Build A 60 FPS+ Ray Tracing Rig For Less Than $999, With The GeForce RTX 2060

By Sean Cleveland and Andrew Burnes on November 18, 2019 | Featured Stories GeForce RTX GPUs NVIDIA RTX Ray Tracing Turing

Ray Tracing increases realism, immersion and image quality in games by adding high-quality, physically-accurate effects and features that go far beyond the level of detail that previous-gen, approximated effects are capable of. But if you believe the Internet’s memes and jokes, you need nothing short of a supercomputer to experience these effects for yourself. That couldn’t be further from the truth - the entire lineup of GeForce RTX GPUs enable you to enjoy smooth high-quality ray tracing, including the GeForce RTX 2060, which you can find in holiday sales for around $300 USD (at the time of writing). Combined with an appropriate CPU, such as an i7-8700K or i5-9600K, you can instantly enjoy every ray-traced game at over 60 FPS average at 1920x1080, with other settings on High or Ultra.

In this in-depth article, we’ll reveal how you can build your own RTX desktop for less than $999, benchmark each ray-traced title on this PC, demonstrate how Ray Tracing enhances game graphics, and show you the future of Ray Tracing in blockbusters like Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft, and Watch Dogs Legion.

And if you’d like to learn more about how real-time ray tracing works, we have a great companion piece here.

Build A Ray Tracing Rig For Less Than $999

To enjoy the latest games with ray tracing enabled, a GeForce RTX 2060 and an appropriately powerful CPU, such as an i5 or R5, is enough to get started. But if you haven’t already got a suitable system, what should you buy? Well, we specced one out, and at the time of writing the complete build came to $893:

Component

Product

Location

Price

CPU

Intel Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor

Amazon.com

219.95

CPU Cooler

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM

Amazon.com

33.89

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z390 UD ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

Amazon.com

124.99

Memory

OLOy 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory

Newegg

51.99

Storage

HP EX900 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

Newegg

56.99

GPU

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB GAMING Video Card

Amazon.com
Mail-in rebate

319.99
-20.00

Case

DIYPC Ranger-R8 ATX Mid Tower Case

Newegg

32.98

Power Supply

SeaSonic 520 W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully Modular ATX

Amazon.com

72.45

*Prices taken 11/16/2019, including select promotional prices and shipping

TOTAL

$893.23

With this system, you can run each ray-traced game at over 60 FPS with at least High settings, a claim we can verify with 100% accuracy as we bought the components, built the system, and used it to benchmark each game for this article.

In addition, with GeForce RTX’s video encoding and GPU acceleration goodness, you can do a ton of other stuff, too, such as single-system broadcasting, video encoding, and photo editing.

Ray-Traced Gaming On The GeForce RTX 2060

To date, five AAA titles feature stunning ray-traced effects, with many others launching in the coming year. For each game, we work with our partners to ensure that GeForce RTX 2060 owners receive a great gaming experience with all the benefits of ray-tracing. And in the system built for this article, the GeForce RTX 2060 delivered the following high-quality experiences:

RT Game

Recommended Settings

Average FPS

Control

1920x1080, High Preset, High RT, DLSS On (720p)

76

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

1920x1080, Max Settings, RT On

79

Metro Exodus

1920x1080, Ultra Preset, High RT, DLSS On

76

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

1920x1080, High Preset, High RT

67

Battlefield V

1920x1080, High Preset, High RT, DLSS On

70

As we’ll now demonstrate, these settings offer a superior graphical experience, with higher image quality and immersion than non-RT settings and presets. And at over 60 FPS, the experience is also fast and smooth.

Control

Remedy Entertainment’s Control is not only a great game, but also a real-time ray tracing showcase, featuring multiple ray-traced effects that take image quality and realism to new heights. Using High settings, High RT, and the latest iteration of DLSS, our GeForce RTX 2060 system achieved 76 FPS, with vastly improved image fidelity and immersion:

Click to load an interactive RTX ON-RTX OFF screenshot comparison, captured on our GeForce RTX 2060 PC

With RT enabled on our rig, scenes throughout Control are enhanced with physically-accurate reflections, global illumination, and pixel-perfect shadows, for the definitive experience.

Control
Recommended RT Settings for 1080p @ 60FPS

Graphics Card

Resolution

Graphics

Ray Tracing

DLSS

Avg FPS

RTX 2060

1920x1080

High Preset

High

On (720p)

76

For a deeper look at Control’s fabulous ray-traced effects, head on over to this article, and to learn more about DLSS in the game, check this out.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the newest ray tracing title, and it features ray-traced shadows in its cinematic single-player campaign, and core multiplayer modes. These enhance the game’s traditional shadow maps, adding accurate shadows that account for the strength of light, the influence of multiple light sources, the detail of shadow casters, and the size of the shadow, for the addition of contact hardening and softening.

