Tech

Nvidia gamer graphics card GeForce RTX 3070: 2080 Ti performance for 500 euros

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Two days before the GeForce RTX 3070 goes on sale, Nvidia presents its own Founders Edition. The timing is no coincidence: On the afternoon of October 28, 2020, AMD will unveil the Radeon RX 6000, aka Big Navi, graphics card series, which will be in direct competition with Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series.

With the GeForce RTX 3070, Nvidia brings a significant leap in performance into the 500 euro class: The graphics card should deliver around 60 percent more frames per second in 3D games than its nominal predecessor GeForce RTX 2070 (not SUPER). This puts the GeForce RTX 3070 on the level of the old top model GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (+/- 5 percent), which appeared two years ago for 1300 euros.

Also on board: improved ray tracing thanks to Ampere architecture, RTX IO for streaming data from an SSD directly into the graphics memory and a sophisticated cooler. The latter towers over the PCB in order to push part of the waste heat through the aluminum fins without resistance. This is supposed to improve the cooling performance, but it also means potentially higher CPU temperatures. The fans stop when the load is low – the graphics card is then silent.

The back part of the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition is air-permeable to improve cooling.

(Image: Nvidia)

The memory is stagnant: The GeForce RTX 3070 appears like the GeForce RTX 2070 and its new SUPER edition with 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM. And the GeForce GTX 1070 from 2016 also came with 8 GB (then GDDR5).

Nvidia plays down a possible memory shortage in 2020/2021: Many 3D games would take up more than 8 GB, if available, but not absolutely necessary. In complex titles, however, 8 GB can already be scarce if you play with Ultra HD resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels) and high graphics settings. Unlike the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with 11 GB of RAM, Nvidia advertises the GeForce RTX 3070 for 1440p gaming (WQHD, 2560 × 1440 pixels).

Storage capacities are particularly exciting when a new generation of game consoles is due. With the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, the jump is lower than with the previous generation changes, but effects on the PC market are to be expected. Because: the vast majority of 3D games are developed “cross-platform” these days. In order for games to look good and run smoothly on as many platforms as possible, developers orient themselves to the memory expansion of the consoles.

Meanwhile, a lack of RAM can have a variety of effects – from objects popping up in the 3D world to unclean frame times and thus a choppy gaming experience to reduced frame rates. If in doubt, users should lower the graphics settings.

model

GeForce RTX 3080

GeForce RTX 3070

GeForce RTX 2070

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

GPU

GA102

GA104

TU106

TU102

FP32 shader cores

8704

5888

2304

4352

Base clock / boost

1440/1710 MHz

1500/1730 MHz

1410/1710 MHz

1350/1635 MHz

theoretical computing power FP32

30 TFlops

20 TFlops

7.9 TFlops

14.2 T flops

Storage amount / type

10 GB GDDR6X

8 GB GDDR6

8 GB GDDR6

11 GB GDDR6

Interface / transfer rate

320 bit / 760 GByte / s

256 bit / 448 GB / s

256 bit / 448 GB / s

352 bit / 616 GByte / s

Total Board Power (TBP)

320 watts

220 watts

175 watts

260 watts

For 500 euros, the GeForce RTX 3070 is an exciting graphics card. The upper middle class gets a decent performance jump; With 8 GB of RAM, however, the model does not get an unreserved purchase recommendation. Interested parties should weigh up how long they want to use the graphics card and whether an alternative with more RAM might not be a better investment.