ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo
With the release of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
what we’ve now effectively got is the full RTX 30 Series from NVIDIA
out in the wild. As per our review of the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition, the most recent addition to the Ampere line-up took the already impressive RTX 2080 Ti
-like performance of the baseline RTX 3070
and pushed it a little-bit further down the 4K road.
Bridging the gap between that card and the flagship RTX 3080
, the Founder’s Edition went one step further by adopting that card’s more elaborate cooling. That is the whole dual fan setup with one on either side -- a shift in design due to the addition of faster GDDR6X memory. As is the Ti way, what you got was the powered-up version of the baseline RTX 3070 GPU in every sense - impressive 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.
Today we’re looking at the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo
, a partner card offering the same sort of bump when stacked up against the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC
- a card we also reviewed alongside the RTX 3070 FE model. And borrowing a page from the Founders Edition playbook the AMP Holo features beefier triple-fan cooling compared to the small and sleek RTX 3070 from ZOTAC
, plus the addition of a very cool “iridescent holographic” block on the side.
Which adds a little style and originality to what is otherwise a traditional “big GPU” design. Performance-wise it’s on par with what we’ve seen so far when it comes to the RTX 3070 Ti, so nothing all that new there. That said, ZOTAC’s offering excels in the cooling and noise department.
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.
Impressive 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.
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 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.
That said, 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.
Of Numbers and Heat Sinks
When NVIDIA Announced the RTX 3070 last year it presented a picture of RTX 2080 Ti-like performance, the previous flagship GPU and a card that is still a powerhouse. Even though the RTX 3070 Ti is a direct successor to the somewhat oddly titled GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
-- a card we reviewed back in 2019
- comparisons to the RTX 2080 Ti are still the main talking point for the new RTX 3070 Ti. Alongside putting it up against the competition and the flagship RTX 3080.
Compared to the RTX 2070 SUPER what you get here is akin to the difference you get when going RTX On and Off in a game like Control - a generational leap that feels every bit like a step forward.
Compared to the RTX 2070 SUPER what you get here is akin to the difference you get when going RTX On and Off in a game like Control - a generational leap that feels every bit like a step forward. With the newly designed Ampere Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) setup, the result spec-wise is over double the CUDA Core count compared to the Turing generation 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 compared to the RTX 2070 SUPER -- 22 Shader TFLOPS versus 9 Shader TFLOPS. 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.
ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo
- Architecture (GPU): Ampere
- CUDA Cores: 6144
- RT Cores: 48 (2nd Gen)
- Tensor Cores: 192 (3rd Gen)
- GPU Boost Clock: 1830 MHz
- Memory Capacity: 8GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- TDP: 310W
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 ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo, compared to the Founders Edition features an out-of-the-box overclock and manages to do so whilst running cooler and quieter to boot. The trade-off is higher power usage.
The big change though, in terms of Ti-ness, comes with the arrival of 8GB of GDDR6X memory. The new 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 310W TDP rating, the performance increase still impresses.
Also, like with the baseline model it once again raises the question of whether or not 8GB is enough when looking at modern titles pushing 4K with detail settings cranked.
Glancing over and seeing the holographic finish of the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo, definitely gives this GPU a somewhat different feel -- even though, performance wise, it’s very similar to NVIDIA’s Founders.
- GPU: ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo
- 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.
With the addition of 1080p results the first thing you notice is that the drop-off in performance when making the jump to the current sweet spot of 1440p isn't all that drastic. In fact, when looking at games without DLSS or ray-tracing enabled the figure sits at around 14% - further making the case that the RTX 3070 line-up is just about perfect for 1440p gaming. Here performance trumps the RTX 2080 Ti and sits close to 10% faster than the baseline ZOTAC RTX 3070 at higher resolutions, though that puts it closer to that card than the RTX 3080.
The first thing you notice is that the drop-off in performance when making the jump to the current sweet spot of 1440p isn't all that drastic. In fact, when looking at games without DLSS or ray-tracing enabled the figure sits at around 14% - further making the case that the RTX 3070 line-up is just about perfect for 1440p gaming.
As with all tests carried out each game was fired up with all detail settings cranked, sliders moved to the right, and the word ‘Ultra’ found just about everywhere. Hit triple-digits or close to is the norm here, so if your target is 60-fps without sacrificing visual fidelity, or having to mess about with tweaks - then it’s hard to go past the RTX 3070 Ti.
With the impressive Horizon Zero Dawn
and The Division 2
maintaining over 100-fps and DOOM Eternal
averaging over 200-fps, yeah, it’s something of a beast.
Making the jump to 4K we begin to see the limitations of the RTX 3070 brought to the fore, even with the modest bump in specs and the addition of GDDR6X memory. Of course that doesn’t mean that the RTX 3070 Ti isn’t Ultra-HD-ready, far from it, it’s just that the resolution where a 38% on average drop-off in performance makes the 4K hit noticeable. But, even in 2021 a number of games hover around the 60-fps range - with detail settings cranked, which is impressive.
The sheer number of pixels you need to render a native 4K image is the reason why most PC displays are QHD. And 4K gaming is still limited to the flagship GPUs. 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.
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. Especially when you need to leverage the power of the RTX line-ups RT Cores to manage multiple ray-tracing effects -- as seen recently in the excellent LEGO Builder’s Journey which features ray-traced reflections, shadows, global illumination, and ambient occlusion.
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 180+-fps.
Which is a pretty good indicator of what to expect with DOOM Eternal’s upcoming RTX and DLSS patch, triple-digit performance with added ray-traced goodness. Even here the 10% increase over the baseline RTX 3070 continues.
Although other options are compatible, including NVIDIA’s new auto-overclock one-button deal, Zotac’s own FireStorm software is a relatively easy to use program that offers up simple and effective overclocking. That is, on top of the out of the box settings - which is what all of the above benchmarks were captured with. When it comes to overclocking Zotac’s RTX 3070 Ti, getting a few extra frames here and there is a lot easier than with NVIDIA’s Founders Edition on account of it running quieter and cooler with stock settings.
Although other options are compatible, including NVIDIA’s new auto-overclock one-button deal, Zotac’s own FireStorm software is a relatively easy to use program that offers up simple and effective overclocking.
Even with a modest overclock we were able to keep temperatures within the 70-75 degree range without the need to max out the fans. That said, it’s here where the power consumption begins to creep into RTX 3080 territory, which means the trade-off is losing some efficiency compared to the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC.
In the end the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo is a solid performer, turning in impressive 1440p performance whilst keeping cool and quiet. 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 as another great GPU in the RTX 30 Series, and one that adds a bit of style thanks to its sturdy build quality and holographic flourish.
Still, if you can find one it’s a solid 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.