Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review: the 1440p sweet spot

By | October 27, 2020
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review: the 1440p sweet spot

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 evaluate: the 1440p candy spot

Final month, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 ushered within the subsequent era of 4K gaming with a formidable leap in efficiency over the 2080 mannequin it changed. Whereas Nvidia’s flagship card was designed to push 4K, the $499 RTX 3070 is $200 cheaper and nonetheless guarantees massive efficiency positive factors over the previous-generation RTX 2080 and even the RTX 2080 Ti. Like all of Nvidia’s RTX playing cards earlier than it, the RTX 3070 also can benefit from ray tracing and Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS expertise to spice up body charges and nonetheless keep nice picture high quality.

This mix of efficiency and value places the RTX 3070 within the excellent candy spot for 1440p gaming. The overwhelming majority of PC avid gamers are nonetheless utilizing 1080p shows, and the RTX 3070 affords up an improve path to 1440p with out the steep price of an RTX 3080 and the additional energy draw.

I’ve spent the previous week testing out the RTX 3070 at each 1440p and 4K forward of its October twenty ninth debut, and it’s honest to say this card offers you a variety of headroom for video games coming in 2021 and past as long as you’re enjoying at 1440p or beneath. Should you’re contemplating the transfer to 1440p, the RTX 3070 is the extra budget-friendly possibility if you wish to futureproof alongside the way in which.

{Hardware}

Nvidia made some massive adjustments to the cooling on the Founder’s Version RTX 3080, nevertheless it’s maintained a conventional dual-fan setup with the RTX 3070. The twin-axial followers work in tandem to maintain the cardboard cool, with the correct fan pushing air throughout the cardboard’s shroud to the alternative aspect, whereas the left immediately cools the GPU cores with air that may exhaust out the rear of your chassis.

Throughout my testing, I hardly ever heard the followers spin up, even with the cardboard hitting temperatures of 75 levels Celsius. Whereas the RTX 3070 doesn’t profit from the identical push-pull system discovered on the RTX 3080, it does choose up among the different {hardware} enhancements discovered on the flagship.

The {hardware} design on the RTX 3070 may be very comparable, permitting Nvidia to make use of a dense PCB that’s quite a bit smaller to enhance airflow all through the cardboard. And similar to the RTX 3080, Nvidia is utilizing its new 12-pin single energy connector, versus the separate 6- and 8-pin or twin 8-pin connectors on prior playing cards.

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Nvidia’s new RTX 3070 graphics card.

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The rear ports of the RTX 3070.

Nvidia has included its personal adapter contained in the field. For the reason that RTX 3070 solely wants a single 8-pin energy connector, it makes the adapter rather less wieldy than the one discovered on the RTX 3080. Nonetheless, I might extremely advocate selecting up a direct 12-pin connector out of your PSU producer as an alternative of utilizing the ugly adapter.

The RTX 3070 additionally features a single HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports. Very similar to the RTX 3080, Nvidia has dropped the USB-C VirtualLink port discovered on the RTX 2080, which by no means noticed any actual adoption for VR. Whereas the RTX 3080 has pure white LEDs across the fan and to mild up the GeForce RTX branding, the RTX 3070 ditches this for a easy look with none lighting.

Nvidia’s RTX 3000 collection playing cards have launched a bump in energy necessities, and the RTX 3070 pulls as much as 220 watts by itself. That’s a 19 % soar from the earlier RTX 2070 however nonetheless barely lower than the RTX 2080. Nvidia is recommending a 750W energy provide for the RTX 3070 — the identical that’s wanted for an RTX 3080 — in comparison with the 550W suggestion for the RTX 2070.

1440p testing

Like my RTX 3080 testing, I’ve been enjoying a wide range of AAA video games to grasp what the RTX 3070 is able to. I’ve additionally carried out common body charge testing and used built-in benchmarks throughout a wide range of video games, together with Fortnite, Management, Dying Stranding, Metro Exodus, Name of Obligation: Warzone, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. All video games had been examined at max or extremely settings, and practically each title exceeded the 100fps common mark at 1440p.

