Nvidia GTX 1070 Founder Edition Review
Published: 10th June 2016 | Source: nVidia | Price: |
With the GTX 1080 leaving us breathless it's difficult to fully grasp how good the GTX 1070 is. You almost have to forget all that you know about the flagship nVidia model and really take a close look at how the GTX 1070 performs when compared to previous nVidia cards to understand how fantastic this is.
Whereas the GTX 1080 was somewhere in the region of a GTX 980 SLI setup, the GTX 1070 is around the GTX 980 Ti. Considering that even as we write this the GTX 980 Ti is still capable of monstering any game you care to lay in its path, but that the GTX 1070 does it as well whilst requiring around half of the power draw, then it's definitely time to sit up and pay attention.
A lot has changed with the GTX 1070 Founders Edition when you compare it to the GTX 1080. It's not just the expected chopping off of a Graphics Processing Core, but the shift back from the expensive, but fast as all hell, GDDR5X to the regular GDDR5. This probably shows up the most when we start gaming at 4K. 4K is the resolution that is shouted about from the rooftops by everyone who is desperate to sell you a new display, but the previous generation couldn't manage it on a single GPU, at least not to a level of smoothness which made the eye-candy worth it. The GTX 1070 is saddled with similar issues. Of course you shouldn't be expecting to buy anything other than a flagship GPU and run it at 4K, so we wont mark it down for failing to meet that criteria. It's just that the GPU is obviously very capable. A glance at our 1080P or 1440P results show what this new graphics card is capable of, despite having a whole GPC chopped from the GP104 GPU. We would say its a perfect 1440 card which is where the smart money gets spent anyways, it looks much nicer than 1080 but without the wallet emptying aspect that 4K requires to be played at decent frame rates.
What you lose in the ultra-high resolution though you gain immeasurably in the power efficiency department. The Founders Edition from nVidia looks fantastic and is nice and quiet and cool. It's the low power draw that really made us widen our eyes in disbelief. Not only way below the GTX 980 Ti that has similar levels of performance, but so low that we had to include the GTX 950 in our graph just to demonstrate how kind the GTX 1070 is to your electricity bill.
The GTX 1080 is not the kind of card that is so powerful it doesn't really matter what you already own, your life is improved by the upgrade. The GTX 1070, just because it's not such a beefy beast, requires a slight caveat that it's worth upgrading if you own any card other than a GTX 980 Ti, and perhaps in a pinch a regular GTX 980. The 1070 is the card for the masses really, its got a lot of punch for its £399 price tag but wont have the light dimming when its running at max. If you don't already own a PC then what are you waiting for? This is GTX Titan X levels of performance for nowhere near the purchase nor running expenses.