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NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q vs RTX 2060 – the full-blown RTX 2060 is much closer than you think

The NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q and the RTX 2060 are two very suitable graphics cards for comparison. They are both Turing and TU106-based GPUs. The idea is to see how much closer is the regular RTX 2060 when compared to the Max-Q version of RTX 2070. From our previous in-depth analysis on NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q vs RTX 2070 and GTX 1650 Max-Q vs GTX 1050 Ti we already know that when heavy stress is applied the Max-Q GPUs don’t perform that well because of their lower TGP levels -that leads to a heavy throttling and the performance goes down.

In our new GPU comparison, we will see if the status quo will be maintained or maybe the RTX 2070 Max-Q will perform significantly better than its smaller rival even on maxed-out settings.

See all configurations with: GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q / GeForce RTX 2060

Contents

Specs overview

The RTX 2070 Max-Q and RTX 2060 are Turing GPUs. They both are based on the same TU106 chip but of course, the RTX 2060 is a cut-down version.

The RTX 2070 Max-Q has 2034 shader units, 64 ROPs, 8GB GDDR6 memory and 256-bit memory bus. There are two TGP versions – 80W and 90W one. The 80W variant has 885 MHz / 1185 MHz base and boost frequencies while the 90W variant has higher ones – 1080 MHz / 1305 MHz. The memory is clocked at 12000MHz for both versions.

The RTX 2060 is equipped with 1920 shader units, 48 ROPs, 6GB GDDR6 memory and a 192-bit memory bus. It has a 90W TGP and the base and boost frequencies are 960MHz / 1200MHz. We have 14000 MHz for the memory.

So, the RTX 2070 Max-Q has more shaders, more ROPs, a wider memory bus, and more video memory. The RTX 2060 has higher core and memory frequencies and its TGP seems high-enough for them and under heavy loads this GPU will not throttle hard.

Now, it is time for our benchmarks.

GPU comparison table

 RTX 2070 Max-QRTX 2060
ArchitectureTuringTuring
GPU chipTU106TU106
Shader units2034 (+6%)1920
ROPs64 (+33%)48
Base Clock (MHz)885 – 1080 (+13%)960 (+9%)
Boost clock (MHz)1185 – 1305 (+9%)1200 (+1%)
Memory clock (MHz)1200014000 (+17%)
Memory size (MB)8192 (+33%)6144
Memory typeGDDR6GDDR6
Memory bus width (bit)256192
TGP (Total Graphics Power)80-90W90W(+13%)
DirectX version12.112.1
Technology12nm12nm
RTX capabilitiesYesYes
Release date01.201901.2019
Official pageLinkLink

Synthetic benchmarks

Yes, the same story again. The RTX 2060 is so close to the RTX 2070 Max-Q in those heavy and power-hungry synthetic benchmarks. The TGP of RTX 2070 Max-Q is too low for those conditions and the GPU can’t maintain high frequencies and that leads to lower performance – close to the levels of the normal RTX 2060. Just a 6% difference, almost nothing.

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)

RTX 2070 Max-Q over RTX 20603Dmark Fire Strike (G)Unigine Heaven 3.0Unigine Heaven 4.0Unigine SuperpositionAverage difference %
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q6%5%5%9%6%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

 

Gaming tests

Let’s put the synthetic tests aside because the real-life gaming tests are much more important.

Far Cry 5Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q108 fps (+29%)100 fps (+24%)93 fps (+21%)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206084 fps81 fps77 fps

Far Cry 5 engine isn’t that heavy and that’s why the RTX 2070 Max-Q is faster no matter the graphics presets.

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q134 fps (+26%)70 fps (+4%)45 fps
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060106 fps67 fps48 fps(+7%)

Ouch, in Rise Of The Tomb Raider the TGP of RTX 2070 Max-Q isn’t enough for something higher than Medium details. RTX 2060 is 7% faster on Max preset.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q82 fps (+16%)71 fps (+31%)47 fps (+12%)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206071 fps64 fps42 fps

In Ghost Recon: Wildlands the RTX 2070 Max-Q is faster but when the graphics quality goes up the FPS results are going downwards and RTX 2060 is close – 5 FPS difference only on Ultra details.

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q85 fps (+5%)80 fps (+5%)52 fps (+6%)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206081 fps76 fps49 fps

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider – the RTX 2060 is very close to the RTX 2070 Max-Q no matter the visual quality.

Performance summary (gaming tests)

RTX 2070 Max-Q over RTX 2060Full HD, HighFull HD, Very HighFull HD, MAX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q+19%+16%+8%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

Let’s see the average results from all tests. When Max settings are applied, the difference between those two GPUs is just 8%. When the load isn’t that heavy the RTX 2070 Max-Q is around 16% to 19% faster which sounds better than 8%.

Verdict

Everything is clear like day and night – if you like to play games with maximum visual quality the RTX 2060 will be nearly as fast as the RTX 2070 Max-Q. If you prefer a higher FPS with a bit lower visual settings the RTX 2070 will be faster but even then the price difference isn’t worth it.

If you need a thin laptop with a fast GPU the RTX 2070 Max-Q looks like the logical choice but it is not. The RTX 2060 has the same TGP as its bigger Max-Q brother and it uses the same TU106 chip – the dissipated heat from the full-blown RTX 2060 is almost the same as the RTX 2070 Max-Q one. The RTX 2060 isn’t a monster when it comes to power consumption and its performance is almost RTX 2070 Max-Q like.

Don’t forget the prices – notebooks with the bigger GPU are much more expensive than the ones with the RTX 2060. When we add in the mix almost the same power consumption and dissipated heat levels, plus the very close performance gap – the RTX 2070 Max-Q doesn’t look like a good or a smart choice when directly compared to the RTX 2060.

That’s all – get the cut-down version of the TU106, it will give you almost the same FPS results and you will save a lot of money.

All laptops equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q

All laptops equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060