Fortnite got here near hitting my monitor’s max refresh charge with maxed-out settings, averaging 138fps. Name of Obligation: Warzone additionally got here shut, averaging 130fps. Usually, I’d regulate graphical settings approach all the way down to hit these kinds of body charges, however the RTX 3070 was capable of deal with each video games with ease. As you’ll be able to see within the benchmark chart beneath, you received’t typically want an RTX 3080 to max out at present’s video games with a 1440p monitor.

RTX 3070 evaluate (1440p)

Benchmark RTX 2080 Founders Version RTX 3070 Founders Version RTX 3080 Founders Version
Benchmark RTX 2080 Founders Version RTX 3070 Founders Version RTX 3080 Founders Version
Microsoft Flight Simulator 35fps 40fps 40fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 87fps 111fps 132fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 97fps 118fps 144fps
CoD: Warzone 97fps 130fps 133fps
CoD: Warzone (RT) 92fps 126fps 132fps
Fortnite 102fps 138fps 160fps
Fortnite (DLSS high quality) 138fps 172fps 212fps
Fortnite (DLSS perf) 153fps 215fps 225fps
Gears 5 85fps 108fps 120fps
CS:GO 212fps 275fps 325fps
Dying Stranding 114fps 133fps 170fps
Dying Stranding (DLSS high quality) 141fps 166fps 188fps
Dying Stranding (DLSS perf) 184fps 172fps 193fps
Management 78fps 95fps 126fps
Management (DLSS high quality + RT) 76fps 94fps 125fps
Management (RT) 46fps 57fps 78fps
Management (DLSS high quality) 114fps 140fps 174fps
Metro Exodus 35fps 30fps 56fps
Metro Exodus (RT) 21fps 19fps 37fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 42fps 27fps 65fps

For top refresh charge displays, particularly, Nvidia’s DLSS expertise actually seems like a magic swap to point out off simply how far you’ll be able to push this card. Nvidia’s DLSS expertise makes use of neural networks and AI supercomputers to research video games and sharpen or clear up photos at decrease resolutions. DLSS permits a sport to render at a decrease decision and use Nvidia’s picture reconstruction method to upscale the picture and make it look nearly as good as native 4K or higher.

Most video games that implement DLSS assist you to choose between efficiency or high quality modes, and in Fortnite, I examined each. I used to be capable of get a 215fps common with the efficiency DLSS mode enabled, and a 172fps common once I favored high quality. It’s troublesome to note the impression on picture high quality within the efficiency mode, and the standard mode appears the identical if not higher. I’m nonetheless stunned at how nicely DLSS works.

Even with out DLSS, demanding titles like Management nonetheless hit 95fps with maxed-out settings, and Metro Exodus managed to hit 30fps with the highest-level settings enabled. The RTX 3080 felt like a really comfy possibility for 1440p and should have extra endurance, however the RTX 3070 is so shut behind that you may skip it and save $200 at this decision.

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RTX 3070 vs. RTX 3080 vs. RTX 3090.

4K testing

Whereas I’m proud of the 1440p efficiency of the RTX 3070, its 4K efficiency isn’t practically as spectacular. I’ve been testing the RTX 3070 with Acer’s 27-inch Nitro XV273K, a 4K monitor that provides as much as 144Hz refresh charges, G-Sync, and even HDR assist.

It’s extra of a 50 / 50 break up on what number of video games hit 60fps or extra on the RTX 3070 with maxed-out settings at 4K. Shadow of the Tomb Raider didn’t fairly make it, nor does Management, which usually drops beneath 30fps throughout gameplay even with out ray tracing.

Fortnite and Name of Obligation: Warzone do nicely to take care of above a 60fps common, however there’s not sufficient headroom in most trendy video games to make this a succesful 4K card with out compromise. You’ll must drop visible high quality to take care of increased body charges at 4K, which was the story of the RTX 2080 as nicely. Solely this time, you’ll pay $200 much less to get higher efficiency.

DLSS actually helps right here, although. Whereas Management is unplayable at 12fps with ray tracing enabled at 4K, in case you use the DLSS high quality mode alone the body charge jumps to an inexpensive 83fps. Likewise, I managed to get a 139fps common in Fortnite with the DLSS efficiency mode enabled.

