Secret GPU: RTX 2080 in the RTX 2060 KO, Up to +47% Workstation Performance

  • We discovered something that slipped past NVIDIA and EVGA alike: The RTX 2060 KO performs 26% to 47% better than a normal 2060 in some applications.
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    It's not just that TU-104-150 is now in the RTX 2060 KO, but that NVIDIA might have forgotten to disable some of its performance in the new RTX 2060 SKU. The TU-104 GPU came from an RTX 2080 -- or RTX 2070 Super -- and it's supposed to be a salvage chip with disabled features that should result in a simple RTX 2060 that's bigger. In reality, it's actually an RTX 2060 that has a lot more performance in professional applications like Blender, SolidWorks, 3DSMax, Maya, CATIA, Siemens NX, and more. If you're looking for one of the best budget workstation video cards, this may be the new winner.
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    Editorial, Testing: Steve Burke
    Video: Keegan Gallick, Andrew Coleman

Comments • 80

  • Gamers Nexus
    Gamers Nexus  2 months ago +828

    This was extremely fun and I hope it gets some attention online: We spent days on this and it was really intriguing to work on and a great break from the usual reviews, sort of like a mystery. My hope is that some people deeper at NVIDIA see it and contact me to educate us on what's really happening here. We have confirmed the results with NVIDIA and EVGA, and now it's time to understand them. I've also reached out to David Kanter for assistance in learning why this happened.

    • Ken Spamfree
      Ken Spamfree 5 days ago

      @Gamers Nexus Why won't anyone compare the 2060 KO and the 2060 Super (to compare workstation loads)? I haven't seen anyone with both cards in their tests. I figure gaming would be better on 2060S, but processing times would lag behind the KO

    • Ben Dynamics
      Ben Dynamics 7 days ago

      @lednerg That's great information 👌😎💡 and thank you for replying cheers! 🍻🌠

    • lednerg
      lednerg 7 days ago +1

      @Ben Dynamics I went ahead and got one and yes, the KO Ultra does have the TU-104 chip in it. Just like the regular KO, the power is limited to 100% in overclocking software, but it otherwise performs just like a normal 2060. The main drawback is that it runs hot and needs to ramp up the fan constantly. The CUDA performance is better than any other 2060 by far, and is really the only reason to get it, imo. That's why I did, since I use CUDA for work. If you can find an EVGA Associate's Program code on the web, you might be able to get it for ~$300.

    • Ben Dynamics
      Ben Dynamics 7 days ago

      @lednerg Did you get any info on this? Do you think it covers all KO versions of the card? I was looking at the Ultra also 👍👀💯

    • Ryukushin
      Ryukushin 9 days ago

      Iv been thinking about it for a while. Do you think that Nvidia will one day allow you to buy say the EVGA 2060 KO with the 2070/2080 Chip in it. Then a couple months pass, or their new line up of 3000 series cards come, and you don't want to upgrade per se but you'd like a nice boost for a more moderate price. I think you know where I'm going with this, but my point is, they would offer a service that upgrades your RTX 2060 KO to a RTX 2070 (opening up those closed sectors of the chip) for a price that's not quite a new GPU but also priced appropriately to a value upgrade. You may ask, what happens if this degrades the cards faster? This is either where they take their warranty claims to heart or they include an asterisk in this boost that explains your card may degrade faster after this update. (I guess that may mean there would also be a program or chip that measured the cards durability, in some sense, so Nvidia would know if it's safe or not to do this update over software or via a RMA claim.)
      Anyway, it bugged me for a while, so I thought maybe this is where they're planning to go.Any hoot , love your hair and your cat Tech Jesus!

  • Ron Watson
    Ron Watson 13 hours ago

    I can confirm this - using the card with Blender did provide quite an improvement. When rendering files that took about 2 mins or longer, this card was just as fast as the 2060 Super and 2070.

  • Gertsch
    Gertsch 6 days ago

    Will this also work for say render engines like redshift or octane?

  • 47kz
    47kz 12 days ago

    Will this graphics card improve gpu encoding, nvenc

  • PeJota615
    PeJota615 12 days ago

    Good thing I bought the EVGA RTX 2060 KO for $300 when I did lol

    • 47kz
      47kz 12 days ago

      it's $280 right now lol

  • Hugh Wong
    Hugh Wong 19 days ago +1

    I just purchased a 2060 KO. I ran Blender benchmark 2.82. I had my friend run his 2080. He got a score of 15%. I got a score of 38%. I see no increase in performance. And I have verified I have T104 die.

