NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition
$599 USD / $959 AUD
When it comes to a GPU line-up, looking at the flagship, the tippy top of the hardware mountain, is natural. But for many, doing that is simply a case of window shopping and looking at a potential future where you just so happened to stumble onto a briefcase full of money. In the case of the recently released NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
that hypothetical becomes a window where you get to see DOOM Eternal
running at well over 150-fps in 4K.
’s Ampere-based RTX 30 Series is just that, a series of GPUs. Each designed and built to offer up performance, fidelity, and additional cutting edge features no matter the entry point. With that in mind, the arrival of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
presents a new member of the family. And one that sits in-between the formidable RTX 3070
and RTX 3080
When it made its debut late last year, the RTX 3070 arrived on the scene as something that not only matched GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
performance, but did so whilst being more affordable and efficient.
For those that need a refresher, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti sat atop the GPU mountain for quite some time -- so much so that its ray-tracing and overall in-game performance is still what you’d consider high-end. So yeah, it's no wonder the RTX 3070 quickly became the most popular GPU in the Ampere range -- a fact you can see first hand in the latest Steam Hardware Survey
. It hits that double sweet spot of price and performance. Of course that was before the current climate of GPU scarcity and the dawn of the age of hardware prices ripped from a future where inflation means people buy groceries with wheelbarrows full of cash.
That whole deal aside, incredible QHD 1440P performance, with all of the advances made in real-time ray-tracing and AI-based rendering thanks to NVIDIA’s new Ampere architecture -- is what the RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti are all about. Cranking the details in Cyberpunk 2077
is a sight to behold, as is witnessing the amazing difference ray-tracing can make in a game as seemingly simple as Minecraft
. The magical combo of RTX On with DLSS is something that adds a generational leap on top of an existing generational leap, and a key part of the RTX 30 Series story.
Speaking of which, you might be wondering how the RTX 3070 Ti stacks up? Seeing as you're reading this review, well, it would be a little strange if you weren’t. With most of the mystery surrounding the Ampere range already “asked and answered” with the non Ti trio release of the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 last year -- the RTX 3070 Ti is exactly what it promises to be. What the name implies.
It’s the bridge between models, and the bump needed to take the RTX 3070 to the next level of high-end cutting-edge performance.
An Ampere Primer
The below is a summary of the RTX 30 Series technology, applicable to all RTX 3070 Ti models. An Ampere primer if you will.
A sizable portion of games currently in development for PC and consoles, from indies to 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, first brought to the scene in 2018 with the GeForce RTX 20 series. The original ‘RTX On’, NVIDIA made that tech-dream of real-time ray-tracing a reality.
Something that, with the arrival of affordable RTX-powered gaming laptops and consoles like the Xbox Series S, has become mainstream.
Incredible QHD 1440P performance, with all of the advances made in real-time ray-tracing and AI-based rendering thanks to NVIDIA’s new Ampere architecture -- is what the RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti are all about.
From NVIDIA’s side, being first to implement ray-tracing also meant being on the cutting edge from the get-go, and at the forefront of in-game performance. Additional hardware in the form of RT Cores were brought into the picture to take some of the taxing computation off of GPU processors. To ensure that games ran at the coveted 60-fps, Tensor Cores were added into the mix -- building on NVIDIA’s expertise in the field of AI to drive rendering with DLSS.
, Cyberpunk 2077
, Death Stranding
, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
, and more -- DLSS is without a doubt one of the most impressive technical feats we’ve seen in a long time. With or without ray-tracing, it provides a generation leap in performance without sacrificing visual quality. 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).
There’s also the new custom Samsung 8nm process and a chipset 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. Topping it all off is the introduction of HDMI 2.1 support and a PCIe Gen 4 interface leading to better CPU utilisation and faster loading times.
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 and forward thinking innovation. From the GeForce RTX 3060 to the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti to the flagship GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, Ampere that powers it all.
Of Numbers and Heat Sinks
Outside of the flagship RTX 2080 Ti, the Turing-based RTX 20 Series didn’t see a string of ‘Ti’ upgrades -- instead, as the months rolled on NVIDIA debuted the ‘SUPER’ range. A little naming detour that makes the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti a direct successor to the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER -- a card we reviewed back in 2019
. And although we’re looking at roughly two-years -- which isn’t all that much time when you think about it -- the differences are like that thing the sun does. Make things go from night into day.
DLSS is without a doubt one of the most impressive technical feats we’ve seen in a long time. With or without ray-tracing, it provides a generation leap in performance without sacrificing visual quality.
