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ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC Review
Review By @ 12:07am 30/10/20

Product: ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC
Type: Graphics Card
Price: $1029 AUD
Availability: October 29
Product Page: zotac.com/product/graphics_card/zotac-gaming-geforce-rtx-3070-twin-edge-oc

The GeForce RTX 30 series is well and truly here (stock shortages aside) and the arrival of the GeForce RTX 3070 means we get to see what the more mainstream option looks like across high-end 1440p and even some 4K gaming. When NVIDIA held its big RTX 30 Series reveal event at the beginning of September it casually dropped a little teaser by stating that the RTX 3070 performs on par or better than the RTX 2080 Ti - a card that has been the go to choice for 4K gamers for a while now. Best of all it would do so at less than half the cost of that former flagship beast.

Spoiler alert - it does.

When we reviewed ZOTAC’s first model of the current NVIDIA flagship the new RTX 3080, the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity, we saw Founder’s Edition-like performance. Albeit with a more Old School cooling design that wasn’t NVIDIA’s space-age metallic-fin inspired work of art.

With the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC, that little bit at the end there - the OC - tells a different story. Higher clock speeds dictate that this latest ZOTAC offering should put up higher numbers than NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070 Founder’s Edition. Spoiler alert - it does.

From Turing to Ampere

The below is a summary of the RTX 30 Series technology, applicable to all RTX 3070 models. An Ampere primer if you will.

The next generation of gaming across PC and consoles, in terms of AAA high-end titles, will be driven by resolution, frame-rate, and cutting-edge effects like real-time ray-tracing. The latter is already here thanks to NVIDIA’s Turing line of graphics cards, first brought to the scene in 2018 with the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. The original ‘RTX On’, the 20 series of GPUs from NVIDIA made that tech-dream of real-time ray-tracing a reality.

In order to make that possible, additional hardware in the form of RT Cores were brought into the picture to take some of the taxing light rays bouncing around a scene computation off the GPU processors, NVIDIA’s CUDA Cores. To ensure that games were, well, playable, Tensor Cores were also introduced -- leveraging NVIDIA’s expertise in the field of AI to drive rendering with DLSS.

Higher clock speeds dictate this time around this latest ZOTAC offering should put up higher numbers than NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070 Founder’s Edition. Spoiler alert - it does.

Ray-tracing was groundbreaking in 2018 but it took a while to take off. Thanks to a string of releases though, the results are well and truly here. Remedy’s Control with RTX On and DLSS 2.0 is without a doubt one of the most impressive visual feats we’ve seen in a long time. And with Cyberpunk 2077 and Watch Dogs: Legion, both featuring RTX and DLSS support, to quote pop group Yazz - ‘The Only Way Is Up’.

This is where Ampere comes in, the architecture that powers NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series. Think of it as the second generation of RTX – the PlayStation 2 to the original PlayStation. Ampere features second generation RT Cores (NVIDIA’s dedicated ray-tracing hardware) and third-generation Tensor Cores (the AI stuff that makes DLSS the perfect match for hardware intensive ray-tracing in addition to simply boosting performance).

Then there’s the new custom Samsung 8nm process and the re-designed board that radically re-designs the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) to effectively double the concurrent calculations and what have you. To get technical we’re talking about FP32 and INT32 operations, two things that are, err, things. In the end Ampere is all about the future -- resolution, frame-rate, AI-rendering, and cutting-edge effects like real-time ray-tracing using smart design that features forward thinking innovations like DLSS.

And really, that might just be NVIDIA’s secret weapon - AI-based rendering that offers a sizable bump in performance to present an image that is more often than not more detailed than its native resolution counterpart. Throw in some new advances like NVIDIA Reflex for improved latency in competitive titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone, and RTx Broadcast for content creators and it’s clear that GeForce in 2020 is about more than hardware grunt.

Of Numbers and Heat Sinks

The ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC is small. When you think about next-gen performance, RTX 2080 Ti-like numbers, and brand-new architecture built for things like ray-tracing and AI-powered rendering - you’d be expecting one of those massive GPUs. The sort of graphics card where you’re left wondering if it will fit in your case. Which, by the way, used to be a pretty good indicator when choosing what graphics card to buy.
ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC
  • Architecture (GPU): Ampere
  • CUDA Cores: 5888
  • RT Cores: 46
  • Tensor Cores: 184
  • GPU Boost Clock: 1755 MHz
  • Memory Capacity: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 256-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 448 GB/s
  • TDP: 220W

With its dual-fan design, ZOTAC’s Twin Edge IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, the overall size makes it something of a sleeping giant. At only 231.9mm in length, it stays cool and quiet whilst boosting the overall clock speed over the Founder’s Edition to provide even more impressive results than NVIDIA’s own stylish entry. Although similar in look to the ZOTAC RTX 3080 the metallic back-plate gives off a very sturdy feel, something backed up by things like thermals and noise.