  • connor white
    connor white 19 days ago

    I've been trying to get the EVGA 2060 KO on Amazon for the past two weeks and it keeps going out of stock

  • Matt MMM
    Matt MMM 25 days ago

    I just got the ko ultra, I did the complete blender benchmark set and my score ranked up there with 2080 and 2080 supers. Freaking awesome!

  • Julio Salazar
    Julio Salazar 26 days ago

    2060 KO or 1660 super?

  • Matt MMM
    Matt MMM 27 days ago

    Noticed two models, the ko & ko ultra. Wonder if the ultra is the better option?

  • spompofleks
    spompofleks 28 days ago

    Soooooo.....2060 will be 800$ now ? :D

  • Claude Thompson
    Claude Thompson 29 days ago

    1. Is this the same card as the KO Ultra?
    2. Is there any concern that EVGA will update the firmware to nerf the card based on all the attention the card is getting?

  • Jeremy Lindemann
    Jeremy Lindemann Month ago

    Sounds like it could be that whatever hardware was fused off was important for the gaming performance of the card, but nVidia just fused off the faulty hardware without bothering to figure out what the effect would it be because it doesn't really matter.

  • Lambert Starr
    Lambert Starr Month ago

    if this guy is a MGTOW, then he is my brother..............
    if he has a girlfriend or a wife, then he is my enemy!

  • Kaz Nitram
    Kaz Nitram Month ago

    So is this in both the KO and the KO Ultra?

  • AbysmalBerg
    AbysmalBerg Month ago

    is this why they now have the ko ultra for 20 more dollars lol good job big mouth

  • Lui Xx
    Lui Xx Month ago

    Is it just the rtx 2060 ko's or does it include the 2060 ko ultras too?

  • Clyde Patton productions

    Good stuff. GPUs are my biggest downfall. I’m not a gamer and 98% of everything is revolved around just that. I’m in the process of a new build and been out of this a while. I will be using after effects and premier pro mostly. I’m going with and I know you don’t like it but gigabyte z390 pro 64 gigs ram at 3200 MHz 3 Sony m.2 nvme 2 are 500 gig and 1 is 1t. Went with the Sony evo 970 I’m putting in a m.2 Pcie expansion card. Leaning towards i7 9700k. Gpu I was looking at was the Rtx 2060 super but after watching this I’m just lost. I’m trying my best to understand these GPUs and I figure $420 for one even if it’s overboard it’s future proof for my needs. If you have time please help. Thank you Ryan

  • Wijaya Suryadinata
    Wijaya Suryadinata Month ago

    Wow Thicc thermal pad

  • Stu Bur
    Stu Bur Month ago

    Bottlecap! Meow.

  • Grimwol
    Grimwol Month ago

    Newegg started bundling Deliver Us The Moon with this card just days after I had already bought it 🙂🔫

  • Riley Iwamoto
    Riley Iwamoto Month ago

    I know this is late, but for what it's worth, y'all should know that a recent update to VRay Next now supports RTX in its GPU renderer. It's an early foray for Chaos Group, but the improvements over CUDA are promising. Sadly they also announced discontinued support of OpenCL with the update but, from experience, I'm certain AMD pulled the plug on OpenCL way before Chaos Group did.

    This card will be a great value buy for any 3D productivity software that uses VRay, and that's a lot.

  • Sarimae23
    Sarimae23 Month ago

    grats, you just made mining attractive again :)

  • Jamie Powell
    Jamie Powell Month ago

    Will I see a marked improvement if used for GPU rendering in Cinema4D? I was looking at buying a 2070 super but this article caught my eye. The only thing is, GN only talks about the benefits with Blender

  • Alejandro Gonzalez
    Alejandro Gonzalez Month ago

    Would you pick this 2060 KO or 2060 KO ULTRA over the other $300+ cards?

  • Merlin
    Merlin Month ago

    A mix of dark magic & astrology is the reason.

  • Adam Hussey
    Adam Hussey Month ago

    Any word on the 2060 KO Ultra?

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago

      they all have them even the ko ultra its been confirmed

  • Bill Gene Soon
    Bill Gene Soon Month ago

    I already knew this. It's basically the same as RAM binning.

  • Larry Gall
    Larry Gall Month ago

    9:22 MAN those are some thick thermal pads!

  • Larry Gall
    Larry Gall Month ago

    Once again, NVidia turns their cards into a lottery. Stupid.

