Since we’re all still in the craze of the 3000 series, we figured we could do a review of the Asus RTX 3070 TUF Gaming and give you a quick walkthrough on what’s what. We might also make an overclocking guide for 3000 series, let us know in the comments below if you would be interested to see it.
Ok, let’s take a closer look at this highly sought-after card.
I must say this is one of the best looking 3000 series card designs in general. We already discussed the elegant look when we unboxed the 3080, and 3070 is basically identical. In fact, from the front you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. There is one big give-away feature though, we will point that out in a moment.
The industrial look and all-metal shroud is combined with a grayscale colour theme and a single RGB illumination at the top. It features an Axial-tech fan design, where the middle fan is spinning the opposite way therefore reducing turbulence. It’s nice to know that Asus has included a fan-stop mode that kicks in when the GPU temps fall below 55C. The difference in sound levels is not big but every little counts when we are surrounded with so many constantly humming devices.
Here on the top-side it has the RGB section, it’s not too intrusive and it can be customised to your heart’s desires using Armory Crate software and you can easily sync them up with the rest of your components. There’s also two 8-pin connectors, as well as onboard LEDs for notifying you if the power connectors are not plugged in correctly.
The underside of the card is a bit different than the other 3000 series cards. This visual difference clearly sets the 3070 and 3080 TUF cards apart. As you can see it here the 3070 does not have the GPU bracket exposed. Practically the whole PCB is covered with a protective metal backplate, leaving open just the end of the right side for a chunky vent.
Like many ASUS cards, it has a dual BIOS switch where you can choose either Performance mode at the expense of noise levels or drop down the performance to make it much more quiet. Ultimately this allows you to tweak fan profiles without the need of the software. For this card I think it’s safe to say you might want to leave it permanently on Performance mode since the fans are already optimised.
Space wise it will take up 2.7 slots with most of the footprint being stacked with fins for better heat dissipation. The stainless steel I/O panel has five display connectors, three DisplayPort 1.4 and 2x HDMI 2.1 ports.
ASUS RTX 3070 has 5888 Cuda cores and is boasting 8 Gigabytes of GDDR6 memory, with the speed of 14 Gbps on a 256-bit bus. Other features include 2nd generation RT Cores for improved Ray Tracing performance and 3rd generation Tensor Cores which come in very handy when enabling DLSS.
Something to note, the cooler on this card is the same as 3080 which was designed for a more powerful card, making it a bit of an overkill for 3070. Ultimately the end user is reaping the benefits and will have a much cooler system.
So how does all of this translate to a real world performance? For this testing we used our new AMD test bench with Ryzen 9 5950X and we tested it against RTX 2080 Super as well as some higher end cards like Radeon 6800XT and RTX3090 just to show the performance delta.
Let’s go over all the benchmarks (see the graphs in the gallery blow).
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider – at 1080p we see RTX3070 is about 15% faster than RTX2080 Super on average FPS and 13% on 1 percentiles. This also puts it about the same distance away from RX6800XT. In 1440p we see basically exactly the same difference between the cards. RTX3070 is 15% faster than RTX 2080 Super and is 18% slower than the RX6800XT.
At 4k this card just barely scraped the 60FPS mark which is not something RTX2080 Super could ever do. This to my mind is not what this card is designed for, it is more suitable for high frame rate 1080p gaming or moderate frame rate at 1440p.
Moving to Horizon Zero Dawn, at 1080p this card delivers very strong average FPS even against RTX3090, but does suffer on the 1 percentiles. Bumping resolution to 1440p we still see good average performance but 8GB of VRAM starts to really affect performance. Horizon Zero Dawn performs its best with 12GB of VRAM or more. This is especially well illustrated in 4k where 1 percentile performance becomes very unstable.
If you are into E-sports and Counter Strike in particular, then in both 1080p and 4k gaming you will not have any issues playing with any of these cards and to be fair for most people the difference between 200FPS and 400FPS at 4k is not going to matter.
For those who are looking to turn on Ray Tracing with lower resolutions, RTX 3070 may actually be an incredible value – check out these scores in 3DMark Port Royal – we have RTX 3070 just behind RX 6800 XT which is a full GPU tier more expensive.
In Riftbreaker at 1080p we see about 24% improvement over RTX 2080 Super and staying about 14% behind RX 6800 XT. Bumping the settings to 1440p the gap shrinks to just 8%, and going all the way to 4k the score evens out. And this is just raw performance without any upscaling like DLSS.
Gaming aside, this card can also be pretty good in light productivity tasks due to a very efficient NVENC encoder. Here in Blender in the shorter BMW test it beats out the RX 6800 XT, but is slower in the longer test.
We also ran Blackmagic Davinci Resolve benchmark from Puget Systems and here the card does adequately for anyone starting up in video editing or working mostly on 1080p projects, anything higher would really benefit from more than 8GB of VRAM.
With main performance numbers out of the way – let’s focus on thermals for a moment. Quick note – our ambient studio temperature is 26.5C. In gaming RTX 3070 would stay very close to 60C on average, it seems this is the default fan curve target. When the card goes below 55C it would just turn off the fans. While carrying out the Blender test, we found it hits low 60s and stays there. What is interesting – it maintains 2000MHz clock speed without any issues. That large cooler from its big brother is doing a great job here!
The results get even better when we bring noise levels into the mix. We ran Unigine Heaven benchmark for 30min to really work it and RTX 3070 only peaked at 63C with 2100 MHz clock speed with sound hitting only 41 decibels at 30cm distance from the GPU, which is barely audible.
To sum this all up – there’s no doubt that RTX 3070 is one TUF cookie – quality build, silent acoustics, and good control of temperatures vs performance – it is a great addition to anyone’s PC rig. If we compare it to the older RTX 2080 Super, we get between 15 and 25% improvements across the board with huge improvements in Blender.
If on the other hand we compare it to the Radeon RX 6800 XT we see the difference between 7% and 25%, the latter being high resolution gaming. This card still holds its own in ray tracing and in productivity tasks.
If you compare the price, this RTX3070 from ASUS has a recommended retail price of 539 USD and RX6800XT is 649 USD, that is 17% difference and to be fair it is about the same in terms of performance. Yes, I know, right now you can’t buy either one of them at this price – but I expect in a few months time stock levels will pick up and for those who are looking for a great 1440p gaming graphics card, this one is going to be a good value.
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