Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review
Published: 27th October 2020 | Source: Nvidia | Price: |
So far our time with the Ampere GPUs has been one of jaws dropped, minds blown and wallets emptied. We hadn't long got used to the RTX 2080 Ti, and its class-leading performance before the RTX 3080 came along and gave you higher framerates than the Turing card and did so at a significantly lower price. The RTX 3090 was jaw-dropping in all sorts of other ways, and more akin to a Bugatti, being both insanely powerful but also not exactly affordable for the majority. If, however, even the RTX 3080 was above your budget, then the RTX 3070 is even better value for money.
Official replacements for existing models is one of the things that emphasises how quickly the hardware world has moved on. When you feel that there is as much power as you could realistically wish for, a new refined model appears that makes the preceding one look lacklustre by comparison. Nvidia is determined to compare the RTX 3070 Founders Edition with their RTX 2070 Founders Edition, and that's their prerogative. Even a casual glance over our results will show you that in actuality it should be compared to the RTX 2080 Ti, such has been the improved performance Nvidia have extracted from their Ampere GPU when compared to its Turing forebear.
Our results show something quite interesting too. Admittedly it's a general rule rather than a hard and fast one, but in broad terms, the games that the RTX 2080 Ti bested the RTX 3070 FE (albeit barely) tended to be the older ones, whilst the Ampere card just had the edge in the more recent titles. This is especially true for the games that made full use of the DLSS and Ray Tracing. This makes sense, given the fact that there are the areas that the Ampere is designed around.
As time goes on and the new Console generations get launched with their Ray-Tracing abilities and faster load times, more PC games will be designed with these technologies in mind. In time, we expect the performance gap between the older Turing card and newer Ampere cards to widen, especially as Nvidia drivers refine the performance of the newest game releases. Just off the top of our head, we know that games such as Watch Dogs: Legion, COD: Black Ops Cold War and the game that is probably the most hotly anticipated game of all time, Cyberpunk 2077, will make full use of every eye-candy technology they can bring to bear.
All this means that even if you could find a Turing card for around the same money as the Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition, there is no point to do so. You might as well get the newest architecture with the longest warranty that will be supported by the manufacturer for the longest time. The fact you can get this for such a ridiculously low investment cost is just the icing on the cake. A single 8 pin PCIe power input allows the RTX 3070 FE to be more power-efficient, and the addition of the HDMI 2.1 lets users push higher resolutions at higher refresh rates than the RTX 2080 Ti that it matches in performance.
If the RTX 3080 was the card that showed how serious Nvidia was in refining their Turing architecture, then the RTX 3070 FE is the card that will sell in huge volumes and yet hasn't been crippled to achieve a low price point. Two months ago the fastest card on the planet cost you well north of a grand. Today you can match that performance for less than half the price. There has never been a better time to be an enthusiastic gamer.