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago

      they all have them even the ko ultra its been confirmed

  • TheSkepticSkwerl
    TheSkepticSkwerl Month ago

    Please start testing hashcat benchmarks. There is a pretty big market for hardware in the pen test community. If I can do 8 2060 Kos and get the same performance of a 2070 super... I would buy different hardware. I would just do like wpa2, ntlm, sha512 crypt and maybe sha1 passwords. It's a really easy test. Plus it might bring more attention to cyber security and help people realize to stop using easy passwords.

  • protiv sistemy
    protiv sistemy Month ago

    Прикольно! Підписався!

  • штурман
    штурман Month ago

    Such a pretty card

  • noxious89123
    noxious89123 Month ago

    Would be good to see what this card can do with a shunt mod.

  • Andrew White
    Andrew White Month ago

    Did someone forget to fuse off some of the options from the Quadro version? How about some benchmarks of the a Nvidia Gaming GPU vs the same price Quadro? Is it actually worth it?

  • DesastreMan1
    DesastreMan1 Month ago

    Maybe it was ment to be a rtx quadro...

  • דניאל משה
    דניאל משה Month ago

    Here inb4 Nvidia pulls this card out of shelves :]

  • Antoine Finch
    Antoine Finch Month ago

    OK so is it any good for gaming , i dont do anything but game, watch you tube video and browse the internet and play single campaign games like ghost recon, future soldier, COD 3! I just want a great gaming GPU? 1080 p 1444 maybe one day 1440 p?

  • Lars Passic
    Lars Passic Month ago

    I wonder if it has more L2 cache?

    • Lars Passic
      Lars Passic Month ago

      Larger dies sometimes have different cache configurations than smaller dies. Maybe they could not disable cache granularly enough for perfect parity?

  • TrippleWoN
    TrippleWoN Month ago

    This has pushed me further away from team green, as they keep fucking over their customers by turning new purchases into insignificant old technology in matter of a month via recycling newer tech into their old. I used to be a die hard nvidia supporter, but this last year alone they've upgraded their gpu, what 3 times? They are exactly the same as intel. AMD will sweep them once their new line of GPU comes out fuck nvidia they fuck over their base constantly since of late. FYI: I'm annoyed because I've updated my graphics card twice this year... 2080 then 2080 super so no thanks nvidia keep your shitty KO line up.

  • Flux Apex Engineering

    I wonder if the core shares some architecture or instruction sets with the quadro cores. I know the quadro cards have a marked improvement in CAD vs lower rtx2060 and even the gtx1080ti. But quadro isnt much better for gaming.

  • william delmer
    william delmer Month ago

    Those arent TIM pads, they are foam core tape used to balance the HSF assembly on the card. TIM that thick isnt going to do a thing unless its a pure block of metal. TIM is for filling micro imperfections in the metal/silicon to get a more even transfer of heat.

  • MaurizioEmanueleFerri

    but agree with another technician this video card is better than a rtx 2060 xc ...... you are taking it a little too far with all the technical data of adequate and slow processors

  • MaurizioEmanueleFerri

    but is better a gtx 1660 of VGA the black edition 1860 mhz with a great dissipator who can made aa good overclock

  • MaurizioEmanueleFerri

    It is an video card but it tries to facilitate those who cannot buy a rtx 2060 of more than 400 euros that more or less does the same things, the rtx 2070 is the card that displaces everyone as the crisis pushes to compete with msi and other well-known houses have too strong prices

  • Brian Page
    Brian Page Month ago

    So pardon me if this is a stupid question as I'm new to the technical stuff behind GPUs, but could you possibly make this work like a 2080 in gaming too, like with BIOS flashing or something? I've heard similar stories of unlocking extra performance from GPUs and CPUs before, so I wanna know if it can be done with the 2060 KO.

  • Stephen Hargreaves
    Stephen Hargreaves Month ago

    Damn. My main use is Blender, and I could be tempted. Currently using a 1060 6Gb, but (there's always a but) the 2060 KO as far as I can find is still 6Gb. 12, or even 16Gb would make it much more tempting.

  • mambo
    mambo Month ago +1

    Those thermal pads are so satisfying to look at

  • Shaon C.
    Shaon C. Month ago

    Superb in-depth video 👍👍👍

  • Anonymous Delegate
    Anonymous Delegate Month ago

    I picked up the 2060 KO Ultra for $305 on EVGA's website. Can confirm I received a TU-104 chip. I don't game, but I am a dev dabbling in machine learning, so the extra compute power peaked my interest.

  • rohan basu
    rohan basu Month ago

    who cares it performs same in games...

