GeForce RTX 2060 & 2070 Super: Overclocking, Power, And Noise
We also spent a little time overclocking the new GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 Super, to see what kind of additional performance we could wring from the cards. Before we get to our results, though, we would like to quickly re-cap Turing's updated GPU Boost algorithm and cover some new overclocking related features.
Overclocking NVIDIA's Turing
Turing-based GeForce cards, feature GPU Boost 4.0. Like previous-gen GeForce cards, GPU Boost scales frequencies and voltages upwards, power and temperature permitting, based on the GPU's workload at the time. Should a temperature or power limit be reached, however, GPU Boost 4.0 will only drop down to the previous boost frequency/voltage stepping, not the base frequency, in an attempt to bring power and temperatures down gradually. Whereas GPU Boost 3.0 could result in a sharp drop-off down to the base frequency when constrained, GPU Boost 4.0 is more granular and should allow for higher average frequencies over time, and hence better and more consistent performance.
As we've mentioned in some of our previous coverage, there are typically beefier VRMs on Turing-based GeForce cards versus their predecessors, which should help with overclocking, though most of the cards are still power limited to prevent damage and ensure longevity. Unlike some of the entry-level Turing-based cards we've look at in the past that didn't allow us to increase the power target, you can increase it by a few percentage points with these new Super cards. We were able to increase the GPU voltage by .1v as well.
We haven't had any luck with NVIDIA's OC Scanner tool across multiple test beds, which is designed to find the optimal frequency and voltage curve for a particular GPU, so we couldn't properly test that feature here, but we were able to crank up the GeForce RTX Super cards' performance manually. In lieu of using the NVIDIA Scanner, we kept things simple and used the frequency and voltage offsets, and the power and temperature target sliders available in EVGA's Precision X tool to manually push the cards well beyond their stock frequencies. First, we cranked up the temperature and power targets and voltage, then we bumped up the GPU and memory clocks until the test system was no longer stable or showed on-screen artifacts, or performance peaked due to hitting the power limit.
In the end, we were able to take our GeForce RTX 2070 Super's GPU up over 2GHz. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super just missed the 2GHz mark before hitting its power limit. Still, while overclocked, both cards offered solid performance increases.
Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idle and also while under a heavy gaming workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone. It's a relative measurement that gives you a decent view of how much additional power draw a graphics card is placing on a system while gaming.
We should also mention that GPU temperatures are not a concern with these new GeForce Super cards. At idle, the GPU temps hovered in the mid-to-upper-30ºC range, and under sustained load, even while overclocked into the 2GHz range, their GPU temperatures never even came close to hitting the temp target and peaked at under 80ºC on both cards. Noise output wasn't an issue either. While idling, the cards are basically silent and while under load, the fans on both cards do spin up, but they produce a dull whir that's barely audible over a typical PSU fan or CPU cooler.