With the RTX 3080 Ti At the door, it’s time to pull the curtain back on the smaller, more economical RTX 3070 Ti Graphic card. At $ 599, it’s marketed as a direct upgrade for RTX 1070 and 2070 Super users, but at $ 100 more than the standard RTX 3070, is it worth paying the extra? I spent the last week testing the card to answer exactly that question and see what kind of upgrade this card offers to last-gen users.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition
Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition – Design and Features
Like the rest of this generation of Founders Edition cards, the RTX 3070 Ti builds on the overbidding of the RTX 20 series. If you haven’t experienced a Founders Edition card of this generation yet, you are in for a treat. . Like the original 3070 (reviewed here), the 3070 Ti features Nvidia’s dual axial cooler. Despite its compact size, the actual PCB is even smaller, allowing the heat sink to protrude, directly under the fan. Coupled with a large vent along the back, air is exhausted on the back of the card, allowing it to stay at safe temperatures and high clock speeds. This generation of Founders Edition cards represents Nvidia’s best job when it comes to its internal coolers, and while it runs hotter than the version found on the RTX 3080, it is a big improvement over the 20 series cards. .
Beneath the simple but eye-catching exterior of the card, the RTX 3070 Ti packs some impressive specs. It includes 6,144 CUDA cores and 8 GB of upgraded GDDR6X memory. The RTX 2070 Super and RTX 3070 featured standard GDDR6. Switching to GDDR6X increases total memory bandwidth from 448 GB / s to 608 GB / s. This boost allows resources to load and display faster; However, with GDDR6 already being quite fast, you might need a keen eye to spot the improvement in normal gameplay. The biggest problem is that 8GB just doesn’t seem like enough for a card of this caliber. AMD’s best competitors, the RX 6800 and RX 6700 XT, come with 16GB and 12GB, and given that there are already games out there that push the 3070 Ti to its limits in 4K with ray tracing enabled. , they feel much more avant-garde in this department.
The rated Boost clock also received a jerk and is now guaranteed for 1.77 GHz. The original RTX 3070 was just a little less at 1.73 GHz. It’s on par with the 2070 Super’s clock speed – but since so much has changed this generation, that means less than it sounds. Either way, thanks to Nvidia’s GPU Boost technology, you’ll likely exceed those rated speeds anyway. When playing games, the Ti went up to 1920 MHz and occasionally switched to 1950 MHz. Under load, the card never really dropped at rated speeds.
However, the card tends to heat up. Compared to the RTX 3070, the 3070 Ti consumes more electricity (290 watts versus 220 watts for the former), which means more heat. My desktop was pretty hot at 26C and the card peaked at 82C in an open case. Fans had to work harder to keep up, which generated more noise than the original RTX 3070. It still wasn’t enough to distract during play, but it would have been nice to see it run a little cooler, even if it meant a little bigger map overall.
Like the rest of the RTX 30 series, the RTX 3070 Ti is built on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture. It offers big performance gains over the latest generation GPUs from Team Green while following the same three-tier approach of the base architecture. In short, RTX GPUs are made up of three parts: the programmable shader (rasterization), the RT core (ray tracing) and the tensor core (AI). Each of them carries a portion of the render weight and is measured in TFLOPS. Here’s how the RTX 3070 Ti breaks down compared to the RTX 2070 Super and RTX 3070:
- 22 Shader-TFLOPS (+ 144% RTX 2070 Super, + 8.4% RTX 3070, -26.7% RTX 3080)
- 42 RT-TFLOPS (+ 75% of RTX 2070 Super, + 5.8% of RTX 3070, -27.6% of RTX 3080)
- 174 Tensor-TFLOPS (+ 142% from RTX 2070 Super, + 7%, -26.9% from RTX 3080)
The gains of the RTX 2070 Super are significant, so the generational leap is absolutely remarkable. If you come further and further, like the GTX 1070 Ti, Nvidia claims that its new card offers “twice the performance”. Compared to the RTX 3070, however, the gains are marginal, which plays out in actual benchmark tests.
I won’t spend too much time going through the “extras” that come with an RTX GPU, but they are worth mentioning briefly as a reminder. The main feature is, of course, DLSS. Nvidia’s smart scaling technology has a significant lead over AMD’s upcoming FidelityFX super-resolution and looks to remain a hard-hitting feature for the foreseeable future, especially for users using 4K monitors. Streamers will appreciate Nvidia Broadcast, a suite of AI-enhanced tools that use RTX to effectively remove background noise or virtual green screen removal. For esports, Nvidia Reflex is a great feature to reduce input lag and increase responsiveness with only a minor impact on overall performance.