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago +2

      people who need a workstation lil boy




  • Blue Beamer
    Blue Beamer Month ago

    Bining... just sayin

  • Arturo Tabera
    Arturo Tabera Month ago

    There was this ONE guy at NVIDIA who knew about it.

  • tokkyuuressha
    tokkyuuressha Month ago

    15:31 the part of the video you really came for

  • Arturo Tabera
    Arturo Tabera Month ago

    So this is a KwaddrO then?

  • Joe Thomas
    Joe Thomas Month ago

    I have 2 2060ko how can I tell what chip I have without taking the card apart?

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago +1

      they all have them even the ko ultra its been confirmed

    • Mantikor3D
      Mantikor3D Month ago

      Use GPU-Z or even CPU-Z. Both say it has TU104 die.

  • antronk
    antronk Month ago

    This type of content is what gives GN its name. Thank you Steve!

  • robleake
    robleake Month ago

    mumble mumble mumble

  • Xeno Altrax
    Xeno Altrax Month ago

    @Gamers Nexus
    I posted a comment previously on my speculation that the KO card might have more than 30 SMs but with the extra SMs just having a reduced number of processing blocks (my old comment is still here on the comment page), and I wrote a short test CUDA kernel to test this speculation out. I currently only have regular 2060 cards and haven't been able to get a KO card yet so I was wondering if maybe you'ld like to test the kernel out on your KO card.
    If you compile and run it via the command:
    ./test 0 30
    This will run a kernel on the card (first parameter selects the device, so use 0 if you have just a single card system), which will launch 30 thread blocks on the device. The test kernel allocates 48KB of shard memory per thread block, so it ensures that only one block is allocated per SM at any given time. So with 30 blocks launched it will run in around 2 secs on a typical 2060.
    If you then run it via the command:
    ./test 0 31
    Then it will launch a kernel with 31 thread blocks which on a regular 2060 (with only 30 SMs) will run in about 4 secs, because now the very last block has to queue on an SM before it can be executed since the 48KB shared memory allocation forces only one block allocation per SM.
    If my speculation on the KO card is correct then the same command for 31 thread blocks should still run in about 2 secs since the speculation is that the KO card has at least 31 (or more) SMs.
    You can also query the device for the "SM count" device parameter but I want to programmatically test for more than 30 SMs since I want to be sure the Nvidia device driver isn't reporting "30 SMs" when in fact the KO card really has more.
    (source code follows)
    #define SHRDIDXSZ 48*1024
    #define OUTRLP 12*1024
    __global__ void testKern(int *iarr) {
    __shared__ char shrdarr[SHRDIDXSZ];
    int idx = blockDim.x * blockIdx.x + threadIdx.x;
    int sum=idx;
    for (int j=0; j

  • Quentin Els
    Quentin Els Month ago

    That GPU looked like it went to the dentist

  • Aggron94
    Aggron94 Month ago

    how about the 2060 ko ultra?

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago +1

      @Aggron94I really enjoy my ko ultra glad you like yours its good bang for your buck since its slightly better than the 5600 and u can play with rtx and dlss now or in future releases as the tech gets fine tuned

    • Aggron94
      Aggron94 Month ago

      Necronoxxx i bought it and it works perfectly, everything above 60 fps without overclocking.

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago

      they all have them even the ko ultra its been confirmed

  • StefanPWinc
    StefanPWinc Month ago +1

    To clarify: do ALL EVGA 2060 KOs use TU104? I've seen conflicting reports online.

    • StefanPWinc
      StefanPWinc Month ago

      @Mantikor3D Ah, good point, they'd need to be designed differently! As a heavy Blender user it seems perfect to tie me over until the 3080! :)

    • Mantikor3D
      Mantikor3D Month ago

      By the way mine has a TU104 die.

    • Mantikor3D
      Mantikor3D Month ago +1

      It would make sense because the die size of the TU-104 und TU-106 differ in mm²:

  • Shellz386
    Shellz386 Month ago

    1:45 goddamn he loves his job.

  • Pandalife92
    Pandalife92 Month ago +1

    "Stupid games get stupid prizes, and AMD got the stupid prize today" That's great lol.
    Honestly though you can tell Steve is super curious and wants to know the why of it all, and I really love it. Gotta have respect for a person who loves what they do and constantly want to know more.

  • Miroslav Kovačević
    Miroslav Kovačević 2 months ago

    Is there any ML performance benchmarks comparing regular 2060 and 2060 KO?

  • Paul Gray
    Paul Gray 2 months ago

    How long until we find mods to enable flashing the 2080 rom and tada. Yeah, another dream.

