June 25, 2016

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition Review

NVIDIA's Pascal architecture GPU is deemed as the new king in the game due to its greatly improved performance over both GTX 980Ti and GTX Titan X which was once deemed to be the best at the time. The newly designed cooler with that low poly art like geometric sculpture with a mix of futuristic accent is named as the 'Founders Edition', a new term for NVIDIA's reference design graphics card has gained quite a few attention from enthusiasts who are really into the reference cards. 

As what NVIDIA has announced during the launching of both GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition will be retailing at $399 or approximately RM2399 after GST. There are lower cost alternatives from the AiB partners like ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA, Palit and more that goes as low as RM1999, but hey, a reference card isn't really that bad - let's see how well will it perform!

(The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition retails at $399 or approximately RM2399 after GST)

Graphics Processing
GeForce GTX 1070
Core Clock
Boost: 1683 MHz / Base: 1506 MHz ( with 1920 CUDA Cores)
Memory Clock
8000 MHz
Process Technology
16 nm
Memory Size
8 GB
Memory Bus
256 bit
Card Bus
PCI-E 3.0 x 16
Memory Type
PCB Form
Digital max resolution
7680x4320 (requires 2*DP1.3 connectors)
Analog max resolution
Dual-link DVI-D *1
HDMI-2.0b*1 (Max Resolution: 4096x2160 @60 Hz)
Display Port-1.4 *3 (Max Resolution: 7680x4320 @60 Hz)
Recommended PSU
Power Connectors
8 pin*1
Card size
H=42 L=266.7 W=111 mm

The GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition

The GTX 1070 Founders Edition is basically a reference design from NVIDIA and just like the GTX 1080 Founders Edition, it is pretty much the best-looking reference card ever made by NVIDIA and it's definitely won't be the last either. The card has a low poly art design shroud and it can take on the form of various objects when viewed from a different angle, race car, spacecraft, electric razor... and more. 

Just like the previous GTX Titan blower style cooler, the Founders Edition cooler has an extra opening at the front of the card as well so hot air can be vented from the card faster in both directions instead.

Glowing 'GeForce GTX' is one of the notable characteristics of NVIDIA reference coolers since the GTX Titan as it gives that pleasant aesthetics and majestic presence of a high-end GeForce GTX graphics card in your system. 

Most high-end NVIDIA graphics card in the previous runs on 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power with a minimum requirement of 600W. Both of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 now runs only on a single 8-pin PCIe power and PSU requirement as low as 500W.  

The GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition now comes with a metal back plate to enhance the overall rigidity of the card to prevent PCB sagging that usually occurs on graphic cards with a large heatsink.

SLI fingers are still available on the card, but as NVIDIA discourages any setup beyond 2-way SLI. NVIDIA and its partners have released a new SLI bridge that is supposed to support only 2-way SLI and improved performance compared to the older version of SLI bridge that used to comes along as an accessory with motherboards.

While NVIDIA discourages SLI setup that goes beyond 2 way SLI, power users, enthusiasts and overclockers who wants to beat the world record or getting better benchmark scores can request this special key from NVIDIA's website and download it to enable above 2-Way SLI configuration support.

The display output option is pretty common nowadays, 1 x DVI-I connector, 3 x DisplayPort and 1 x HDMI port.

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Raijintek Triton 240
Intel Core i7 4790K @4.6GHz
ASUS Maximus Hero VII
G.Skill TridentX 2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Vector Bench case

We mounted the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition on our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room of about 30C° ambient temperature.


We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmarks in our possession on a selected settings at 1080p, which is considered as high for much of our test as usual.The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:

We ran the same graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark on 1080p with the highest achievable clock speed for both its memory and GPU that is stable enough to be able to complete each benchmark with the following values:
  • 246MHz raise on the GPU core clock
  • 588MHz raise on the memory clock
  • Extra 20% gain on the power
That's quite a lot considering that this is a reference card and we managed to hit a beefy 2106MHz GPU clock speed on boost during our benchmark session. 

Temperature wise, we've observed a pretty decent temperature record of 37°C during idle and 74°C on load while running on default clock speed. Bumping up the GPU core clock with an extra 246MHz results in a higher temperature of 79°C, but it's still considered safe and it's optional to ramp up the cooling fan speed if you're looking into a much lower temperature. 

The GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition is a very capable graphics card that not only does well in terms of performance but also its overclocking capability. With its already strong performance that goes on par or better than the GTX Titan X and GTX 980Ti, we've managed to squeeze out more performance from its factory boost clock of 1683MHz to 2106MHz with minimal effort. As the long going Green Light program that puts a limit on the overvoltage is limiting us to go any further on the GPU clock, a custom BIOS from the enthusiasts community that is capable of further unlocking the capability of the GTX 1070 is something that we would love to see in the coming future.

Cooling performance is reasonable for both full load on stock GPU clock and overclocked GPU clock as the temperature doesn't really skyrocket as high as 89°C like the GTX 1080 Founders Edition does. 79°C is what we considered as 'still safe to operate' temperature and going for maximum speed on the cooling fan is something rather subjective and optional.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition comes at the price of RM2399, which is a pretty sweet deal to go for as it can easily beat both GTX Titan X GTX 980Ti on both pricing and performance factor. There are of course lower cost alternative from NVIDIA partners that goes as low as RM1999 if the GTX 1070 Founders Edition doesn't suit your budget.

  • Combination of both aesthetics and solid build quality
  • Goes on par or better than both GTX 980Ti and GTX Titan X with ease
  • Good overclocking headroom 
  • Low power requirement
  • Reasonable price for the build quality and performance that it can deliver
  • Higher price compared to other AiB partner's card with better cooling design