With the newly designed Ampere Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) setup, the result spec-wise is over double the CUDA Core count in addition to the benefit that comes from next-gen RT Cores and Tensor Cores. In pure Teraflop talks you’re looking at over double the TFLOP count -- 22 Shader TFLOPS versus 9 Shader TFLOPS -- across the board. Not that we know what a Teraflop does or really means other than sound very cool. And very technical.
The general rule of thumb is the higher the number the better, which isn’t always the case, but the touted 1.5x performance increase that the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti delivers over the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER is something we found to be true.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition
- Architecture (GPU): Ampere
- CUDA Cores: 6144
- RT Cores: 48 (2nd Gen)
- Tensor Cores: 192 (3rd Gen)
- GPU Boost Clock: 1770 MHz
- Memory Capacity: 8GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface/Clock: 256-bit/9500 MHz
- Memory Bandwidth: 608 GB/s
- TDP: 290W
Switch up the comparison to the baseline RTX 3070 though and the on-paper difference doesn’t feel all that monumental. You’re looking at a 5888 CUDA Core count versus the 6144 here, which is only a difference of around 4%.
The big change comes with the arrival of 8GB of GDDR6X memory, the new super-fast VRAM solution found in the RTX 3080 and higher. With the increased bandwidth the question becomes, what sort of difference does GDDR6X bring to the table? Well, for one the faster memory alongside the modest bump in specs results in the most power hungry x70 Ti card to date. But even with a somewhat beefy 290W TDP rating of the RTX 3070 Ti, the performance increase and overall efficiency still impresses.
It also raises the question of whether or not 8GB is enough when looking at modern titles pushing 4K with detail settings cranked. We’ll get to the answers to both of those shortly, but before we do that it’s worth taking another quick detour into Ampere-land.
More Than a Number
One of the big draws that comes from NVIDIA’s latest GPU architecture lies beyond raw performance, and that’s applicable whether you’re talking about the RTX 3060 or the new RTX 3070 Ti. Both DLSS and hardware-driven real-time ray-tracing are game changers, DirectX 12 features like Variable Rate Shading and Mesh Shaders too. AI-based video production tools for creators, full Adobe integration, RTX Broadcast which can turn any space into a streaming setup with AI powered voice and visual controls.
The list goes on, and these “features” are now at a place where they’re essentially selling points. As in, core to the modern GeForce line-up.
The big change comes with the arrival of 8GB of GDDR6X memory, the new super-fast VRAM solution found in the RTX 3080 and higher. With the increased bandwidth the question becomes, what sort of difference does GDDR6X bring to the table?
Resizable BAR support, as seen in the RTX 30 Series Laptop GPU range, is also here -- improving performance by better utilising PCIe express lanes across AMD and Intel-based CPUs. In terms of competitive games and esports, NVIDIA Reflex is something of a game changer in its own right, lowering system latency across a wide range of titles by reducing the time between input and seeing the corresponding action carried out on screen.
With Reflex already an in-menu tick-box in Fortnite, Apex Legends
, Rainbow Six Siege
, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and more -- it’s support is virtually everywhere in the competitive space. Paired with NVIDIA’s own G-Sync display tech it’s another value-add that goes beyond simply looking at an fps counter.
All of these things are the direct result of hardware, software, and AI coming together - a testament to a future where raw power only represents part of the story. But, like any story that features charts and spreadsheets and talks of performance and resolution -- there’s just something about power.
As the prophecies foretold in our RTX 3080 Ti review, we’ve now arrived at that part of the story. Let the Power Talk commence.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a brand-new GPU in action, watching that smooth buttery performance keep up even as you crank up detail settings and try and find that limit. That moment where the card begins to noticeably sweat and take a moment between tracing rays of light whilst rendering an idyllic sunset locale to tell you to back-off and give it some space.
Even before we began testing the RTX 3070 last year, the assumption heading in was that it was going to be a 1440P powerhouse, something to match the unmatched 4K performance of the RTX 3080’s debut. Thanks to the existing RTX 30 Series cards we’ve tested, some of the mystery is indeed gone - but that hasn’t stopped us getting all assume-y heading into testing this latest piece of Ampere.
So then, is the RTX 3070 Ti a 1440P powerful-powerhouse? Something to match the unmatch-y unmatched 4K performance of the RTX 3080 Ti? Yes, yes it is.
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
- Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY
- Memory: HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB (32GB at 3600 MHz)
Here is the first batch of results, covering non-DLSS or RTX enhanced titles.
Including 1080P in the results above isn’t merely there to show you what an RTX 3070 Ti would do when connected up to a high refresh-rate full-HD display, but to illustrate that the noticeable bump in performance you’re getting over the RTX 2080 Ti (again, a card that is still high-end) means we’re entering bottleneck territory.
