The GeForce RTX 2060 is a really popular graphics card due to how it balances performance and price. It’s not going to give you anywhere near the same performance levels as a 30-series graphics card, or even a 2070 or 2080. But, it’s more than enough to play the very latest games on medium settings without really poor frame rates.
And now that the graphics card market is starting to find some sense of normality again following global chip shortages, the RTX 2060 remains a really solid choice if you want to build a PC on a budget, or if you’re upgrading from an older card.
Of course, you need to understand just how much power an RTX 2060 uses so you’ll know whether you also need to upgrade your power supply. So, let’s take a look.
How Many Watts Does An RTX 2060 Use?
Graphics cards draw different levels of power depending on whether they’re actively creating graphics, or if they’re ‘idle’. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 draws around 165 watts when you use it for gaming, but only 8 watts when you’re using the PC for other tasks.
It does use more power if you have additional monitors though. Expect it to use around 13 watts for a multi-monitor setup, which isn’t a huge amount more but is still worth considering. Also, your graphics card will be used to play videos, though again the power draw is relatively minimal – approximately 15 watts.
It’s only when you use it to create graphics live, when you’re either gaming or creating any animations, that it ramps up to full power, with a maximum of around 165 watts.
That maximum is the consistent max though – that’s the top power level that it will reach on a regular basis. Graphics cards will occasionally spike past their maximum. It doesn’t happen for long – less than a second – but it’s worth bearing in mind when choosing your PSU. The RTX 2060 has been recorded as spiking at 180 watts.
Suggested read: RTX 2060 Super Power Consumption Guide
How Many Watts Does An RTX 2060 Use Per Hour?
An RTX 2060 graphics card will use 165 watt-hours per hour, which equates to 0.165 kilowatt-hours per hour. Considering how the average weekly gaming time for PC gamers worldwide is 8.5 hours, that means you’ll be using around 1.4 kilowatt-hours per week.
That’s only when you’re gaming though, and it’s likely that you’ll also use your PC at other times for other tasks. Bear that in mind, because even though the graphics card will draw a lot fewer watts when you aren’t gaming, it is still using up power.
Not as much as the rest of your PC though – and that’s another point to remember. These stats are only for the graphics card, your other components will draw power too.
The graphics card is usually the highest power draw, although some processors do get up to around 200 watt-hours per hour. It depends on which components you’re using in your build, but an average PC with an RTX 2060 graphics card would likely draw around 400 to 450 watt-hours per hour.
Read more: How Many Watts Does A Gaming PC Use?
What Power Supply Do I Need For An RTX 2060?
The minimum recommended power supply for an RTX 2060 graphics card is 500 watts, though it’s better to get one that can provide more power to be safe. A 600-watt graphics card should be sufficient for a powerful PC with an RTX 2060.
If you use a 500-watt power supply, it might be just enough for your PC’s components. But you should always calculate how much power your PC will draw and add on an extra 20%, to account for any spikes in the power. So, if your PC draws 420 watts, then you’ll need more than 500 to account for that extra power.
If you cut it too fine, you might notice your PC having some problems, like switching off randomly. Over time you could even damage your PC.
Also, it’s best to buy a power supply that is higher rated for efficiency. The best power supplies are rated 80+, which means they’re at least 80% efficient no matter what you’re using your PC for. Every power supply uses more power than the actual PC needs, but the higher the percentage, the less wasted energy.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
You won’t see the percentages advertised but instead, they’ll be rated 80+ Bronze through to 80+ Titanium. The best choice for gamers is 80+ Gold or 80+ Platinum. 80+ Titanium is technically better but also quite expensive.
The Best Power Supply For An RTX 2060
The best power supply for an RTX 2060 would be one with at least a 600 watts rating, which would leave ample room for any power spikes even if you’re using a top-end processor alongside it. Aim for one that’s at least 80+ Gold rated for efficiency too.
This EVGA power supply is a really solid choice of PSU if you’re upgrading to an RTX 2060. It’s got enough power to easily cope with the demands of the graphics card in a mid- to high-end system.
It’s also from a reputable brand, comes with a 5-year warranty, and it’s pretty cheap too considering all of that. The only downside is that it’s not modular, so you will have to find the space to hide away any cables you aren’t using in your tower.
What RTX 2060 Power Cable Do I Need?
The power cable needed for an RTX 2060 graphics card depends on the particular model. Some only require a single 8-pin PCIe cable, while others may need two 8-pins, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin.
It’s important you wire up all of the connectors to your graphics card to provide enough power for it to work properly. If you don’t have enough connectors then you may need to disconnect other PCI-powered devices or change to a newer power supply.
RTX 2060 FAQs
A 400-watt power supply isn’t enough for an RTX 2060 graphics card. The graphics card alone will easily use up 165 watts when gaming. Your power supply should be at least 20% bigger than the total power draw of all the components in your PC.
A 450-watt power supply is unlikely to be enough for an RTX 2060 graphics card. The recommended minimum is 500-watts, but most gamers like to go for a 600W power supply to be sure that it work without any issues.
A 500-watt power supply is the recommended minimum for an RTX 2060 graphics card, but even this will be pushing things if you have a decent processor and a gaming motherboard. It’s best to get one with extra capacity, ideally 600 watts or better.
You can use an RTX 2060 graphics card for mining Ethereum but it’s not usually enough if you plan to mine Bitcoin. Crypto mining is best done on a dedicated machine with multiple graphics cards – otherwise, you may spend more powering your PC than you earn.