Anyone who recently bought a graphics card from the RTX 20 series should be very annoyed at the moment. Because the new ampere cards from NVIDIA wipe the floor with their previous generation so much that it almost hurts. Only the lack of availability at the moment puts a stop to the joy of the new generation. The RTX 3070 is supposed to work differently, not least because of this, the release was postponed by about two weeks. Now the third card is finally here and currently represents the entry into the amp generation.
Now it is finally here, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founder’s Edition, which for the time being forms the end of the new Ampere graphics cards. What other models will follow is still pretty much in the stars. There were rumors about models with larger VRAM, but they seem to have been put on hold for the time being. So far, we have the RTX 3080 as a 4K monster that can handle the 4K60 at maximum settings fairly easily (see our review of the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity
The RTX 3070 is now primarily aimed at players who prefer 1080p or 1440p resolution. The card should be more or less on par with the RTX 2080 Ti, which makes the card interesting for 4K gamers who can be content with less than 60 fps or cuts in the graphics settings of the games. If that is the case, the card would be a real board, after all it costs less than half of the previous gaming flagship of the last generation. To start with: NVIDIA
In terms of design, NVIDIA relies on the typical layout of the Founder’s Editions with two fans and a moderately large case, which can also find enough space in older cases. The 12-pin power connection is unusual, but an adapter from the usual 8-pin to the new 12-pin is included, so that no modifications to the computer are necessary. Our preliminary copy was tested with driver version 456.96, which is currently available via GeForce Experience or download.
In contrast to the GA102 chip from RTX 3080 and 3090, the GA104 works on the card. He has a whopping 5,888 CUDA cores with 96 ROP and 184 TMU. The GPU is clocked at 1,500 / 1,725 MHz, at the top the value climbs to 1,995 MHz. 8 GB GDDR6 are used as VRAM, with a 256-bit memory interface and a bandwidth of 448 GB / s, i.e. the same equipment as the RTX 2070. The more expensive GDDR6X memory is reserved for the two larger cards. The power consumption with 220W TDP is only relatively slightly higher than that of the RTX 2070 (185W). At its peak, we were able to measure a consumption of 228.5W.
In terms of ray tracing cores, NVIDIA has upgraded slightly compared to the RTX 2070, from 36 to 46 cores. But they work even more effectively because they are second generation cores. The tensor cores responsible for DLSS are even less available, namely only 184 instead of 288, but here too there was a generation change to the third generation.
At first glance, the cooling system is very similar to that of the previous Founder’s Edition models, but it seems to have been significantly improved. While the founder’s cards of the earlier generation always fluctuated around 80 degrees at a maximum, we were able to record a maximum value of 75 degrees with the RTX 3070. A very good value, which, however, should still be undercut by the partner models. One thing is certain in any case: the fans work extremely quietly and we couldn’t hear any unreasonable hissing or hissing.
In the benchmarks, the RTX 3070 actually delivers the values promised by NVIDIA, which are in the range of the significantly more expensive RTX 2080 Ti. Depending on the benchmark and engine, the RTX 3070 is sometimes slightly ahead, sometimes slightly behind. Anyone who has bought an RTX 2080 Ti for expensive money in the past few months should now bite their buttocks a lot.
In any case, the result is a rock-solid performance for the resolutions 1080p (Full HD) and 1440p. The card handles 2,560 x 1,440 pixels with maximum settings with over 60 images per second, and that for all test subjects. With Full HD, more than 100 fps are usually achieved, with the exception of hungry open-world titles, but even then a loose 80 fps is achieved. The card is of course the first choice if you are toying with one of the two resolutions. At least as long as there is no explicit Full HD model like a possible RTX 3060. At 1440p there is even enough air that you can still get your money’s worth even with 21: 9 widescreen resolutions.
But that does not mean the end of the story, because even at 4K resolution, the RTX 3070 still cuts a pretty good figure. If you don’t necessarily value 60 frames per second, or can only live with medium or high settings, you can also enjoy the premier class of resolutions with the RTX 3070. Over 45 fps with open-world monsters like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Borderland 3 in the badass setting or Ghost Recon: Wildlands are impressive. However, it must be clearly stated that upcoming titles will be more complex and that buying the RTX 3070 as a 4K card will not be worthwhile in the long term.