The place other factors in a PC build, or even the capabilities of games themselves, impact performance. This is best illustrated when looking at the drop-off in performance when moving from 1080P to 1440P -- where at 14% on average across 20 or more games and benchmarks, that’s impressive to say the least.
The drop-off in performance when moving from 1080P to 1440P sits at 14% on average across the 20 or more games and benchmarks we carried out, and that’s impressive to say the least.
As is seeing so many titles, with detail settings cranked, hit triple-digits or frame-rates far above the 60-fps target most PC gamers set for that ‘smooth experience’ at 1440P. The visual feast that is Horizon Zero Dawn
maintains over 100-fps, with DOOM Eternal
averaging over 200-fps. Compared to the already impressive and established RTX 3070, the RTX 3070 Ti performs on average around 10% faster when playing games at 1440P and 4K resolutions.
Of course moving up to 4K we begin to see the limitations of the RTX 3070 brought to the fore, where a 38% on average drop-off in performance sees a number of titles hover around the 60-fps range. As a resolution, the sheer number of pixels you need to render a native 4K image is the reason why most PC displays are QHD.
And if performance continues its trend of becoming as important or more important than fidelity -- that will most likely continue for some time. Compared to the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3070, the RTX 3070 Ti is far better at delivering an impressive 4K experience -- even with the seemingly limited 8GB of VRAM. And it’s at this point where the jump to the RTX 3080 and higher makes the most sense.
Ray Tracing and DLSS
With titles like Remedy’s Control, CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077, or Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition (pictured above), turning on impressive real-time ray-tracing effects that cover things like lighting, shadows, reflections, and global illumination puts some considerable strain on hardware. And isn’t to be taken lightly.
Being on the cutting edge of in-game visuals means exactly that, but thanks to NVIDIA’s DLSS rendering we’re now at a stage where ray-tracing effects can co-exist alongside high-resolution images and overall performance.
As seen in non-RTX tests, the RTX 3070 Ti delivers powerhouse 1440P performance even with ray-tracing enabled and detail settings cranked. On the low-end this results in a smooth 60-fps Cyberpunk 2077 and on the high-end Wolfenstein: Youngblood turning in an insane 160+-fps. Which is a pretty good indicator of what to expect with DOOM Eternal’s upcoming RTX and DLSS patch, similar triple-digit performance but now with added ray-traced goodness.
With ray-tracing and DLSS the 10% increase over the baseline RTX 3070 continues.
And It Looks Good Doing it Too
With the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition we see an overall design and look and feel that’s more in-line with the RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti than the RTX 3070. The same brand-new cooling setup that involves a fan sitting on either side and an exhaust on the rear is here -- and after using a Founders RTX 30 series card for many months now, remaining quiet even when under load is a story that the RTX 3070 Ti is glad to continue.
That said, compared to the RTX 3080 the RTX 3070 Ti is smaller and weighs noticeably less. That said, in terms of temperatures it idles warmer than the RTX 3070 and runs a little hotter too -- with temperatures hovering in the 75-degree range when under load. But, this is with the default just about whisper quiet fan profile. And can be cranked to get things a little cooler.
As seen in non-RTX tests, the RTX 3070 Ti delivers powerhouse 1440P performance even with ray-tracing enabled and detail settings cranked. On the low-end this results in a smooth 60-fps Cyberpunk 2077 and on the high-end Wolfenstein: Youngblood turning in an insane 160+-fps.
NVIDIA now also offers its own safe-to-use overclocking tool with its latest drivers, something that can boost the RTX 3070 Ti’s clock speeds by a modest amount -- for a modest performance boost. It’s negligible stuff (and it can be tweaked if you’re willing to mess around with system stability) but a welcome addition for those that smile when they see frame-rates go up slightly after tweaking settings.
In the end, if we were living in a parallel dimension where GPU prices remained as they were alongside stock issues not being an issue then it would be easy to label the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti the most impressive GPU in the RTX 30 Series alongside the baseline RTX 3070. On that note, we’d also be in a dimension where you could walk into a store and see one of those new-fangled next-gen consoles sitting on a shelf. Also, you could probably simply.. walk into a store. Or slide
That said, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is still an impressive bit of graphics hardware -- and a reminder that when it comes to a GPU range the stuff that sits near the top of the mountain can often be more impressive in the long run. Thanks to incredible 1440P performance alongside RTX and DLSS magic, not to mention Reflex and other tools, it’s hard to not be taken aback. All we need really, is some deep-learning to fix the whole global hardware situation.