  • Irish Tech
    Irish Tech 2 months ago

    so in other words not enough people are buying 2080s so they are trying to get rid of as much stock of the chipset as possible

    • Ken Spamfree
      Ken Spamfree 5 days ago

      No. Original 2060 was a smaller chip design. These are full size 2080 dies that had too many defective cores to be sold as a 2080 or 2070.

  • TuEzL
    TuEzL 2 months ago

    can't wait for the new driver update 66!

  • Yesaya Danu
    Yesaya Danu 2 months ago

    can we "see" the "TU-104/TU-104-150" without having to physically remove the heatsink? like with GPU-Z or other softwares?

    • Necronoxxx
      Necronoxxx Month ago

      they all have them even the ko ultra its been confirmed

    • Grey Millán
      Grey Millán Month ago

      The best way to see it, it's physically. Cuz they just can put whathever code of die by BIOS on the GPU

  • LordEC911
    LordEC911 2 months ago

    Possibly internal bandwidth related which is why it only shows in some specific workloads?
    Other possibility is due to how they cut down the chip? DId they keep all 6GPCs? Bigger chip means bigger/better scheduler and frontend which might make a bit of a difference feeding a smaller chip.

  • Michael Thompson
    Michael Thompson 2 months ago

    Looking at the die organization, TU104 has 48 SMs in 6 GPCs (8 SMs each), while TU106 has 36 SMs in just 3 GPCs (12 each). In 2060 KO/FE SMs are reduced to 30 -- In FE the obvious way to reduce SMs is by disabling 2 SMs from each of the 3 GPCs (side note: Turing SMs are paired into TPCs). But for TU104 the way to reduce SMs is less obvious, I believe (but am not certain) that a TPC can't be split, so you can't do the "obvious" and just disable 3 SMs from each of the 6 GPCs -- now you have a choice: do you keep all 6 GPCs or not? If you keep 6 GPCs, half of them will have 6 SMs and the other half will have only 4 SMs. On the other hand, if you reduce GPCs by 1, then the remaining 5 will have 6 SMs each.

    The 2070FE was specified with 40 SMs and "either 5 or 6 GPCs" so its possible that 2060KO is similarly ambiguous -- GPUs are generally pretty able to deal with those kinds of asymmetries; but I wonder, actually, if in the hypothetical 6 SM 2060KO where some GPCs have only 4 SMS, that this might be a bigger hurdle. Not the asymmetry, but the fact that a 4 SM GPC has only *half* of the compute resources it was designed to support. In the 2070FE there would never be fewer than 6/8 SMs per GPC, only 25% from nominal -- a difference like that might be beneficial because some workloads might prefer their SMs fat and happy feeding from "extra" TPC resources. But if only 4/8 SMs are enabled, you might spend less time thinking your SMs look fat and happy than you spend thinking your GPCs look starved and sad.

    Combined with the extra flexibility of being able to bin an entire defective GPC away, I suspect the 2060KO is 5 GPCs with 6 SMs each. The target SM count is low enough that they can absorb at least one defective SM pair per GPC, and they can simply choose any GPC with either its own higher-level defect or with more than one defective SM pair to be disabled.

    A 5:3 advantage in GPC resources could benefit some workloads 50%. There's probably also an advantage in a GPC managing just 6 SMs rather than 10.

  • SubVersa
    SubVersa 2 months ago

    it also possible, that RTX 2070's aren't selling as predicted, and that they're scraping perfectly good cores just to make gpus that will sell.

  • Matrix Gamer
    Matrix Gamer 2 months ago

    This is groundbreaking !!!! RTX 2060 KO is an RTX 2080 under the hood. Nice!

  • Jørn Mulder
    Jørn Mulder 2 months ago

    i have a 4 gb EVGA, geforce 1050TI superclocked, is this still good in 2020 ? or do i need to upgrade? and what card is good but not too expensive ? i have a amd system amd 3700x, and gigabyte x570 ultra. and 16 gb G.skill neo cl14. memory

  • L3dtube
    L3dtube 2 months ago

    Still not upgrading from my gtx1080 xD

  • johan lewis
    johan lewis 2 months ago

    would it be possible to change firmware to a 2080. couldn't it be a firmware block?

  • Star of Eden
    Star of Eden 2 months ago

    so its like buying a 2070 instead
    no actually a 2065

  • Daxter250
    Daxter250 2 months ago

    why did EVGA use MAOAMs as thermal pads? O.o

  • ruhtraeel
    ruhtraeel 2 months ago

    Why use Linode over AWS EC2?