Is the GeForce RTX 2060 a convenient upgrade to the GeForce GTX 1070?
We can all agree that the RTX 2060 is definitely an upgrade over its previous generation, the GTX 1060. From the RTX 2060, you get a lot more performance, new features and a lot of improvements, for an extra $100. However, considering there is a big price difference between the RTX 2060 and its predecessor, we chose to look at the closest competitor in terms of price: the GTX 1070.
We will look at the essential specs, a few technical details and how the two video cards handle games at 1080p, 1440p.
We will also talk about 4K results separately since it is a sensitive topic when it comes to how these two GPUs handle fps in 4K.
For benchmark testing, we chose a few games, such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher III.
Finally, we will talk about pricing, availability and reach a conclusion on what is the best purchase if you’re looking to build a budget-friendly PC or just upgrade your GPU and still save some bucks.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – Specs and Technical Details
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – Essential Specs
- Architecture: Turing
- Core Speed: 1320 – 1620 (Boost) MHz
- Memory Speed: 14000 MHz
- Memory Type: GDDR6
- Technology: 12 nm
- Features: DLSS, Ray-tracing, VR Ready, G-SYNC, Vulkan, Multi-Monitor
With the GeForce RTX 2060, we get 1,920 CUDA cores, 6GB of GDDR6 memory, and two clockspeeds – 1,320 MHz base clock and 1,620 MHz boost clock.
Notable here is that the GeForce RTX 2060 is based on Turing GPU architecture, a huge upgrade compared to the GTX generation. Among the features we mentioned above, there’s DLSS (Deep learning super-sampling) support, it handles real-time ray tracing chores, and the USB-C port allows you to connect a VR headset.
Of course, you get features you will also see in the GTX 1070: G-Sync, Vulkan, and the Multi-Monitor feature.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 – Essential Specs
- Architecture: Pascal
- Core Speed: 1506 – 1683 (Boost) MHz
- Memory Speed: 8000 MHz
- Memory Type: GDDR5
- Technology: 16 nm
- Features: Multi-Projection, VR Ready, G-SYNC, Vulkan, Multi-Monitor
The GeForce GTX 1070 has the same 1,920 CUDA cores, but 8GB of GDDR5 memory and two clock speeds – 1,506MHz base clock and boost clock at 1,683MHz.
Considering the GeForce GTX 1070 is built with Pascal architecture, there are no Tensor cores (those that would give it the DLSS feature) and no RT cores as well.
As you can see, the GTX 1070 also offers some features we mentioned for the RTX 2060 – VR Ready, G-SYNC, Vulkan, Multi-Monitor.
You will notice by the end of our article that, while the GTX 1070 is still a good video card, the RTX 2060 is definitely a huge improvement and for a little over the GTX 1070 price. Let’s see how the two GPUs compete against each other in game benchmarks.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – Game benchmarks
It is one thing to say the GeForce RTX 2060 has better technical specs than the GeForce GTX 1070, and a whole different thing when you see how each of them performs in benchmarking test. This is why we are looking at the results from benchmarking in three different games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K to see the average FPS and the difference between the two video cards.
RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- RTX 2060: 1080p – 60fps / 1440p – 47fps
- GTX 1070: 1080p – 48fps / 1440p – 43fps
One of the best titles that demand a lot of graphic performance is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed titles. The RTX 2060 shows us it is 10% better than the GTX 1070 at 1080p, and 13% better at 1440p.
When testing the RTX 2060 with the integrated Assassin’s Creed Odyssey benchmark, we see that it runs at an average of 60fps at 1080p resolution (ultra/max settings). Meanwhile, the GTX 1070 does a reasonable job of keeping up with 48fps.
However, when we raise the settings to 1440p (ultra/max settings), the GTX 1070 lags behind at 43fps, while the RTX 2060 has a stable 47fps.
RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- RTX 2060: 1080p – 75fps / 1440p – 69fps
- GTX 1070: 1080p – 50fps / 1440p – 54fps
The RTX 2060 is 17% better than the GTX 1070, our results coming from testing with the integrated Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s benchmarking.
