Is the RTX 2060 KO an RTX 2080 in disguise? Some RTX 2060 KOs ship with the TU104 GPU
In the wake of AMD's RX 5600 XT launch, EVGA's RTX 2060 KO series is the first to sell with a significant price cut, at $299 after a $20 rebate. But just how have Team Green and its OEMs managed to get bring prices down this much from the RTX 2060's original $349 launch price?
It appears that one approach taken was to use defective, cut-down TU104 dies instead of TU106. TU104 is the same GPU used in the RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080. Techpowerup's PCB analysis here appears to confirm that the RTX 2060 that EVGA ships uses the TU104-150 die, heavily cut down to reach RTX 2060's 1920 shader core count. These were likely defective dies that couldn't meet RTX 2070 Super or RTX 2080 specs.
This is one of the most significant cut-downs we have ever seen to a particular GPU die. The RTX 2060 features just 62% of TU104's shader cores, and significantly less VRAM and memory bandwidth. Interestingly, using cut-down TU104 GPUs appears to have performance implications vis a vis TU106-based RTX 2060 SKUs.
For instance, TU106 RTX 2060's performed notably worse in Blender, as Gamers Nexus discovered. However, real-world gaming performance is unlikely to be meaningfully different. Moreover, not all of the new OEM RTX 2060s will run on the TU104 dies. Which parts use TU104 and which parts use TU106 may vary between OEMs and between different parts. From a gaming perspective, though, cards based on both dies offer great value.