Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 12 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). I also slipped in a few variations on the same games for comparisons like DX11 to DX12, OpenGL to Vulkan, and a couple of games are just tested at their highest setting and lower but still high detail options to show the performance difference when things are turned down slightly. In total, each video card is tested 54 times and that makes for a huge mess of graphs when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start off with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read the result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors. This covers all of the games tested except Final Fantasy XV that we have a score rather than an FPS because they like to be different.
So how did the MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z perform? Well like with the RTX 2060 Founders Edition 1080p performance was great with 12 games in over 60 FPS, 3 more all the way up over 120 FPS and just two in the 30-60 range. That means even at their highest settings they were all playable and most were in the sweet spot and above. 1440p was similar with two more games dropping down into the 30-60 range that is playable but could use an adjustment for nice smooth gameplay. Then at 4k, it fell on its face with only 3 games smooth, 3 games unplayable, and 11 needing some adjustment to get from that playable but rough range. Funny enough, the clock speed improvement of the Gaming Z over the Founders Edition wasn’t enough to change any of these general results, they both were exactly the same here. I will have to dive into the numbers more to see what kind of difference it made.
Before diving into all of the testing, I wanted to take a look at Final Fantasy. This wasn’t included in our FPS range results because the benchmark only provides a score, not an any average FPS results. That said at 1080p and 4k the RTX 2060 Gaming Z finally beat the GTX 1080 where with the Founders Edition it came in just below. I also tested using DLSS vs TAA at 4k to get a look at the potential performance improvement that DLSS can provide when taking advantage of those extra Tensor cores that all of the RTX cards have. Like I said earlier there are some questions on if DLSS in its full implantation looks better. But it is clear it does at least give a performance increase on all of the RTX cards. The extra clock speed of the MSI RTX 2060 helped even more with a nice bump over the Founders Edition.
So the bump from 1708 MHz boost clock of the Founders Edition up to 1830 MHz on the RTX 2060 Gaming Z translates to a small 2-5 FPS increase at 1080p depending on the title. This was enough to put the Gaming Z to jump ahead of the GTX 1080 11Gbps in a few tests like DOOM OpenGL, and F1 2017. For others, it was enough to jump over the GTX 1070 Ti. So while not a huge performance increase, it did make a difference in the overall comparison. The RTX 2060 is still solidly above the GTX 1070 and on par with the GTX 1070 Ti in a lot of ways. Depending on what game it edges up past the GTX 1080, especially at Founders Edition speeds. As expected after seeing synthetic tests, DX12 games as favored, it breaks down faster than the GTX 1070 Ti in DX12 titles and on par or just below in the DX11 titles.