EVGA’s custom GeForce RTX 2070 XC graphics card is cooler, more customizable, and just as fast as Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Founders Edition. It’s packing dedicated hardware for real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics. And it’s $50 cheaper, too.

That shouldn’t be a big deal. Nvidia’s Founders Edition cards were designed to be premium priced halo(ish) models, right? But when the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti released last month, third-party board makers like EVGA, Asus, and MSI treated the premium pricing of the Founders Edition models as the cost floor rather than a cost ceiling. As such, all those high-end graphics cards are selling for significantly more than Nvidia’s stated starting prices. It’s a major bummer.

Fortunately, that’s not the case with the GeForce RTX 2070 launch. You’ll find cheaper options available from third-party manufacturers on day one, such as the $550 EVGA RTX 2070 XC. And while the $700 RTX 2080 trades blows with the older $700 GTX 1080 Ti, the EVGA RTX 2070 XC offers a performance bump over the GTX 1080 in traditional games to go with all its futuristic ray tracing promises.

dsc00398 Brad Chacos/IDG

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC: Specs, price, and release date

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC’s underlying specs hew closely to those of the Founders Edition, delivering a small clock speed bump compared to the GPU’s reference specs.

  • CUDA cores: 2,304 
  • Clock speed: 1,410MHz base, 1,710MHz boost (1,620MHz reference)
  • RT cores: 36
  • Tensor cores: 288
  • Texture units: 144
  • ROP units: 64
  • Memory capacity: 8GB GDDR6 
  • Memory path: 256 bits 
  • Memory bandwidth: 448GBps 
  • Ports: One VirtualLink/USB-C, three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b 
  • Power: One 6-pin, one 8-pin, 550W+ power supply required
  • Release date: October 17, 2018 
  • Price: $550

On top of the out-of-the-box speed boost, EVGA also lets you increase the RTX 2070 XC’s power limit by a lofty 30 percent, giving manual overclockers more headroom than other RTX 20-series graphics cards we’ve seen. The Nvidia Founders Edition only lets you bump the power by 16 percent. We’ll cover overclocked performance in a separate section later. The RTX 2070 packs the same 8GB of VRAM as its predecessor, but the move from GDDR5X to GDDR6 delivered a massive upgrade to memory bandwidth.

This GPU promises to unlock new features in the future, too, thanks to its dedicated RT cores for real-time ray tracing and dedicated tensor cores for bringing the power of machine learning to games, most noticeably in the form of Deep Level Super Sampling. DLSS is an antialiasing method that delivers visual smoothness on a par with Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) at a much lower performance cost, using the power of AI to render scenes more efficiently. The good news: Dozens of games have pledged ray tracing or DLSS support. The bad news: No games support either technology yet, so if you buy into an RTX graphics card, you’re gambling that game developers will embrace Nvidia’s features en masse, and that those features will prove as impressive as Nvidia’s marketing claims.

We’ll see. In the meantime, you can learn more about ray tracing and DLSS in our deep-dive into the Nvidia Turing GPU as well as the future tech section of our RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti review, where we examined some canned demos provided by Nvidia.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC: Design and features

While the EVGA RTX 2070 XC mirrors Nvidia’s Founders Edition under the hood, it’s the custom-designed cooler that sets it apart.

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