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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review

NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3070 offers GeForce RTX 2080 Ti levels of performance, and ready to take on AMD's upcoming Big Navi.

@anthony256
Published Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:54 PM CST
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: NVIDIA (RTX 3070 Founders Edition)

Introduction

NVIDIA started its new Ampere gaming GPU line up with the introduction of the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 recently, but now the company is getting into the mainstream market with its new GeForce RTX 3070 which I've got here to review today.

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VIEW GALLERY - 54 IMAGES

We're starting off -- as usual -- with the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition while custom AIB models are currently in the air and on their way to me as I type this review. This review is an important one for me, as I have shifted over my GPU test bed from the Intel Core i7-8700K setup to the new AMD Ryzen 7 3800X -- as I did this, AMD announced Zen 3 so I will be shifting up to that once it's here and will compare all 3 against each other over the coming weeks.

Back to NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3070, we have a new GPU that offers performance that easily smashes the previous-gen Turing-based GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2070 SUPER -- and it comes close to, evens against, and sometimes beats the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti which is a pretty damn big deal.

The new GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition costs $499, while the previous-gen GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cost twice as much ($999+) as the GeForce RTX 3070, and offers similar if not better performance in most games -- especially in ray traced and Vulkan games.

Buy at Amazon

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$949.00$813.22$739.91
* Prices last scanned on 11/27/2020 at 6:19 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Everything You Need to Know About Ampere

There's much more going under the hood of the Ampere GPU architecture powering the GeForce RTX 3070, with some rather big upgrades across the board on the GPU side of things while the VRAM and memory bandwidth is virtually identical.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 02 | TweakTown.com

We have an dramatic increase of CUDA cores from 2304 on the GeForce RTX 2070 to a huge 5888 CUDA cores on the GeForce RTX 3070, but less Tensor Cores, and more RT Cores, Textures Units, and ROPs.

NVIDIA is using the same 8GB of GDDR6 memory on the GeForce RTX 3070 as the GeForce RTX 2070, with 8GB of GDDR6 at 7Gbps on a 256-bit memory bus with 448GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

The TGP is boosted up on the GeForce RTX 3070 up to 220W, up from the 185W on the RTX 2070 FE.

Cooling Tech

NVIDIA had the most interesting tweak on their Founders Edition cooler with the new GeForce RTX 30 series cards, with the dual-fan GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition and GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics cards -- but there are some nice tweaks on the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition.

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There is a big change here with the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition, with the dual fans on the front of the card more like the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti -- versus one fan on the front, and back, like the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 FE cards.

NVIDIA designed the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition with independent push fans, with the fan on the left pushing hot air out of the larger bracket vents, with individually shaped dins directing airfow for improved cooling. NVIDIA says the Exposed Fin Stack "visually elevates and functionally enhances the airflow-centric design".

The fan on the right pushes air through the RTX 3070 FE and through the top and rear fans in your case.

Detailed Look

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 501 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA uses the same retail packaging from its GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition cards here with the new GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition. Nothing really new.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 503 | TweakTown.com

From the front the biggest change is noticeable: the dual-fan cooler versus the one fan on the front, one fan on the back style of the RTX 3080 FE and RTX 3090 FE graphics cards.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 504 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 505 | TweakTown.com

The card is also tweaked on the back, but I'm not a fan of the 'RTX 3070' placement on the backplate at all -- but I do love the short PCB and fan that you can see through. It shows how short the PCB really is on the RTX 3070.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 510 | TweakTown.com

We have a dual-slot design here with the RTX 3070 FE, the same as the RTX 3080 FE.

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From the top, we have some 'GeForce RTX' branding and that special 12-pin PCIe power connector.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 507 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA's use of the single 12-pin PCIe power connector on the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition continues the tradition from the RTX 3080 FE and RTX 3090 FE graphics cards.

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We have the same 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.1 connector, meaning the card can be used on a big new 4K 120Hz gaming TV with the HDMI 2.1 connector.

Test System Specs

Latest upgrade:

Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.

