remain some of the least expensive GeForce RTX 2060 cards on the market. And as an added bonus, it seems they are equipped with higher-end GPUs than other GeForce RTX 2060 cards. This was uncovered by the folks at TechPowerUp, who stripped the regular model naked. Have a look...
This is noteworthy because other GeForce RTX 2060 cards up to this point have used the TU106 die. It's presumed that TU106 dies are ones that proved defective in some way that would prevent them from being used in GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2080 cards, both of which sport TU104 dies. This sort of thing is a common practice in the land of silicon.
Having a TU104-150 GPU inside the GeForce RTX 2060 KO models means those cards are technically using a superior slice of silicon. The caveat is that the added CUDA cores are still disabled, so performance should be the same. But is it?
For the most part, it most likely is. However, Stephen Burke at GamersNexus found at least one scenario in which the GeForce RTX 2060 KO was faster than other cards that use the TU106 die, that being the Blender benchmark.
"GeForce RTX 2060 boards are based on either the TU106 or TU104 GPUs. The performance difference between the two configurations is negligible in most cases, although TU104-based GeForce RTX 2060 cards will deliver higher performance in Blender," Burke stated.
Two things are worth noting here. For one, this is a very specific scenario—in gaming benchmarks, we wouldn't anticipate the KO outperforming other GeForce RTX 2060 cards, all other things being equal (clocks and cooling). And secondly, this does not mean all KO cards will ship with the TU104-150 GPU. Manufacturers don't make any kind of guarantees on that kind of thing. It's just a matter of which GPU makes the most sense from a cost perspective, given what the inventories are at any given time.