Sorry Gamers, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060 12GB Is Evidently A Great Crypto Mining Card
The refreshed GeForce RTX 2060 with 12GB
of GDDR6 memory (up from 6GB on the original model) officially releases to retail today, though as of this writing, it's nowhere to be found for purchase. It might not matter anyway—a supposed glimpse at the card's cryptocurrency mining performance is a kick in the pants to gamers who may be hoping this new SKU will be a savior to the Great GPU Shortage of 2021.
That was never a realistic expectation anyway. Sure, the upgraded last-gen card has the potential to provide a modicum of relief, provided NVIDIA can source enough Turing silicon to have any kind of meaningful impact on the shortage. But only for people sitting on something older and weaker than a GeForce RTX 2060 and
who have lost hope of upgrading to a modern GPU (Ampere
or RDNA 2).
There are a couple of potential snags, though. First, NVIDIA confirmed it will not be offering a Founders Edition model, leaving it entirely up to its add-in board (AIB) and OEM partners to carry the new SKU. Until retail listings appear in the US, we can only guess where pricing may ultimately land on custom models (for reference, the 6GB model debuted at $349 MSRP).
Secondly, it appears the GeForce RTX 2060 12GB does not have a hash rate limiter in place. The folks at PCMarket got their hands on a Zotac model and posted a review today, which includes a look at the card's mining prowess. Check it out...
According to the review data, it delivers a hash rate of 31.65 MH/s
. That's significantly better than the 22.17 MH/s hash rate of the GeForce RTX 3060, which is a Low Hash Rate (LHR) part, and a few ticks above the Radeon RX 6600 XT
. As we have written about before, there are ways to side step the limiter on LHR cards, but the out-of-box mining performance of the GeForce RTX 2060 12GB is a potential buzz kill for gamers, if the data is accurate.
It gets worse. Remember what we said about there not being a Founders Edition model? Well, at least one AIB partner evidently sees the new SKU as being a mining card and will not make a big marketing hubbub to consumers, or so the unnamed OEM told Tom's Hardware
"This will be more of a mining focused card so HG is not going to do a big media push on it," the OEM is quoted as saying.
That's certainly disappointing, though on the bright side, a single comment by an unknown OEM is not exactly definitive. So here's hoping the GeForce RTX 2060 12GB does ultimately find its way into the hands of gamers at fair price points by AIBs and OEMs. We'll see.