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I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 1162 | TweakTown.com

Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 513 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4000 | TweakTown.com

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

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3DMark TimeSpy

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 104 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Heaven

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 108 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 107 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4006 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 304 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 305 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 1177 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4013 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 303 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 111 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4002 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 302 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 301 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 114 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Shadow of War pumps along at 1080p on the GeForce RTX 3070, with performance that beats out the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and even the TITAN RTX -- a card that cost $2499... $2000 more than the RTX 3070 at $499. Pretty incredible stuff to see.

The GeForce RTX 3070 drops a few pegs on the benchmark chart with Metro Exodus, with 3FPS below the RTX 2080 Ti and 7FPS more than the RTX 2080 SUPER. Meanwhile, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider we have performance nearly on-par with the RTX 2080 Ti.

Benchmarks - 1440p

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4006 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 304 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 305 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 1166 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4013 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 303 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 110 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4002 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 302 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 301 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 113 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

2560 x 1440 is another resolution where the GeForce RTX 3070 is a serious $499 champion, where we have better performance (by 3FPS) than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, and just 3FPS away from the TITAN RTX in Shadow of War.

The GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition can't beat the RTX 2080 Ti in Metro Exodus, but it meats the RTX 2070 SUPER by just over 10% while offering virtually identical performance to the RTX 2080 Ti in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 2560 x 1440.

Benchmarks - 4K

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4006 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 304 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 305 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 1155 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4013 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 303 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 109 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 4002 | TweakTown.com
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 302 | TweakTown.comNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 301 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 112 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Normally the x70 release of a GeForce graphics card drops off the cliff at 4K, but that's not the case for the GeForce RTX 3070 -- in Shadow of War it's just 1FPS shy of the RTX 2080 Ti. That's seriously impressive for a $499 card that provides the performance of the $999+ card from 2018 through to now (well, the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090) as the best GeForce card you could buy.

The GeForce RTX 3070 pulls much closer to the RTX 2080 Ti in Metro Exodus at 4K, with the same close fight against the RTX 2080 Ti in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The GeForce RTX 3070 offers some seriously impressive 4K gaming performance for $499.

Benchmarks - RTX + DLSS

I haven't had time to run the normal RTX + DLSS tests, but I will update this in the next couple of days once I have the results and fill them in. I will actually have some interesting (and rather great) benchmarks on Watch Dogs: Legion with RTX and DLSS technologies enabled coming soon, so keep checking back.

Overclocking

I received my sample late in the week and had plans for the weekend, so I have had barely 36 hours with the card and haven't been able to spend as much time overclocking the card as I wanted to. But I did squeeze in a few moments to squeeze as much as I could out of the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition.

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Out of the box my NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition sample was hitting 1845MHz boost, with the GPU itself using 164W and the board in total using 217W or so. The card was running at around 72C which isn't too bad at all.

But then I cranked the card up as high as I could with the time that I had before the review was due, and was hitting 1995MHz boost with the fans at 100% and the GPU temp dropping to 57C. The GPU power consumption went from 164W to around 183W while the board power went from 217W to around 238W.

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Power Consumption & Temps

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NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition runs pretty cool, at just 70C in my test bed. This is 9C cooler than the higher-end GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition, and 3C hotter than the triple-slot, triple-fan, flagship GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition. I have custom cards here and on the way, with more thermal testing coming very soon.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 997 | TweakTown.com

Power consumption on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition is at 285W total in my Core i7-8700K test rig -- the same as the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT reference graphics card.