If you are a cryptocurrency miner, it is also important to note that this card tracks the RTX 3080 Ti and limits the hash rate when mining Ethereum. This is part of Nvidia’s efforts to make the card less attractive to cryptocurrency miners. As the price of GPUs increases more and more with the current global shortage, it also means that you will be less able to recoup the cost of your investment if you had planned to go into mining on your own. This is a difficult and complex situation, and there are open questions as to whether this is an effective deterrent to crypto miners, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’ve been planning to do it yourself.
Finally, when it comes to outputs, the RTX 3070 Ti offers one HDMI 2.1 output for the latest and greatest gaming monitors, and three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs for a total resolution of 7680×4320 (8K) distributed across all outputs. . For video streaming, the card supports AV1 decoding. To create your own content, it is compatible with Nvidia’s proprietary encoder for streaming and video work.
Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition – Performance
Our video cards are compared using a series of synthetic tests and actual gaming benchmarks. Unless stated otherwise, all games are set to Ultra settings with ray tracing and DLSS enabled (set to Ultra) where possible. We strive to use Founders Edition or benchmark cards where possible, but with older generation GPUs this hasn’t always been possible, so be aware that factory overclocks may account for minor increases. performance on these cards.
Let’s start with the synthetics.
The first two synthetic tests I performed on the board were 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra and Unigine Heaven. In Fire Strike Ultra, the card offered a boost over the standard RTX 3070 and RTX 2070 Super by 6% and 41% respectively. I also included the RTX 2080 Ti results since the original RTX 3070 was compared directly to it, as well as the RX 6800 XT which has an MSRP of just $ 50 more. While the 3070 Ti handily beats the 2080 Ti, it doesn’t come close to the RX 6800 XT. Likewise, the RTX 3080 retains a 15% advantage.
In paradise, the results are much closer between the 3070 Ti, 3070 and 2080 Ti. Once again, however, the RX 6800 XT dominates the charts.
Moving on to ray tracing specific benchmarks, the RTX 3070 Ti performs well but couldn’t outperform the RTX 2080 Ti in 3DMark Port Royal. However, it topped the RTX 3070 by 7% and the RTX 2070 Super by 41%. In FPS-based tests, the RTX 3070 Ti outperforms the 3070 by 16% in Boundary and 3% in 3DMark’s ray tracing test. Against the RTX 2070 Super, he leads by 52% and 77%. Switching to the RTX 3080 increases performance by 28% and 40% in both tests.
Enough with synthetics, let’s see how it fared in games.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti gaming benchmarks
Starting with our standard stable of benchmark titles, the differences between different maps in real-world gameplay begin to become apparent. Compared to the RTX 2070 Super, the RTX 3070 Ti represents a solid upgrade, averaging 42% more FPS at 4K, 38% at 1440p, and 29% at 1080p. Compared to the standard RTX 3070, the results are much narrower, averaging 4% faster at 4K, 3% faster at 1440p, and 2% faster at 1080p. It’s also worth noting that the differences ranged from less than 1% to 9% in favor of the RTX 3070 Ti, so the performance is close.
But what if you wanted to take it to the next level? In this case, the RTX 3080 offers substantial upgrades for the additional $ 100 off the MSRP. In 4K, the 3070 Ti ran on average 80% slower, 18% slower at 1440p, and 15% slower at 1080p. Compared to the RX 6800 XT (with Metro Exodus removed due to the DLSS advantage), the 3070 Ti was on average 16% slower at 4K, 19% slower at 1440p, and 17% slower at 4K.
Of course, the performance of the card will depend on the games you play, and this is a limited sample, so I did extensive testing in 4K. Here is how it averaged over there.
In these expanding tests, the RTX 3070 Ti was on average 43% faster than the RTX 2070 Super and 13% faster than the RTX 3070. Compared to the RTX 3080, it was 21% slower. When opposed to the RX 6800 XT and can benefit from DLSS in ray tracing titles, the 3070 Ti is on average 11% faster, but with those titles removed it is 15% slower.
As these results demonstrate, the RTX 3070 Ti is a good card on its own, but offers only marginal improvements over the original RTX 3070. So who is this card for? If you’re coming from the GTX 1070 or the RTX 2070 Super, there are some big gains to be made, but the same is true with the standard RTX 3070, and remember, this card was compared to the RTX 2080 Ti . The 3070 Ti stands out in terms of performance, but it’s not huge. Instead, this card seems destined to compete with the RX 6800 XT, filling a gap in Nvidia’s catalog for that price, but it just doesn’t seem worth it when the RTX 3070 exists for less. Then there’s the issue of the card having only 8GB of VRAM, which could result in a faster upgrade and more money spent than if you just bought an RTX 3080 in the first place. As it stands, this card only seems really suitable for players who want to make a direct ‘generation to generation’ leap or those on a tight budget and want the fastest card at a certain price point. .