Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review

Conclusion

Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition Review

Conclusion

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.

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Most Recent Comments

27-10-2020, 14:04:51

demonking
Nice review, nice card mostly.

Shame about the 12pin, feels like Nvidia are trying to force that one on the masses at the moment, Warranty still invalidated by using anything other than the supplied adapter?

Hopefully these are actually available but the rumour mill is that these are in short supply too. Lets hope not, these are priced pretty well though longevity of 8gb of vram might become apparent in the near future.

Next week will tell how well these are priced Quote

27-10-2020, 15:05:48

KingNosser
Seems like a decent little card, but why 8pin to 12pin cable needed why not just use an 8pin seems really un-needed to me, and like all the 3k series it's slap bang in the middle of the card like a huge sore thumb.

Otherwise it's actually a better card than i was expecting far closer to the 2080ti, but it's not faster than a 2080ti Nvidia marketing at it's best.

but yea not bad tbh.Quote

27-10-2020, 15:08:54

AngryGoldfish
So it's faster than a 2080Ti even in some Ray-Traced games, draws less power, is more than half the price, and has an excellent cooler design. But 8GB is pretty feeble, power draw is not great, availability is likely to be meagre, the price is still high for a midrange card, and it's slyly reviewed the day before AMD announces a likely superior alternative.

Oh, and stupid 12-pin connector.Quote

27-10-2020, 15:21:48

KingNosser
When it comes to AIB's can expect to see these selling at £525+ imho so it's a long way from the £469 of the FE and the chances of you getting one well good luck.Quote

27-10-2020, 15:27:16

AlienALX
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
So it's faster than a 2080Ti even in some Ray-Traced games, draws less power, is more than half the price, and has an excellent cooler design. But 8GB is pretty feeble, power draw is not great, availability is likely to be meagre, the price is still high for a midrange card, and it's slyly reviewed the day before AMD announces a likely superior alternative.

Oh, and stupid 12-pin connector.
It starts to creak at 4k, usually allowing the 2080Ti to win. In fact overall the 2080Ti does win in Hardware Unboxed's review.

Which is kind of annoying really. I mean, had they found a way to shove it to 10gb or 12 or 12 this card could be bargain of the decade. Instead? it's a Macdonalds. It will fil you up for about ten minutes and then you'll be hungry again.

1440p is such a grey area now too. It seems to be where all of the high end previous gen cards go to die. So there are many in that category, all of which provide a very pleasant gaming experience.

TBH I would rather have seen this at £80 more, with more VRAM. Because it would have prolonged the life of this card another year or more. Instead? once those heavy hitting new console games designed from the ground up to utlilise all of their power? it's going to struggle something rotten.

I suppose all of this is fine when you have a 1440p monitor, but the whole thing being rammed in our faces by every manufacturer of everything now is 4k.

What it does do, however, is give AMD a really big chance of getting a foot in and making tons of sales.Quote
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