NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060: A Comprehensive Comparison

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 and RTX 2060 are two powerful graphics cards suitable for gaming and creative workloads. The GTX 1070 ruled the mid-range market for years after its 2016 launch. The RTX 2060 followed it up in 2019, bringing new Turing architecture and enhanced capabilities.

But how exactly do these GPUs stack up against each other a few years later? This extensive guide compares every aspect of the GTX 1070 versus the RTX 2060 to help you decide which is the better buy.

Overview of Specifications

First, let‘s examine the base specifications of each graphics card:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

  • GPU Architecture: Pascal
  • CUDA Cores: 1920
  • Base Clock: 1506MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1683MHz
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Bandwidth: 256GB/s
  • Power Consumption: 150W
  • Launch Date: June 2016
  • Launch Price: $379

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

  • GPU Architecture: Turing
  • CUDA Cores: 1920
  • Base Clock: 1365 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1680MHz
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory Bandwidth: 336GB/s
  • Power Consumption: 160W
  • Launch Date: January 2019
  • Launch Price: $349

As you can see, while both cards share the same CUDA core count, the RTX 2060 brings a newer Turing architecture with potential efficiency and performance gains. The RTX 2060 also uses faster GDDR6 memory modules with greater bandwidth.

Key advantages of Turing include support for ray tracing and deep learning-powered technologies like DLSS. These can substantially improve visual quality in supported games.

Gaming Performance Comparison

Of course, specifications alone don‘t determine real-world gaming performance. To measure gameplay FPS across resolutions, we‘ll reference professional reviews with benchmark data.

1080p Performance

At 1920 x 1080, both the GTX 1070 and RTX 2060 achieve very high frame rates, but the RTX 2060 nudges ahead in many titles:

GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060 1080p Game Benchmarks

(Source: TechSpot)

The RTX 2060‘s margins range from moderate 7% gains to massive 68% improvements depending on the game‘s optimization and use of newer graphical features.

Ultrawide 1080p gaming tells a similar story, with the RTX 2060 offering smoother performance:

GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060 1080p Ultrawide Benchmarks

(Source: TechPowerUp)

Esports titles easily sail beyond 144 Hz refresh rates on both GPUs. But in story-driven blockbusters, the RTX 2060 pushes FPS closer towards that sweet spot.

1440p Performance

Cranking up resolution to 2560 x 1440 shifts more load onto the GPU, but the cards still achieve very playable results:

GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060 1440p Game Benchmarks

(Source: TechSpot)

The RTX 2060 extends its lead at 1440p – hitting well over 60 FPS across popular titles. Comparatively, the GTX 1070 dips closer towards 50 FPS in the most strenuous games.

To maintain high refresh rates for buttery smooth gameplay, the RTX 2060 has more horsepower to spare at this resolution.

4K Performance

At ultra HD 3840 x 2160, running graphically-intense games becomes challenging without seriously sacrificing visual quality. Here‘s how the cards compare:

GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060 4K Game Benchmarks

(Source: TechSpot)

While both GPUs struggle to hit 60 FPS across the board, the RTX 2060 delivers noticeably better 4K performance – achieving 26% higher frame rates on average.

The GTX 1070 still manages 30+ FPS during most gameplay. So with some quality reduction, it can provide playable 4K experiences too. But the RTX 2060 offers more overhead for maxing settings while staying fluid.

Ray Tracing and DLSS Support

A key weakness of the GTX 1070 is its lack of hardware ray tracing support. Without dedicated RT cores, it cannot render complex light and reflection effects efficiently in today‘s cutting-edge game engines.

The RTX 2060 and its Turing architecture introduce the ability to ray trace in real-time, significantly improving visual quality when enabled:

Ray Tracing Visual Comparison

(Source: NVIDIA)

Additionally, Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) utilizes AI to boost frame rates while generating sharp imagery that outperforms traditional anti-aliasing. It works magic to offset performance drains from ray tracing.

In titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Control and Fortnite, DLSS paired with ray tracing allows the RTX 2060 to maintain 60+ FPS at max settings where the GTX 1070 falls short of playability:

RTX 2060 Ray Tracing and DLSS Benchmarks

Enthusiasts wanting to experience this new era of gorgeous real-time global illumination cannot do so properly on Pascal hardware like the GTX 1070. For pure eye-candy, Turing and Ampere rule the roost.

Power Efficiency

An advantage of Turing‘s 12nm manufacturing process shows through the RTX 2060‘s power efficiency. Despite having a higher 160W TDP versus 150W on the GTX 1070, real-world power draw testing reveals the RTX 2060‘s enhanced efficiency:

GTX 1070 vs RTX 2060 Power Consumption

(Source: TechPowerUp)

The RTX 2060 system consumes 19% less energy on average during gaming. Combined with the strict temperature limits of NVIDIA‘s Founders Edition cards, you can expect cool and quiet operation as well.

Winner: RTX 2060

Pricing and Value Comparison

Upon launch, the GTX 1070 retailed for $379, undercutting rival Radeon offerings by over $50. However, cryptocurrency demand infamously drove its pricing much higher for a long stretch of its lifecycle.

As an aging product, it saw discounts bringing renewed value for budget upgraders. Now with production winding down, remaining inventory costs around $400 when in stock.

The RTX 2060 debuted at $349 MSRP – $30 below the GTX 1070‘s launch price. Despite tariff impacts and volatility in the GPU market, its retail pricing has since leveled off to around $370 according to tracking by 3DCenter.org.

Considering its big feature upgrades over Pascal, the RTX 2060 provides better price-to-performance ratio and value longevity moving forward. Budget seekers can certainly still benefit from GTX 1070 deals before stock disappears, though.

Winner: RTX 2060

Videos, Streaming, and Content Creation

Gaming prowess mainly separates the RTX 2060 from GTX 1070, but creative workloads tell a more nuanced story.

NVIDIA‘s improved NVENC encoder unlocks higher video bitrates and quality settings for recording and streaming. Turing also enhances efficiency and performance in GPU-accelerated content creation software like Blender, Unity and Adobe products.

These extras combined with more video memory bandwidth contribute to a better multitasking experience. For productivity beyond gaming, the RTX 2060 stretches its lead over the GTX 1070.

Winner: RTX 2060

Which Should You Buy?

For gamers, the RTX 2060 marks a worthwhile step up in features and horsepower over the venerable GTX 1070. Its biggest perks come from specialized ray tracing hardware and improved NVIDIA encoder.

Those still gaming at 1080p can save cash with a GTX 1070 if found at clearance sale prices. But the RTX 2060 offers more headroom for the future.

Ideally for 1440p and upwards, the extra investment in RTX pays dividends through DLSS support and consistently faster frame rates as games become more demanding. If your CPU won‘t bottleneck it, the RTX 2060 also handles 4K better.

For productivity as a whole, creators should appreciate Turing architecture‘s broad improvements that translate outside of gaming as well.

In summary:

  • GeForce GTX 1070 – Best under $300 if found on sale new. Excellent 1080p card.
  • GeForce RTX 2060 – Faster 1440p+ performance and cutting-edge features. Better value at $300-400.

So there you have it – a comprehensive look at how NVIDIA‘s GTX 1070 and RTX 2060 graphics cards compare! Hopefully this overview gives you the insights necessary to pick the appropriate GPU for your needs and budget.

Does your own real-world usage differ from these test findings? Let us know in the comments.

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