NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition Review — who is this card for?
The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition offer the full GA104 die under a fancy new cooler to deliver a bit more graphical horsepower in the sub-$600, but is it worth it?
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+ New cooler design looks pretty fancy and works great
+ Subtle design with no lighting should appeal to fans of minimalist builds
+ Slightly faster than the GeForce RTX 3070
+ Good performance at 1440p
+ Runs very quietly
- Draws a lot more power to deliver slightly better performance than 3070
- Not great value for money
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti was great, with it being almost a GeForce RTX 3090, but for a lot less money. But it is still really pricey for most people, and NVIDIA also recognizes that. The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is probably going to be a much more popular option at half the price, and I must say that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is actually really interesting, and for more reasons than just the GPU under its cooler.
The packaging of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is similar to every NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series Founders Edition card out there. Simple black box with silver lines running down diagonally. It is also slightly thinner than the GeForce RTX 3070’s box, just like the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition’s we previously reviewed.
As soon as you lift the top half off, you get a full view of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition. This is when you notice that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is nothing like the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition. It’s quite interesting that NVIDIA decided to cook up a new cooler design, but more on that later.
And under the card you will find the documentation and the 2 x 8-pin-to-12-pin dongle. This is also another area where it differs from the GeForce RTX 3070, as the latter only comes with a single 8-pin-to-12-pin adapter. NVIDIA also changed up the packaging, as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition’s documentation and dongle do not together come in a small box unlike its non-Ti sibling.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition’s cooler seems to combine the design of the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition and the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition’s coolers. It’s quite a bit longer than the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition, but not quite as long as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition we have here.
You now have fans on both the front and back of the card, but it seems like NVIDIA thought the GeForce RTX 3080 series FE coolers were too overkill for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition, but the GeForce RTX 3070/3060 Ti FE coolers weren’t adequate. Thus they decided to come up with a new design that still has a “Superman S” Air Frame structure of the GeForce RTX 3070 FE cards, but the push-pull fan layout of the higher-end GeForce RTX 30 series cards. The fins are also straight here, instead of the fancy chevron fins found on the RTX 3080 series Founders Edition cards.
The backplate is reminiscent of the more premium GeForce RTX 30 series Founders Edition cards. The branding is much more obvious, but due to the design of the Air Frame here, it doesn’t have that cross in the middle of the card. There are also no fins around the fan, as somehow NVIDIA decided to close off the area around the fan.
On the side, there are some visible fins along with the vertical power connector. The fins here are denser than what you see on the GeForce RTX 3080 series cards, and is instead similar to the GeForce RTX 3070 FE. It seems that NVIDIA prefers to have the power connector vertical if it is fed by two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, but will have it flat on the PCB if it is only powered by one 8-pin PCIe power connector.
The I/O options are the same as the rest of the Founders Edition cards, three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1 output as well as a huge vent for hot air to exhaust through here. The bracket appears to be similar to the GeForce RTX 3070 FE, as it isn’t as open as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE.
There’s no lighting on either side of the card, so while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition’s gunmetal gray frame and black fin array is awesome, that’s all you get. Powering it up won’t make it any better looking. Not like it needs to be any better looking though.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (GA104)
|Clocks||Base Clock: 1575MHz
Boost Clock: 1770MHz
|Cores||6144 CUDA Cores
192 Tensor Cores
48 RT Cores
|Display outputs||3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
1 x HDMI 2.1
|Power connector(s)||12-pin (2 x 8-pin)|
|Interface||PCIe 4.0 x16|
|Dimensions||26.7 x 11.2 x 4 cm
|CPU||Intel Core i9-11900K @ 5.1GHz|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero|
|Memory||2 x 8GB T-Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14|
|Storage||250GB Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD
960GB Kingston UV500 SATA SSD
1TB Kingston KC2500 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD
|Power Supply||Cooler Master V1200 Platinum|
|GPU Driver||NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Drivers 466.61|
Superposition puts the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition slightly ahead of the Radeon RX 6800, and it seems to be noticeably faster than the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition. The GeForce RTX 3080 is still some ways away though.