What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

NVIDIA needs the GeForce RTX 3070 to help battle the upcoming onslaught of RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards coming shortly and it offers some brutally great performance for the money.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 502 | TweakTown.com
  • RTX 2080 Ti levels of performance: NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3070 offers performance that equals and even beats the previous Turing-based flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. This is pretty nuts considering it's half the price that the RTX 2080 Ti was.
  • 8GB of GDDR6 is enough: Where the RTX 2080 Ti comes with 11GB of GDDR6X, you only have 8GB on the RTX 3070. But this is enough for the current and even next-gen games coming if you're only playing at 1080p, 1440p, and 3440 x 1440. You wouldn't necessarily buy the RTX 3070 for 4K gaming, that's where the RTX 3080 shines.
  • Game changing $499 price point: I really can't talk highly enough of this price point, the RTX 3070 priced at $499 means you can buy one of AMD's new Ryzen 5000 series CPUs like the Ryzen 5 5600X -- which can beat the Core i9-10900K in some tests -- with an RTX 3070 for some serious bang-for-buck PC gaming.
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  • Kick ass ray tracing performance: I need to spend more time with the GeForce RTX 3070 and ray tracing, but NVIDIA has some great bang-for-buck RT performance with the RTX 3070 versus the previous flagship RTX 2080 Ti. This is impressive considering it has debuted at half the price of the RTX 2080 Ti.
  • Super-powered DLSS greatness: If you're playing any game that supports DLSS then you're in for a good time, you've got improved RTS and DLSS performance through a cheaper GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER or RTX 2080 Ti. So if you didn't upgrade to Turing, you'll be in much better hands upgrading to Ampere and the RTX 3070.
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HDMI 2.1 powers 4K 120Hz gaming TVs: This is a big deal -- you might not be able to run everything at 4K 120FPS on the GeForce RTX 3070 but you'll run games like Rocket League, CS:GO, etc at 4K 120FPS easy. But with DLSS you could easily hit 4K 120FPS and it'll all look huge and amazing on a new HDMI 2.1-powered TV. No previous-gen GeForce graphics card has HDMI 2.1, so this is a huge deal for future proofing your PC.

What's Not

I can't find any faults here -- until maybe Big Navi is here and pricing changes around. I think AMD's new RDNA 2-based Radeon RX 6000 series cards (the higher-end ones at least) will give the RTX 3070 a run for its money. But they're not out yet.

Final Thoughts

In so many ways the GeForce RTX 3070 is a more importnat release than the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090, sure they're beast cards but there will be many more RTX 3070s sold than the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 over the years.

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NVIDIA is providing performance that equals and sometimes beats the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti which debuted at $999, and would be a few hundred dollar more depending on which custom AIB model you purchased. Now we have that level of performance starting at just half that price -- $499. It's an incredible thing to see.

If you own a GeForce GTX 90 or GeForce GTX 10 series graphics card, and have something like the GeForce GTX 970 or GTX 980, or the GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, or GTX 1080 -- and even the higher-end GTX 1080 Ti, and didn't upgrade to the GeForce RTX 20 series or RTX 20 SUPER cards -- the GeForce RTX 3070 is a great buy.

You're getting a kick ass card that has some secret sauce power with ray tracing and DLSS magic, something that will let you play the new AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that both feature RTX and DLSS technologies -- perfect for the GeForce RTX 3070.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review 508 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA has a powerhouse graphics card with its GeForce RTX 3070, something that's perfect for high refresh rate 1080p and 1440p gaming displays if you want to game up in the upper echelons of 120FPS or more. 1440p 144/165Hz is a real sweet spot, so too is a 21:9 aspect on a 3440 x 1440 resolution display.

In fact, I think that the GeForce RTX 3070 is the new recommendation for 1440p and 3440 x 1440 gaming displays if you want to hit 120FPS+ and have some ray tracing tech turned on. Even better if the games you're playing have DLSS, so if you're buying a new GPU for Cyberpunk 2077 for example at 1440p or 3440 x 1440 -- well damn, the GeForce RTX 3070 is a huge recommendation.

I'm sure you're going to be able to run it on High to Ultra detail at 1440p or 3440 x 1440 at well over 60FPS, and enjoy your multiplayer shooters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or the about-to-be-released Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War at 120FPS.

Performance

100%

Quality

95%

Features

100%

Value

100%

Overall

99%

The Bottom Line

NVIDIA knocks another home run with the GeForce RTX 3070, with the $499 powerhouse Ampere graphics card offering better than RTX 2080 Ti performance at half the cost.

TweakTown award
99%

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$949.00$813.22$739.91
* Prices last scanned on 11/27/2020 at 6:19 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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