Like the Founder’s Edition and ZOTAC’s own RTX 3080 we tested last month, the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC is silent when not in use with the fans simply sitting there waiting for you to fire up a game like Watch Dogs: Legion. Temperature-wise, using stock OC settings this ZOTAC RTX 3070 sits comfortably in the 65-70-degree range (in a closed case environment) without ever getting close to any sort of thermal limit. Very cool.

Game Performance

Here’s a look at the RTX 3070 running the games in 4K with detail settings dialled up to 11 on the following setup.
  • GPU: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
  • Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY
  • Memory: HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB (32GB at 3600 MHz)

Where now at the point where not even the top of the range graphics card can hit triple digit performance in a game where the sort of visual detail we see is, to put it mildly, gorgeous. Using that word to describe the demons in DOOM Eternal is probably a step too far though it definitely suits the stunning locations and beautiful vehicles in the open-world Forza Horizon 4.

Of course as the above chart shows, there are more than a couple of titles where the RTX 3070 fails to maintain a consistent 60fps at 4K but by performing on average 6% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti - the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC is still formidable.

Lower the resolution and those triple-digit performance numbers begin to spread like -- well, you get the idea.

If you’re in the market for a 1440p card or are building a new rig and eyeing a high-refresh-rate 1440p display or one of those sweet UltraWides - then the RTX 3070, based on price and performance, feels like the best of all worlds. There’s just nothing quite like G-Sync or Adaptive Sync with near 100fps gaming, so much so that it’s one of those “once you taste it you’ll never go back” moments. Kind of like the coffee in Melbourne versus whatever swill they serve up there in Sydney. Accept no substitutes, and at either 1080p or 1440p the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC performance is akin to the good stuff.

Ray Tracing and DLSS

Ampere’s ray-tracing is better than the Turing-based RTX 20 series, but the real story here is that with DLSS technology maturing to Version 2.0 over the past year we’re seeing higher frame-rates at higher-resolutions with ray-tracing enabled across the new RTX 30 series. As per these RTX 3070 results - ray-tracing is not only here, it’s something you’d gladly enable whenever possible.

80fps Control at 1440p with DLSS is nothing short of impressive, with all RTX effects turned on and cranked up to their highest setting - it’s easily the most technically impressive games released over the past couple of years. Comparing the RTX On to RTX Off version is the best example of next-gen versus old-gen you’re likely to see, and on that front it’s a dream to play on the RTX 3070.

It’s the sort of thing that bodes extremely well for Cyberpunk 2077’s debut in December - which will also leverage a number of ray-tracing effects in addition to supporting DLSS 2.0 for that sizable bump in performance without sacrificing visual quality.

Overclockers Unite

Although somewhat limited in its capacity to output historical info, Zotac’s FireStorm is a relatively easy to use program that offers up simple and effective overclocking to eek out a few extra frames from the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC. Paired with the excellent cooling and the RTX 3070 (as per the GIGABYTE model we tested) might be perfectly suited for a little OC action. With its 220W TDP (a whopping 100W less than the power-hungry RTX 3080) we’d say that there’s a little more headroom to successfully push the clock speeds and noticeably higher than the stock or reference settings seen in the Founder’s Edition.

The ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC ia a pretty unassuming performer -- smaller than the Founder’s yet packing enough in there to run cooler and faster.

And in the end this makes the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC a pretty unassuming performer -- smaller than the Founder’s yet packing enough in there to run cooler and faster. RTX 2080 Ti performance at a lower cost, in a more efficient package, that’s the story here. The RTX 3070 lives up to its promise, with the OC models offering overclockers something to tweak and push just to see how fast it can go.
What we liked
A small RTX 3070 that performs
Ampere architecture and RTx 2080 ti-like performance
Actually faster when you factor in the overclock
Quiet and cool even under load
What we didn't like
Zotac's FireStorm software not as robust as some
Uses dual 8-pin connector over the Founder's Edition's single 8-pin
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 09:17am 06/11/20
That would be nice to put in a mini-itx case!
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