The RTX 2060 gets an average 75fps at 1080p, with ultra/max settings in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Meanwhile, the GTX 1070 shows us it is a bit overwhelmed and needs a few tweaks to anti-aliasing to restore some of the lost fps. Without tweaks, the GTX 1070 only reaches an average of 50fps at 1080p resolution (ultra/max settings).
Taking it up a notch for the 1440p resolution with ultra/max settings, we see yet another difference in fps. The RTX 2060 gets an average 69fps at 1440p, while the GTX 1070 only offers an average of 54fps.
Newer titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) will always see new GPUs perform better than old GPUs, while the GTX video cards work better with older titles, like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2014).
RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – The Witcher III
- RTX 2060: 1080p – 83fps / 1440p – 61fps
- GTX 1070: 1080p – 60fps / 1440p – 43fps
Now onto The Witcher benchmarking results, the GeForce RTX 2060 sees a 13% increase in fps compared to the GTX 1070 at 1080p.
The GeForce RTX 2060 gets an average of 83fps at 1080p, with ultra/max settings.
At the same settings and resolution, the GTX 1070 has an average frame rate of 60fps.
At 1440p resolution, we see the same gap of nearly 20fps difference, but it will be far more noticeable while you play The Witcher III. The GeForce RTX 2060 gets an average of 61fps, while the GTX 1070 only reaches an average of 43fps.
Reaching the 40fps mark means that, with a GTX 1070, we will get a bad gaming experience, unless we drop some graphics presets to get a better frame rate.
RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – 4K Results
We mentioned in the beginning that we’d also talk about the RTX 2060 and GTX 1070 performance in 4K. The chance of you being able to play games in 4K ultra using one of these two GPUs is very low. The RTX 2060 can let you play some games in 4K but it is a noticeable struggle.
Nonetheless, we chose to show you a short list of FPS results in 4k (but with medium/average settings) for the two GPUs, using the titles mentioned earlier:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – RTX 2060: 4K – 49fps // GTX 1070: 4K – 39fps
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – RTX 2060: 4K – 44fps // GTX 1070: 4K – 35fps
- The Witcher III – RTX 2060: 4K – 48fps // GTX 1070: 4K – 40fps
Whoever wants to buy a new GPU for 4K gaming should look for an RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 to get high and smooth frame rates. Nonetheless, we are talking about much higher prices ($500-$600+ price tags), compared to the budget-friendly RTX 2060.
The RTX 2060 does reasonably good in most titles in 4K compared to what the GTX 1070 manages to pull off at this high resolution. Unless you take the settings to low (and get over the fact that the games look horrible at low settings), you should choose the 1440p option for a much better and smoother gaming experience when using an RTX 2060.
RTX 2060 vs GTX 1070 – Verdict
Those still playing at 1080p can keep the GTX 1070 for a while since it is still relevant even for newer titles. For instance, those playing Monster Hunter: World will be able to see an average 56fps at 1080p with max settings.
Then again, the GTX 1070 is starting to show its age. You could always drop the graphics preset in favor of higher FPS, but what about future titles that keep pushing requirements for Medium or Average at 1440p? We have already seen it happen for Final Fantasy XV, Total War: Warhammer II and Monster Hunter: World. As time will pass, more demanding games will show up, meaning the GTX 1070 will start showing its age.
For those looking to see a flawless 60 fps, we definitely recommend buying the RTX 2060, since its also capable at 2560×1440 resolutions. Spending around $50 more than the old GTX 1070, the RTX 2060 is definitely an improvement. We are talking about the bang for your buck with the RTX 2060.
In most markets, the GeForce GTX 1070 is tough to find, but you can still find it among offers that include a game bundled with it. Nonetheless, if you are looking to buy a GeForce GTX 1070, we advise to add those extra bucks and buy the GeForce RTX 2060 since it is far more capable than the old GTX.
The GeForce RTX 2060 is an upper midrange card (or lower high-end video card) that not only beats the GeForce GTX 1070, but also the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti in terms of performance and performance per price ratio. Aside from the extra speed and the newer architecture, the GeForce RTX 2060 also brings additional features, such as ray tracing, and DLSS.
If you are building your own budget-friendly gaming PC, then you should pick the RTX 2060.