Pricing and Closing Thoughts

When the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 launch,ed the GTX 970 was the immediate sweetheart of the deal, showing a value and aggressive price point that NVIDIA has (and continues to) shy away from. It appears that maybe that same mentality isn’t exactly creeping into the GeForce GTX 1070. As a reminder here are the base prices for the cards in our inter-generational, inter-vendor comparison.

Let’s look at one of our new performance per dollar graphs to see how everything stacks up.

Remember, we have two listings for the GTX 1070 here; one at the expected MSRP of partner cards and one at the Founders Edition price that is $70 more expensive. Let’s discuss the easy results first. The GeForce GTX 980 is clearly a “bad deal” for a new GPU if the prices stay at the $499 price, which I don’t expect they will. The same is true for the Radeon R9 Nano, at $499 it doesn’t perform as well as the GTX 1070 so it takes a big hit here.

But look at the GeForce GTX 970 and the Radeon R9 390X – both of them are competitive with this value metric going against the new GTX 1070, and when you compare them to the Founder Edition price, both of them are actually equal "values" in a couple of instances! This was not the case with the GTX 1080 – the Fury X didn’t even come close to the value of the GTX 1080 in large part due to the large performance gap between the two cards.

Now, before I read comments complaining about this metric, you must understand that one single graph does not give us all the information needed to make a decision about a product. Our data above is looking at performance per dollar, but doesn’t give you RAW performance. If a card is half the price but half the performance, is that good? Also, power consumption, power efficiency and new technologies and features are not included in this data.

That doesn’t make it any less interesting though.

Performance Summary

The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is an amazingly fast graphics card for its placement, and yes, even for its price. In my testing across 7 different games, in both DX11 and DX12 titles, at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440, the GTX 1070 is faster than the GTX 980 Ti, a card that launched at $649 and was still selling for over $600 as I wrote the first draft of this review. Considering either the $379 or the $449 price point of the new GP104 option, depending on your desire for a Founders Edition or a partner card, the GTX 1070 will likely be faster than whatever you have in your system.

Comparing NVIDIA’s generational card jump, from the GTX 970 to the GTX 1070, the difference is substantial. The GTX 1070 based on Pascal is never less than 53% faster than the GTX 970 when running at 2560×1440 and is nearly twice the performance in Rise of the Tomb Raider! At 1080p the differences are minimized in a couple of cases, but for the most part, 1080p gaming for PC users is a “solved problem” and there are plenty of GPU options that can address it adequately. The 8GB of memory on the GTX 1070 should give it longer legs than either the GTX 970, GTX 980 or even the GTX 980 Ti as we push further into higher resolutions like 4K and VR head mounted displays.

Don’t forget that all of the performance advantages of Pascal that we talked about in our GTX 1080 review apply here including SMP capabilities like Single Pass Stereo and Lens Matched Shading. It is very possible that in the near term future Pascal’s advantages in VR performance will only grow through software adoption of this tech.

Closing Thoughts

Many of our readers were waiting on the results from GeForce GTX 1070 testing to decide which new NVIDIA product was going to be best for them. The GTX 1070 is more than $200 less expensive, if you are using the MSRP prices, and that is a significant amount that you could use to invest in your display, processor, storage or maybe an HTC Vive. In my experience with the new card, it is more than capable of running your 1080p or 2560×1440 display without a problem but for gamers serious about the move to 4K, the GTX 1080 performance advantage is likely going to be worth the cash. For everyone else, the GTX 1070 looks like the card to get, balancing performance, cost, power and features unlike any graphics card before it!

Availability questions for both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 still keep me up at night; it’s only useful for me as a reviewer to recommend products, and at a specific price point, if you can actually get them at the time promised and for the price promised. If NVIDIA has shortages or resellers jack up prices like they did with the initial batches of G-Sync displays, then our opinions and suggestions can be modified.

We still have some questions of course, including the pending release of AMD’s Polaris architecture. It’s believed that they will target cards for $299 and under, which MIGHT make the comparison of Polaris 10 to the GTX 1070 unbalanced. But, it’s possible that AMD and the Radeon Technologies Group have a magical rabbit in a hat to pull out in June, and could undercut NVIDIA’s Pascal release with better performance and/or value. But are you willing to wait and find out? For gamers that want to game NOW and want to have an amazing experience doing so, the GeForce GTX 1070 is the card to buy.

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