In brief: Nvidia is looking to resurrect the RTX 2060 with double the original amount of VRAM, possibly as soon as the first quarter of 2022. In the meantime, a passionate modder has upgraded an existing RTX 2060 card in the same way to see what sort of performance boost one could expect.
Over the last few months, we've heard several rumors that Nvidia could soon launch updated RTX 3000 series graphics cards and resurrect the RTX 2060 to try and alleviate supply issues. Last week, a few regulatory filings confirmed that Nvidia is indeed preparing an RTX 2060, but with a twist — the company may also double the amount of VRAM, even though it probably won’t improve performance in most scenarios.
However, as spotted by Tom’s Hardware, some technology enthusiasts aren’t waiting for that to happen and are perfectly comfortable with modding existing cards like the GeForce RTX 3070. Such is the case of Russian modder VIK-on, who is well known for making 16-gigabyte RTX 2070 and RTX 3070 graphics cards.
The modder decided to apply the same treatment to the GeForce RTX 2060, and for that purpose he chose an Asus RTX 2060 Turbo that had a new power phase for the memory subsystem after the original one blew up. As for the memory, VIK-on chose Samsung K4ZAF325BM-HC14 GDDR6 chips that have a capacity of two gigabytes. It’s not quite what Nvidia is preparing for release, but it should be close enough to give us a good idea about what to expect from the updated card.
After replacing the original memory chips, the modder ran Unigine’s Superposition benchmark as well as an Ethereum miner to see if there was any difference in performance when compared to the standard configuration. Unsurprisingly, the larger graphics memory didn’t yield any performance increase, as the tests didn’t push the memory utilization beyond six gigabytes. That said, if an application requires more than six gigabytes of VRAM, you should see a performance improvement.
New games like Battlefield 2042 seem to work well at 1440p even when using a graphics cards with only six gigabytes of VRAM, but using higher quality settings pushes it to its limits. That means it won’t be long before eight gigabytes will be a must, even at medium or high graphics presets. This may also be why Nvidia is re-releasing the RTX 2060 with double the VRAM, as doing so would make it more competitive with AMD’s RX 6600 or the upcoming RX 6500 XT.