It appears that NVIDIA will be giving its unreleased and unannounced GeForce RTX 2060 the ray tracing treatment after all. That was not always a given, as past rumors suggested NVIDIA might launch it as a "GTX" card without any dedicated hardware for real-time ray tracing, but recently leaked marketing materials suggest otherwise.
Source: Twitter via Andreas Schilling
Real-time ray tracing is the staple feature of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX series, which at present consist of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, GeForce RTX 2080, and GeForce RTX 2070 on the consumer side. There's also a Titan RTX graphics card, and of course a spattering of professional cards with the necessary hardware for ray-traced effects.
The caveat is that real-time ray tracing is a demanding technology. NVIDIA has gotten around this by implementing RT cores into its RTX cards, and leveraging Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API, which allows for a mix of traditional rasterization rendering with parts of a scene being ray-traced. This lessens the load on GPUs, but still requires some heavy lifting.
It was rumored that NVIDIA might release a GeForce GTX 2060 that lacks the RT cores that the RTX cards have, as it might not be powerful enough to handle real-time ray tracing. However, Andreas Schilling from HardwareLuxx posted some purported marketing images on Twitter that point to the 2060 part being another GeForce RTX card.
Other details are not yet known, though it's expected that the card will feature 1,920 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR6 memory. It will also obviously be the least expensive GeForce RTX card in the Turing stack. As points of reference, here's a look at launch pricing for the other RTX cards:
- Titan RTX: $2,499
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition: $1,299
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Reference: $999
- GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition: $799
- GeForce RTX 2080 Reference: $699
- GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition: $599
- GeForce RTX 2070 Reference: $499
Base on the above, we suspect the GeForce RTX 2060 will launch at around $399. It will also be interesting to see if NVIDIA launches both an overclocked Founders Edition model and a separate (and cheaper) reference design that third-party can build around, if they so choose.