3DMark Time Spy sees the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition switch places with the Radeon RX 6800. Now it’s closer to the GeForce RTX 3070, but the sizeable gap between it and the GeForce RTX 3080 is still evident here.
As you would expect, raytracing performance on the Ampere graphics cards is excellent compared to their RDNA 2 peers. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition comes very close to the Radeon RX 6800 XT and outpaces its non-Ti brethren by about 10%. It still a lot slower than the GeForce RTX 3080 though.
As we have previously established, 4K is somewhat pushing it for the GeForce RTX 3070, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition faces a similar fate. However the frame rates are slightly closer to being playable here, so dropping a few settings should net you a passable experience if you are bent on 4K gaming.
1440p is what I would consider the sweet spot for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition. Most games are running better, and would actually be considered playable for the most part unless you are adamant on enabling DirectX Raytracing without enabling DLSS to go along with it.
Using the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition for 1080p gaming is probably a bit overkill, but not as much as the previous graphics cards we have tested. You will be pushing into high refresh rate territory at 1080p in most games, and run into CPU bottlenecks rather than being GPU-bound in everything but the most graphically-intensive titles.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is set with a significantly higher 290W TGP than the 220W TGP GeForce RTX 3070, putting it closer to the 320W TGP GeForce RTX 3080. That seems to have forced NVIDIA’s hand in designing an all new cooler, and it seems to be pretty effective. It keeps temperatures below 79°C at all times with an average temperature of 77°C.
The GDDR6X VRAM is warm at around 80°C throughout the run, but it is still significantly cooler than the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE’s 98°C, which can probably be attributed to there being fewer memory chips on the PCB here. Clocks average out at 1848MHz with a average power draw of 282W.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition’s fans are spinning at 1903RPM on average and is barely audible over the rest of the test system’s fans. They only started spinning after the GPU temperatures hit 62°C, and spooled down to 1000RPM before stopping after the temperatures were cool, just cool, at under 33°C. Essentially this means that you will have a silent card during normal desktop use, but once you heat it up, it will take some time to go back to its fully silent state.
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti vs GeForce RTX 3070?
At 4K, we are seeing the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition outperform its non-Ti sibling by 4% to 20%, depending on the game you are looking at. On average, the difference is 9%, but as we noted earlier, neither card is actually outputting truly playable frame rates at this resolution.
Aside from that one outlier that is Godfall with raytracing enabled posting difference of 30%, we are looking at around 8% difference on average at 1440p here. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition’s main advantage is that it handles games that were slightly below 60FPS with the GeForce RTX 3070 to slightly above 60FPS, which I do think is a good thing.
At 1080p, the average difference is just 6%, and once again Godfall is a huge outlier with a 25% difference. I would say that either card is more than sufficient for 1080p gaming, so think of it what you will.
After testing the card, I don’t really know who the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is for. It’s faster than the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition in most games, but only marginally so. At $599 (from RM2850), it represents an extra $100 tacked onto the price tag making it 20% more expensive, while also drawing 31% more power, the 6~9% performance gains across 12 games aren’t exactly spectacular.
For gamers upgrading from previous generation of graphics cards, the GeForce RTX 3070 will still be the better buy, while for those who want more performance, the GeForce RTX 3080 promises much better performance for an additional $100. Of course, we are talking MSRP vs MSRP, because once it gets to the market pricing, all hell breaks loose.
I guess overall, the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti does presents an option for those who want the fastest graphics card they can get without spending above $600 for a graphics card, but I am not sure how many are okay with spending this much extra money for this little gain. But I guess the nice new asymmetrical cooler is also a good reason to justify the extra costs. Now, let’s see how much will NVIDIA’s partners end up charging for their renditions of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti cards here in Malaysia.
Our thanks to NVIDIA for sending us the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition for review.