RTX 3070 evaluate (4K)

Benchmark RTX 2080 Founders Version RTX 3070 Founders Version RTX 3080 Founders Version
Benchmark RTX 2080 Founders Version RTX 3070 Founders Version RTX 3080 Founders Version
Microsoft Flight Simulator 19fps 23fps 36fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 45fps 54fps 76fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 61fps 69fps 93fps
CoD: Warzone 62fps 74fps 93fps
CoD: Warzone (RT) 58fps 70fps 84fps
Fortnite 52fps 73fps 93fps
Fortnite (DLSS high quality) 79fps 105fps 133fps
Fortnite (DLSS perf) 107fps 139fps 162fps
Gears 5 46fps 57fps 76fps
CS:GO 203fps 210fps 267fps
Dying Stranding 64fps 72fps 101fps
Dying Stranding (DLSS high quality) 89fps 104fps 135fps
Dying Stranding (DLSS perf) 120fps 158fps 164fps
Management 41fps 48fps 68fps
Management (DLSS high quality + RT) 49fps 57fps 78fps
Management (RT) 13fps 12fps 49fps
Management (DLSS high quality) 60fps 83fps 112fps
Metro Exodus 15fps 16fps 34fps
Metro Exodus (RT) 10fps 9fps 19fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 29fps 37fps 48fps

DLSS alone means the RTX 3070 can stretch to be a 4K, 60fps card in most of at present’s video games, even when it may not be sufficient tomorrow. As Metro Exodus and Microsoft Flight Simulator present, there are already video games the place this brand-new card can’t hit 30fps with out reducing graphical constancy.

Talking of futureproofing, the RTX 3070 solely has 8GB of video reminiscence, decrease than the 10GB of reminiscence that was already barely worrisome on the RTX 3080. 4K video games presently common between 4GB and 6GB, and a few titles are already demanding that a lot at 1440p. Whereas 8GB ought to be sufficient for 1440p, I might nonetheless have appreciated to have seen a minimum of 10GB on the RTX 3070 and 12GB on the RTX 3080. There’s room for Nvidia to launch extra 3080 and 3070 playing cards with extra reminiscence on board, in all probability in a future Tremendous branded version.

I also needs to be aware right here that I had two back-to-back driver crashes whereas utilizing the RTX 3070 in Name of Obligation: Warzone. The RTX 3080 had some early driver points with sure video games that had been later fastened, so this might have merely been some quirks within the evaluate drivers. I haven’t been capable of replicate the problems, although.

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The RTX 3070 design features a 12-pin connector.

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The RTX 3070 measures up towards Nvidia’s different GPUs.

Nvidia’s massive efficiency guarantees for the RTX 3000 Collection of playing cards are holding up. I’m stunned at how small, highly effective, and quiet the RTX 3070 is. Whereas the RTX 3080 ushers in a 4K gaming period for these with the finances to essentially go all out, the RTX 3070 affords a barely extra inexpensive possibility for shifting from 1080p to 1440p.

The RTX 3070 is the 1440p candy spot proper now. With extra video games supporting DLSS, and even ray tracing, I believe it’s going to be a card that might be nice at 1440p for years to return. I wouldn’t advocate an RTX 3070 for 4K gaming, although. Should you’re keen to spend additional for 4K, then the RTX 3080 is a much more succesful possibility.

The largest downside with the RTX 3070 might be much like the RTX 3080: availability. Nvidia promised that it had “nice yields” for the 3080, and it was “making them as quick as we are able to.” Sadly, the launch was messy, with demand massively outstripping provide. I count on the identical will occur with the RTX 3070, even with the delay to its launch to construct up shares.

Should you’re upgrading from a GTX 1070 or perhaps a GTX 1080, notably in case you’re shifting from 1080p to 1440p, the RTX 3070 feels excellent to me. I believe this card, and no matter different lower-priced GPUs Nvidia has deliberate, will assist usher in a transfer towards 1440p for lots of people desirous to improve their PCs.

If you may get your fingers on one, the RTX 3070 will make the leap to 1440p simply that little bit extra inexpensive.

Pictures by Tom Warren / GadgetClock

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