The result is natural, realistic and immersive shadowing that adds an additional level of refinement and fidelity to Modern Warfare’s gritty, realistic visuals:

For additional examples of ray-traced shadowing in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and further information on how they work, head on over to our Graphics and Performance Guide

Modern Warfare has been well optimized and runs like a dream on many systems, enabling the game to run at fast frame rates with maximum settings, with ray tracing enabled, for the definitive PC gaming experience.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Recommended RT Settings for 1080p @ 60FPS

Graphics Card

Resolution

Graphics

Ray Tracing

Avg FPS

RTX 2060

1920x1080

Max Settings

On

79

If you instead opt for a GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER, max settings and ray tracing can be enjoyed at 60 FPS+ at 2560x1440

For additional info and ray-traced Modern Warfare screenshots, check out our comprehensive Graphics and Performance Guide, and for videos, take a gander at our YouTube playlist.

Metro Exodus

4A Games’ Metro Exodus utilizes ray-traced Global Illumination to render world lighting, which affects the appearance of shadows, ambient occlusion and other effects.

And in the Two Colonels DLC, set underground, global illumination is applied to emissive light sources, enabling colored fairy lights to realistically illuminate surroundings, and flamethrowers to fill spaces with fiery lighting effects, to give but two examples.

Ray traced global illumination delivers more realistic lighting, and by doing so it adds a new tool to the creative tool bag. With ray traced global illumination, developers can use light to set the mood in the same way movie makers and photographers have for years.

But the biggest contribution ray traced global illumination makes to Metro Exodus is a feeling — a level of anxiety that creates deeper immersion into the game. The realistic lighting that ray traced global illumination delivers uses the subtle visual lighting cues ingrained in our psyche to deliver feelings and emotional reactions not felt in video games before. It is a level of spooky usually reserved for movies. Ray tracing transforms Metro Exodus from an awesome experience into a cinematic-quality experience.

Metro Exodus
Recommended RT Settings for 1080p @ 60FPS

Graphics Card

Resolution

Graphics

Ray Tracing

DLSS

Avg FPS

RTX 2060

1920x1080

Ultra Preset

High

On

76

These enhancements are best viewed in motion, so if you would like to see more, check out Digital Foundry’s videos on the base game, and Two Colonels DLC.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Appropriately, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is enhanced with ray-traced shadows, improving shadow quality in jungles and tombs. Detail, realism and immersion are all increased, bringing an extra level of fidelity to Lara Croft’s latest adventure.

For further interactive screenshot comparisons, head here

As in Modern Warfare, ray-traced shadows take Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s graphics to new heights, and once you experience RTX ON, it’s hard to go back to RTX OFF.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Recommended RT Settings for 1080p @ 60FPS

Graphics Card

Resolution

Graphics

Ray Tracing

DLSS

Avg FPS

RTX 2060

1920x1080

High Preset

High

Off

67

For an in-depth rundown of all the ray-traced shadow techniques enhancing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, check out this article, which also includes plenty of additional RTX ON-OFF screenshots.

Battlefield V

DICE and EA’s Battlefield V was the first ray-traced game, wowing gamers with its super accurate real-time reflections that were miles ahead of the screen space reflections used in games for years prior.

When Battlefield V first launched, one ray was cast per pixel. But we’ve since learned how to do things more efficiently and effectively. Now, a process called Variable Rate Ray Tracing is utilized, wherein the tech intelligently decides where and when to apply ray tracing, and to what extent. The result has been a massive performance improvement of 50%+, and by enabling DLSS, additional performance gains of up to 40% can be seen, increasing frame rates by nearly 2X compared to launch.

Battlefield V
Recommended RT Settings for 1080p @ 60FPS

Graphics Card

Resolution

Graphics Preset

Ray Tracing

DLSS

Avg FPS

RTX 2060

1920x1080

High Preset

High

On

70

Now, all GeForce RTX gamers can enjoy high-frame rate, high-detail, ray-traced single-player and multiplayer Battlefield V gameplay at over 60 FPS.

Performance Keeps Increasing With Game Ready Drivers

New, groundbreaking technology always gets better over time. In the case of ray tracing, our knowledge and experience from each game helps our engineers and partners to make better, faster, and more beautiful ray tracing effects in future titles, and to take new thinking and ideas back to previous titles, as with Battlefield V.

In addition, our driver teams continue to optimize the Turing architecture, its ray tracing RT Cores and its deep learning Tensor Cores, and to develop game-specific driver optimizations. This work has seen performance improved in our ray-traced titles by up to 10%:

Build A 60 FPS+ Ray Tracing Rig For Less Than $999, With The GeForce RTX 2060

Together with the aforementioned game and tech optimizations, performance has increased significantly, greatly improving the ray tracing experience. And it’ll continue to improve, so be sure to download the latest Game Ready Drivers, Windows 10 updates, and game updates to get the very best ray tracing performance in each and every ray-traced title.

Top Games Are Adopting Ray Tracing

Ray tracing adoption is accelerating quickly, with over a dozen publicly-announced games adding ray tracing, including the much anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, and the world’s most popular game, Minecraft.

So, for all the latest ray-traced info, screenshots and trailers for Atomic Heart, Cyberpunk 2077, Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna, Dying Light 2, Justice, JX3, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Minecraft, Sword and Fairy 7, SYNCED: Off-Planet, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, Watch Dogs: Legion, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and yet to be announced ray-traced titles, stay tuned to GeForce.com.

And if you want an even-faster ray-traced experience, at higher detail levels, resolutions and frame rates, take a look at our complete range of GeForce RTX graphics cards.

Comments