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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Written by John Yan on 10/27/2020 for PC  
More On: GeForce RTX 3070

Last month, NVIDIA debuted their latest and greatest with the NVIDIA RTX 3080. We absolutely loved the card and really recommended it for the high end gamer. But at the announcement, NVIDIA also announced a card that would offer faster than a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti performance at a fraction of its cost. That card is what we’re looking at today.

The GeForce RTX 3070 is poised to be a must buy for the upper-mid tier gamer. Coming in at $499, the GeForce RTX 3070 features the following specifications:

 

GeForce RTX 3070

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

GeForce RTX 3080

SM

46

68

68

CUDA Cores

5888

4352

8074

Tensor Cores

184 (3rd gen)

544 (2nd gen)

272 (3rd gen)

RT Cores

46 (2nd gen)

68 (1st gen)

68 (2nd gen)

Texture Units

184

272

272

ROPs

96

88

96

GPU Boost

1725 MHz

1635 MHz

1710 MHz

Memory Clock

7000 MHz

7000 MHz

9500 MHz

For the memory, the RTX 3070 is using the same GDDR6 as the RTX 2080 Ti, so it won’t benefit from the extra bandwidth and speed of the RTX 3080’s GDDR6X. There’s 8GB of GDDR6 memory. I know some people want more in both this card and the RTX 3080. But I think for now and the foreseeable future, 8GB will be fine. Hopefully other board manufacturers will come out with versions of the RTX 3070 with more memory for those wanting that option.

Physically, the card features the same solid heatsink design as the RTX 3080, albeit shorter. The coloring is slightly different than the RTX 3080, as you can see in the pictures. It’s the same dual fan system with smaller fans in the RTX 3070. The front fan will pull air in and exhaust it out the grill while the rear fan will pull air up through the heatsink and out the other side of the card.

The opening on the bottom of the card where the air pulls through is a smaller window, of course. whereas the rest of the rear is solid. There’s a small notation that it’s a RTX 3070, but otherwise, the back of the card is pretty simplistic in design. The GeForce RTX logo does glow, albeit not nearly as brightly as the RTX 3080.

Like the RTX 3080, the fans don’t turn on unless I am doing some gaming or video editing work. So you’re practically getting a silent card for normal everyday operations. When the card is running, I found the noise to be pretty quiet, which is a stark contrast to the RTX 2080 Ti when the fans ramp up.

The same 12-pin power connector on the RTX 3080 is also here on the RTX 3070, but oriented in a position that’s parallel to the card lengthwise rather than perpendicular to the cord like the RTX 3080. When plugged in, this configuration should make for routing the cable behind the card much easier. With that 12-pin power, the RTX 3070 has a 220W TGP. That’s less than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti at 260W. As with the RTX 3080, the Founder’s Edition comes with a converter for 2 8-pin connectors into a 12-pin connector.

Three Display Ports and one HDMI 2.1 port encompasses the connections to the RTX 3070, again the same as the RTX 3080. Missing is the NV-Link as SLI has pretty much been sunsetted from the consumer cards.

Overall, the card is smaller, more compact, but still has that same hefty and solid design of its big brother. For small form factor cases, this would be a better card to go with, as physically, it won’t take as much room and draws less power than the RTX 3080.

I won’t go too much into all the new features of Ampere, but you can read both the announcement and review of the RTX 3080 card to see what all the hubbub is about. Suffice to say, the architecture represents a great leap in performance over the previous generation.

Now, the GeForce RTX 3070 was said to have similar performance to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, but at more than half the price of its predecessor. Luckily, I have on hand a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti to compare it with as well as the GeForce RTX 3080.

Here’s my test system:
Intel i7-9700K
32GB DDR-3200 G-Skill Ripjaw RAM
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
1TB Western Digital NVMe
Ultrawide 3440x1440 100Hz monitor
456.96 NVIDIA drivers

For this review, I’ve removed a few of the CPU bound games and added in two new titles: Baldur’s Gate 3 and Star Wars Squadrons. Baldur’s Gate 3 is an Early Access title so there’s more room for improvement through optimizations on this game.

With Minecraft, I decided to run the Portal Pioneers map, which has a minecart ride through a large part of the level that allows me to do consistent, repeatable tests instead of manually running through a level like in my previous review. The rest though used the same process as before.

As always, tests were done with three runs and the scores were averaged. With games without a built in benchmark, I tried to find a good repeatable area to do my runs with minimal deviation. The numbers will differ from the RTX 3080 review because of new drivers being used, updates to the game, and slight variations on the runs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


As you can see, the GeForce RTX 3070 does sometimes exceed the GeForce RTX 2080 TI in performance. There are a few instances where it doesn’t hit the 2080 TI’s mark, but for the most part, it delivers at 2080 Ti speeds. That’s really great for a $499 card. In fact, the price point of this card really makes it an attractive upgrade path for those in the 10XX range of cards.

If you have an RTX 2080 or an RTX 2080 Ti, then you can pretty much skip the RTX 3070. Granted, you’ll miss out on some other features Ampere offers, but for those that just care about gaming, I’d definitely recommend waiting this one out. There are two other cards in the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 that make a lot more sense if you really feel like upgrading.

Priced at $499, I really like where this card sits in the stack. Price to performance ratio is outstanding and the other features of Ampere really make the RTX 3070 a very solid upgrade for owners of Pascal and some Turing cards. Now, I’m really hoping the availability issues with the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 don’t happen with the RTX 3070. And from what I’ve read, there should be more of RTX 3070s in stock for purchase. Let’s hope so.

The GeForce RTX 3070 offers GeForce RTX 2080 Ti performance at more than half the cost. It’s rare you get to see cards in the next generation perform like this when compared to the previous and it runs quieter and uses less power to boot.

Rating: 8.8 Class Leading

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.

I'm married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.

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