Here we have the new RTX 4070 from Nvidia, it is their latest release aimed at the mid range market at 599 USD for the founders edition. Just like with other cards, Nvidia is raising their prices. This RTX 4070 FE has a 100 USD higher MSRP than the last gen 3070 and hot take here - I think it is justified, let’s get into it.
Instead of keeping you in suspense throughout the entire video - why don’t I tell you now and then show you. So here it goes - I feel at 599 USD this card right now is just about right for the market as its general performance is just 3% short of RTX 3080 while being much more power efficient. On average we found it to be about 76% more power efficient, which also means it is easier to cool. On top of that you get similar RT performance and much improved DLSS 3. And the cherry on top is AV1 encoder which personally I am a big fan of for video production or streaming.
In terms of pricing, at the time of writing, finding a new RTX 3080 below $700 is quite challenging, but you could potentially snag a second-hand unit between $400 and $700. However, there are always risks associated with purchasing used products, so if you choose to go down that path be sure to shop at outlets with buyer protection. With that taken into consideration, the 599 USD price tag for the RTX 4070 is quite attractive, as it delivers performance similar to the previous generation's higher-tier card, while costing about the same as a second-hand unit. Keep in mind, though, that the MSRP may not be adhered to, and partner cards are likely to be pricier.
So what do you get for 599? With this founders edition you get tried and true flow-through design and it is tiny in comparison to everything else lately, taking up just (and I say this lightly) two slots. It comes with 12 GB of GDDR6X memory on a 192 Bit memory bus. As far as connections go it features 3 display ports and single HDMI. Power-wise, it utilises the new connector, but an adapter is included in the box. You'll need two PCIe 8-pin cables to power this card. We tested its performance using our Ryzen 7 testbench, which features a wide variety of graphics cards.
Our graphs are sorted by overall performance, which includes average FPS, 1% percentiles, and FPS per 100 watts combined. This is why the RTX 4070 ranks above the RX 7900XTX in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p, even though it has a lower average FPS. Due to its higher efficiency, the RTX 4070 comes out on top. While this may not matter to everyone, it's essential to understand how the graphs are set up. Additionally, note that the RX 7900XT card's telemetry data was unavailable, so we don't have power efficiency results for it in these tests.
In this instance, the RTX 4070 outperforms RTX 3080 by delivering better performance and almost double the FPS per watt. It also fares well against both the RX 7900 XT and RX 6900 XT.
The narrative shifts in Borderlands 3, as the RTX 4070's ranking drops to align with the RTX 3080, but it still maintains a 66% lead in terms of FPS per watt. In this case, the RX 6900 XT takes the lead by a significant margin. So, if you're an avid Borderlands 3 player, acquiring a second-hand card might be an excellent idea, as they're available on eBay for around 400 to 600 USD.
In World War Z, the RTX 4070's performance is nearly on par with the RTX 3080, while the RX 6900 XT leads by 50 FPS. However, the RTX 4070 still boasts superior power efficiency.
As we increase the resolution to 1440p, the RTX 3080 outperforms the new 4070 in both average FPS and 1% percentiles. However, both cards lag behind their AMD counterpart, the RX 6900 XT, which occupies a similar price range in the current market alongside the RTX 3080 and RTX 4070.
In Borderlands 3, we observe similar results, with the difference between the two Nvidia cards being 6% in average FPS and 8% in 1% percentiles. However, the new card boasts 52% greater power efficiency, while the RX 6900 XT is closer in terms of power efficiency.
In the more demanding title, Horizon Zero Dawn at 1440p, the RTX 4070 surpasses the RX 6900 XT in overall performance, including power efficiency, but falls short in raw FPS.
At 4K in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the RTX 4070 exhibits higher performance than the RX 6900 XT, and due to its power efficiency, it outpaces the RTX 3080. In rasterized gaming, the $200 price difference for the marginally faster RTX 4070 Ti may not be justifiable.
The RTX 4000 series has made significant strides in ray tracing performance and DLSS 3, which includes frame generation. In Cyberpunk with maxed-out settings and maxed-out RT settings, the RTX 4070 struggles to compete with the RTX 3080 and delivers half the frames. However, when enabling DLSS 2, the performance gap narrows, and with DLSS 3, the RTX 4070 surpasses 60 FPS while leading in power efficiency.
It's worth noting that this card is not designed for 4K gaming; Nvidia markets it as a 1440p max-settings card. In Cyberpunk, when we lower the resolution, the RTX 4070 achieves over 100 FPS with upscaling and frame generation while maintaining 1% percentiles above 93 FPS. This performance sweet spot is ideal when paired with a high-refresh-rate monitor.
Now, let's quickly examine some productivity workloads before moving on to power and thermals.
First, in the V-Ray benchmark using CUDA, the RTX 4070 essentially matches the RTX 3080 but lags 26% behind the RTX 4070 Ti.
In the Blender benchmark with three tests, the RTX 4070's performance is again similar to the RTX 3080. While it falls short in the Junkshop test, it fares comparably in the Monster and Classroom tests.
In our custom Blender Render, the RTX 4070 matches the RTX 3080, which aligns with our earlier observations. So, let's proceed.
Regarding power efficiency, we ran Time Spy Extreme and measured power draw using Nvidia PCAT. The average wattage was below 200W, and when compared to the framerate, the RTX 4070's performance per watt outshines most cards on the list, except for the RTX 4080.
As for temperature, our tests were conducted with an ambient temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. The graph may seem confusing due to the amount of data, but when focusing on the RTX 4070 and 3080, the temperature difference is only a few degrees. However, the RTX 4070 operates at 35.7 dBa, while the RTX 3080 reaches 51 dBa, which makes sense given the latter's higher power draw and subsequent thermal output that needs to be dissipated.
The Nvidia RTX 4070 proves to be a strong contender in the mid-range market, with a 599 USD price tag that's justifiable given its performance and features. With performance just 3% short of the RTX 3080, increased power efficiency, reasonable ray tracing capabilities, and the new DLSS 3, it delivers solid value for its price point.
For gamers who primarily play at 1440p, the RTX 4070 is a fantastic choice, offering great performance and power efficiency. Its quieter operation is an added bonus, providing a more immersive gaming experience. If you're into video production, the built-in AV1 encoder is another attractive feature.
However, if the price is much higher or you're looking for a card specifically for 4K gaming, the RTX 4070 may not be the best choice. In this case, you may want to explore higher-tier options like the RTX 4070 Ti or the AMD alternatives, or better consider a second-hand RTX 3080 if budget constraints are a concern.
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