UK price (as reviewed): £334.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable
With the RTX 2060 having brought the Turing architecture to a new low in terms of pricing, partners have been quick out the gate with a variety of card designs – standard for a new Nvidia launch. At one end of the scale, there are cards like the Asus RTX 2060 Strix OC, which is packed with features but ludicrously overpriced to the point of comedy. Then we have more sensible cards like this one from Palit; it won’t have fancy features or advanced cooling, but the RTX 2060 doesn’t necessarily need it, and Palit is able to hit much more reasonable pricing with the RTX 2060 GamingPro OC as a result. This card typically retails for £350, which is only £20 more than the now out of stock Founders Edition.
The downside to this approach is there’s no real sense of luxury here. The card is supplied without any accessories, and the run-of-the-mill design is thoroughly unexciting. The all-black plastic shroud with glossy highlights does at least retain colour neutrality, but you don’t even get a backplate to cover the ugly PCB and exposed cooler on the back. In fairness, the card isn’t heavy or big enough to make having a backplate a necessity, but the preference is always going to be having one these days.
This unimposing card measures just 235mm long and fits a proper dual slot form factor in terms of depth and height, so it’s a valid contender for cramped cases. As mentioned, aesthetic niceties are few here, but Palit evidently couldn’t resist having a little bit of lighting for the feature list and has installed a single small light strip along the top edge that glows static white.
The ‘OC’ in the card’s name reveals that Palit ships the card with a factory overclock. The boost clock has been raised by a rather impressive nine percent to 1,830MHz, but as usual the 6GB of GDDR6 memory is left at 14Gbps. Amusingly, this is the same as we saw on the £455 Asus card, although Palit isn’t alone in offering such a speed in a more basic card, as it’s a common boost speed to see among overclocked partner cards. Exact in-game boost speeds of cards will as always also depend on power/thermal/voltage headroom, but it’s great to see Palit not skimping on the core overclock.
The overclock is enough to raise the TDP from 160W to 190W, which is pretty substantial but not unexpected given how the Turing architecture typically responds to clock speed increases. It’s still a relatively low figure, though (RX 590, a lower end part, is rated at 225W), and the single eight-pin PCIe connector will supply the majority (150W) with the remainder coming from the PCIe 3.0 slot itself (up to 75W).
Palit has run with a very minimal display output configuration, enabling just one apiece of dual-link DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort 1.4. The latter is the one you’ll need to take advantage of any variable refresh rate technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync, which modern Nvidia cads now support. A second DisplayPort would have given multi-monitor users a bit more future-proofing, perhaps, but most gamers probably won’t mind the loss. Like many other RTX 2060 partner cards, VirtualLink over USB Type-C is also missing.
The dual-fan cooler uses nine-blade, 90mm fans that are large enough to run almost edge-to-edge on the shroud. The open design means that most air will be recycled into your chassis, with at least some off it directly hitting your motherboard. Sadly the fans are not semi-passive, so even when the GPU is near enough totally idle the fans will remain on.
The heatsink itself uses a copper baseplate to cool the GPU, and as usual this feeds a bunch of copper heat pipes that feed a single aluminium fin stack. The heatsink also fills the volume of the card well enough so as to not waste space, and although the copper isn’t nickel-plated you can’t actually see much of it. Pleasingly, the memory modules, chokes, capacitors, and the main voltage regulator are all directly cooled by an integrated metal plate and thermal pads, so despite the more budget leanings Palit is clearly still taking cooling seriously.
The stubby PCB is based on the reference design and features largely the same layout. Since this is an overclocked part, the GPU is the TU106-200A, with the ‘A’ indicating that it is binned and thus permitted to be sold by Nvidia partners in overclocked cards like this one. Non-overclocked RTX 2060s aren’t that common, though, and even the stock-clocked Founders card using the ‘A’ variant. Meanwhile, you get a 6+2 phase power configuration, which is really a lot for a card like this (no bad thing). Palit also includes DrMOS components on this PCB.
October 14 2021 | 15:04