NVIDIA just launched the new GeForce RTX 4070 which is based on the Ada Lovelace AD104 GPU. Just like the existing RTX 40 series cards, the RTX 4070 also features NVIDIA’s 3rd gen RT cores and 4th gen tensor cores to support DLSS 3, one of the most highlighted features since day-1.
So, the most important question to ask is – is this GPU good, especially at the $599 price point? In this review, we have tested the RTX 4070 against the RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 3080 10G (factory overclocked model) so we can have a better idea of the positioning of the card. So, read on.
|GPU||GeForce RTX 3080||GeForce RTX 4070 Ti||GeForce RTX 4070|
|GPU Boost Clock||1710 MHz||2610 MHz||2475 MHz|
|Memory Data Rate||19 Gbps||21 Gbps||21 Gbps|
|Total Video Memory Size||10G GDDR6X||12G GDDR6X||12G GDDR6X|
|Memory Bandwidth||760.3 GB/s||504 GB/s||504 GB/s|
|Power Connectors||1 x 12-pin||1 x 16-pin (12VHPWR)||1 x 16-pin (12VHPWR) / 8-Pin PCIe|
Just when we thought that the Founders Edition card for this generation stopped at the RTX 4080, NVIDIA surprised us with an RTX 4070 FE. This is definitely good news for the Founders Edition collectors of course.
A quick look at the card, the RTX 4070 FE shares a similar design as the 4090 and 4080 FE while having more or less the same size as the RTX 3070 FE. Also, this is a dual-slot card and with its size, it’s a great option for those who are planning on small form factor builds.
The power connector is the 12VHWPR as usual and since it has a rated TGP of 200W, the included adapter is still a 2 x 8-pin PCIe to 1 x 12VHPWR and not a 1 to 1 adapter.
As for the display outputs, we have the usual 3 x DP and 1 X HDMI.
Test System Setup
Okay, time for the exciting stuff. We used this list of hardware to benchmark the RTX 4070 and we’re comparing it against 3 different cards – the RTX 3080 10G OC, and RTX 4070 Ti so we can have a better idea of the positioning of the card. For our games benchmark test, we’ve selected a number of AAA titles to run at their highest possible settings using the following setup under an ambient temperature of 28°C:
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900K|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 APEX|
|Memory||ADATA XPG LANCER RGB DDR5@6000MHz CL30 (16GB x2)|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition / ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4070 Ti / ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 10G OC Edition|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master M2000 Platinum|
|Primary Storage||Kingston KC3000 2TB|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler MasterLiquid PL360 Flux|
|Chassis||Cooler Master MasterFrame 700|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro 64-bit 21H2 (Build 22000.1696)|
Games Benchmark – Raster Performance
Starting off with the raster performance, I’d say the RTX 4070 FE is still capable of 4K gaming to a certain extent even without DLSS, being able to maintain above an average 60fps in some of the titles. More demanding titles like Watch Dogs Legion and Cyberpunk 2077 are out of the question of course. It’s not exactly overpowering the RTX 3080 entirely but it’s interesting to see how both cards trade blows in the titles we’ve tested.
As NVIDIA specifically highlighted that the RTX 4070 is made for 1440P gaming, and maintaining above 100fps is a piece of cake for this card. However, the RTX 3080 is still a powerful card even today, especially a factory-overclocked one like what we have here, which can still perform better than the 4070 most of the time.
1080p is definitely an easy task for all the cards here and there’s not much to talk about. We’re just doing it for the sake of completion.
Games Benchmark – Ray Tracing Performance
Up next is the ray tracing performance, the graphics settings used are the usual very high or ultra preset, and DLSS Quality preset. Based on the test results, I’d say the RTX 4070 is still capable of 4K gaming in some ways, being able to maintain above 60fps on average on some of the titles used in this test.
The exceptions will be Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus, and Watch Dogs Legion. These titles are too much for both RTX 4070 and RTX 3080 to handle. Changing the DLSS preset to performance or balanced will give you a boost in FPS, which I think is reasonable for 4K gaming, ONLY.
Why I say that is because the differences are hardly noticeable most of the time, especially in fast-paced games – unless you’re intentionally finding all the artifacts in each and every frame. While we’re not exactly seeing above 100fps on all the titles in 1440p, they’re still way higher than 60fps – and for most people, this is considered a “smooth gaming experience”.
Even for demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077, we’re still getting a reasonable 66fps on average. For other games though, both RTX 3080 and RTX 4070 still trading blows in 1440p but we can see the latter performing similarly or better on most occasions.
As for 1080p, it’s pretty much the same as what we see in the raster performance test, with both the RTX 3080 and RTX 4070 getting more than 100fps in almost every title tested.
DLSS 3 Hands-On
Alright, now for the special sauce that the RTX 40-series has – DLSS 3. We are seeing more games supporting DLSS 3 now, which is a good thing because it has a feature called Frame Generation that further boosts the FPS.
Aside from Cyberpunk 2077, other games like F1 22, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Diablo IV, and Hogwarts Legacy support DLSS 3 now. We expect more to come soon.
While the RTX 3080 is still a powerful card that can go up against the RTX 4070, DLSS 3 is something that is only available for the newer RTX 40 series GPU due to hardware limitations.
So if you’re planning on experiencing DLSS 3 yourself, the RTX 4070 is the most affordable option right now.
Moving on to the synthetic benchmarks, the results aren’t exactly the same as what we’ve seen in our games benchmark.
For benchmarks that focus on game performance like 3DMark and Unigine Superposition, the RTX 3080 is actually getting a higher score than the RTX 4070.
Benchmarks that focus more on content creation tasks like Blender, OctaneBench 2020 1.5, and V-Ray Benchmark 5 on the other hand, show that the RTX 4070 is better.
Thermals & Power Draw
Now for the thermals and power draw, the situation is pretty much the same as the rest of the RTX 40 series GPUs we’ve tested in the past. Although both the RTX 3080 OC and RTX 4070 performs similarly based on our test results, the difference in power draw is huge.
At peak, the RTX 3080 OC can draw up to 375W while the RTX 4070 only draws 203W at max. Clearly, the RTX 4070 is better when it comes to power efficiency. Not to mention that the RTX 3080 OC requires 3 x PCIe 8-pin to power up, while the RTX 4070 only requires a single 12VHPWR cable, or 2 x PCIe 8-pin if you’re using the included adapter.
As for the temperature, both the average temperature and hot spot temperature do seem to be cooler on the RTX 4070 but I still find it a bit more on the higher side.
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture here. Among all the 3 cards, the RTX 4070 might not look like it’s consistently better than the RTX 3080 10G OC which is set as the competing GPU in our test but the RTX 4070 has a few new tricks up its sleeve – Power efficiency and DLSS 3. For just a mere 200W+ power drawn at peak, it’s capable of delivering a performance that is similar to a factory-overclocked RTX 3080 10G that is drawing almost twice the amount of power at peak.
A lot of people will argue that they can just get a used RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 at the same or if not lower price instead of spending on a new RTX 4070. A lot of people will also cite that the RTX 3070 launch price was $399 and the new RTX 4070 is at $599. It’s your choice on how you want to spend your money but you’ll be missing out on DLSS 3, AV1 video encoding, new RTX video super-resolution also known as RTX VSR that is also coming to VLC player, and other AI-accelerated features on content creation tools.
For a starting price of $599, I’d say that is still a fair price to pay for the performance and all the new features the RTX 4070 has to offer right now.