NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition Review
Middle Ground Established?
It’s time for another Ti review, with the RTX 3070 Ti joining the RTX 3080 Ti in the RTX 30 Series family. Announced at the same time during virtual Computex, the review embargo has now been lifted and we can talk about performance with this smaller of the two new Ti cards, which sits between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 in the product stack.
Of course availability will probably be nonexistent and any talk of pricing is strictly academic, so just suspend your disbelief for the next few minutes. The card is real, and there WILL be some sales to actual gamers at MSRP, somewhere. I assume. Ok, let’s stop this and just look at specs.
|RTX 3080 Ti||RTX 3080||RTX 3070 Ti||RTX 3070||RTX 3060 Ti|
|Base Clock||1365 MHz||1440 MHz||1575 MHz||1500 MHz||1410 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1665 MHz||1710 MHz||1770 MHz||1725 MHz||1665 MHz|
|Memory||12GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Data Rate||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||912 GB/s||760 GB/s||608 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Die Size||628 mm^2||628 mm^2||392 mm^2||392 mm^2||392 mm^2|
|Process Tech||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung|
Here we see that the RTX 3070 Ti is powered by NVIDIA’s GA104 GPU, but has all 48 SMs enabled for a total of 6144 CUDA cores. This isn’t a huge jump from the RTX 3070’s 5888 CUDA cores, but the memory is a big step up; moving from 14 Gbps GDDR6 to 19 Gbps GDDR6X, producing 608 GB/s bandwidth on a 256-bit bus – up from 448 GB/s with the RTX 3070.
The RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition Card
Here’s something different, though perhaps not at first glance. This new card obviously shares the design language of previous RTX 30 Series Founders Edition cards, but it is larger than the RTX 3070 FE, though smaller than the RTX 3080 FE. It’s almost exactly between those cards in length, and the same height and width.
In addition to being larger overall compared to the original RTX 3070 FE, the front/back fan configuration from the RTX 3080 FE is here. I wonder if the move to GDDR6X with the Ti necessitated this design decision, or if it is simply due to the higher TGP.
Regardless of the reason, we have here is essentially a scaled-down RTX 3080 Founders Edition cooler. I/O is unchanged, as is the angled 12-pin power connector which requires dual 8-pin PCIe connections via the included Y-cable.
We’ve seen the card. Now let’s look at the performance.
Using the same system as our recent RTX 3080 Ti review, I ran the same benchmarks and then charted the results using the same Microsoft spreadsheet application. The graphs were then exported as PNG (Portable Network Graphic) files, but later compressed to JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format to reduce their size. A mouse and keyboard were used for all testing and subsequent charting. Oh, and a monitor.
|PC Perspective GPU Test Platform|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 9 3900X|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO WIFI|
|Memory||Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 16GB DDR4-4266 @ 3600 16-18-18-36|
|Storage||Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit (1909)|
|Drivers||GeForce GRD 452.06 – 456.96 (Legacy Tests)
GeForce GRD 466.61 (Press Driver, RTX 3070 Ti)
Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.8.3
3DMark Time Spy Extreme
Looking at the graphics score we see a decent jump over the RTX 3070 (754 points), but the RTX 3070 Ti is 1500 points behind the RTX 3080 in this synthetic test. Also, this represents the only time that this new GPU bests the Radeon RX 6800 in these benchmarks.
Here the RTX 3070 Ti is 8.8% faster than the RTX 3070, and 17.7% slower than the RTX 3080.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Here the RTX 3070 Ti offers a 6.7% increase over the RTX 3070, and falls 20% short of the RTX 3080.
Far Cry 5
Here the RTX 3070 Ti shows an impressive 16.2% increase over the RTX 3070, with a 15.6% decrease compared to the RTX 3080. Performance exactly halfway between the $499 and $699 cards in this case does make the $599 MSRP look correct. But this review is not based solely on game results like Far Cry 5, so we move on.
In our first RTX title we’re back to single-digit gains as the RTX 3070 Ti shows a 9.1% increase over the RTX 3070, with a 19.8% decrease compared to the RTX 3080.
Bright Memory: Infinite
In this lovely RTX/DLSS test we have the RTX 3070 Ti showing a 10.3% increase over the RTX 3070, and a 22.3% decrease compared to the RTX 3080.
GPU Clocks, Thermals, and Power Draw
GPU clocks topped out at 1935 MHz, but only hit that number momentarily in these runs. Thermals are likely a limiting factor, with temps in an approximately 25 C room hitting 80.2 C GPU and 91.6 C hot spot. The fans are clearly tuned for low noise, spinning a max of 55% – 59% for a top speed of 1995 RPM. At these temps a more aggressive fan profile will be needed to maximize performance over longer workloads, depending on your room temp and case airflow.
As to board power draw, this hit a max of 291.4 watts, which is the TGP limit (290W) so no surprises here. I didn’t attempt any overclocking, but I wouldn’t recommend increasing the power limit with this cooler anyhow.
Maybe I’m just feeling cynical, but my immediate impression is that this card doesn’t offer enough of a performance improvement over the original to make it very compelling at $599. The much faster RTX 3080 is theoretically only $100 more! (But only theoretically.) This 3070 Ti represents a smaller jump than the one we saw going from RTX 2070 to RTX 2070 Super (basically an RTX 2080). Yes, the RTX 3070 Ti does beat the 2080 Ti, but it doesn’t come close to the RTX 3080. No real surprise there – a fully enabled GA104 product is just not going to compete with those GA102 levels, GDDR6X memory bandwidth boost notwithstanding.
If these cards are widely available at $599, my complaints are out the window and it would make a great upgrade for anyone gaming below the RTX 2080 Ti level right now. Still, it’s apparent that NVIDIA is not feeling the same pressure that led to the “Super” cards in 2019, which boosted performance at the same price level. The $599 MSRP is a 20% increase over the $499 RTX 3070, for about 10% greater performance. Ti cards have always commanded a premium, but the uplift from the RTX 3070 to this RTX 3070 Ti just isn’t that exciting.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from NVIDIA for the purpose of this review.
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