For the most part of market run of the NVIDIA Pascal-based Geforce card, they remained uncontested and despite AMD’s release of the Radeon RX 480, the upper-tier cards remained uncontested. It was only when the Vega56 and Vega64 entered the market where they managed to make NVIDIA flinch but this is already late into the life of NVIDIA’s Pascal market dominance. The GTX 1070 has been broadly separated from the GTX 1080 in terms of performance offering and that gap was enough for AMD to squeeze their Vega GPUs into and attract consumers towards AMD once again. The success of the Ryzen family of processors also made it seem like rooting for the underdogs was a good thing and AMD had a great PR run with their platform being the non-mainstream choice. To cope with 2017’s incoming holiday shopping run, NVIDIA decided it was to release its supposed final GPU based on the Pascal architecture with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti.
The GTX 1070 Ti has an SRP of $450.
In this review we’ll be pitting the reference GTX 1070 Ti and a custom-cooled one against a heavily-cooled and heavily-overclocked GTX 1080 to see if the card is a viable option amidst the dwindling supply of GPUs.
About the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti sits between the middle of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 but performs quite close to the GTX 1080. So much so that NVIDIA has disallowed AIC partners in developing factory overclocked editions of the GTX 1070 Ti. What we do get are custom-cooled cards that can extend the performance of the GTX 1070 Ti with custom cooling which allows for some good overclocking by the users who can do so via preset profiles or manually via GPU overclocking utilities.
At its core, the GTX 1070 Ti is forged around the GP104 silicon similar to the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. It features a 1607Mhz base clock and a 1683Mhz boost frequency. The base clock is similar to the GTX 1080 but the boost frequency is from the GTX 1070 which means there’s some flexibility to be had in further overclocking the card as the boost frequency is quite a bit restrained. The GTX 1070 Ti shares the same memory configuration as the GTX 1070 with 8GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus. The reference design requires a single 8-pin power pin to work.
The reference card features NVIDIA’s NVTTM Founder Edition cooling solution.
Processor: Intel Core i7 7700K Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus IX APEX Memory: G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200 16GB Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1000 Cooling: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riings 360mm Monitor: ViewSonic vx2475smhl VGA: NVIDIA GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition
Frame rates and frame times of a 60-second game play were recorded using FRAPS v3.5.99. The test results are the average of 3 benchmark runs. Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
The games and corresponding image quality settings used are shown in their respective tabs.
Note: Some proprietary technologies of NVIDIA like PCSS, HBAO+, and HairWorks work on AMD GPU’s BUT to maintain uniformity amongst GPUs, these have been turned OFF.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The reboot of the gaming phenomenon Tomb Raider puts players in Lara Croft’s hiking boots as we pick-up from the last game. Featuring upgraded graphics, DX12 support and new image quality improvements, this game challenges new hardware with its graphical offering.
Very High settings
Ambient Occlusion: On
Pure Hair: On
Vignette Blur: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Screen Space Reflections: On
Lens Flares: On
Film Grain: Off
The Witcher 3
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings.
Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Light Shafts: On
The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress most systems especially with Reborn update. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition.
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
Arguably the most popular game of 2017 with nearly 3 million active players at any given time, Bluehole’s PUBG isn’t by any standard the most graphically intensive game out right now but it does stretch Unreal Engine 4’s maximum capability in terms of handling large maps. The official launch of PUBG introduced new graphical improvements to the game which makes it more visually appealing and to introduce a more detailed environment to make it more strategic to blend in with the environment.
The most ambitious title from the Rainbow 6 franchise, Siege introduces highly destructible maps so tension is always high in the multiplayer-based FPS. Rainbow 6 Siege is focused on teamplay and is predominantly an online multiplayer experience with an eSports Pro League built around it to promote the game. R6 Siege features support for native Ultra HD textures and its highly-detailed, highly-dynamic environment makes it a very challenging game for any system making it one of the most ideal modern benchmark.
We’re currently introducing this title to our standard benchmarks and we’re still exploring benchmark options for the game. For now, we present you the ingame benchmark results.
Built to be the official eSports counterpart of the Formula 1 series, F1 2017 is a highly-detailed simulation of the real thing with heavy attention to details including track condition, vehicle condition etc. with realistic visuals to further feed a sense of realism to players. Built around the EGO Engine 4.0, the game is a great workout and benchmark for racing sims featuring realistic lighting, track detail and physics.
Ultra High Graphics Settings
Lighting Settings: High
Shadows: Ultra High
Ambient Occlusion: HBAO+
Texture Streaming: Ultra High
Weather Effects: Ultra High
Dynamic Hair: High
Temperature & Power Consumption
To measure both power consumption and heat, we stress the video card and record the peak values for heat and wattage. We use default values on the cards and stress test them using 3DMark FireStrike Ultra in 20 loops to simulate gaming loads and this is where we also base our power draw. System power draw is measured from the socket.
Analyzing the power draw of the GTX 1070 Ti in a gaming-like scenario, it peaks at close to 140W which is quite efficient compared to an overclocked GTX 1080. The custom cards do show us the GPU is more than capable of bridging the gap in performance and it does so with a bit of extra juice which they draw from their extra PCIe power sources.
Despite its good looks, we’ve never been fans of NVIDIA’s reference cooler. Whilst they keep cards cool within their reference specs, they still hold back the potential of GPU Boost’s dynamic frequency and the overall longevity of the card as it retains heat more than it dispenses it.
Thermal vision shows us the hotspots of the Founders Edition cooler on the GTX 1070 Ti. The backplate does spread heat evenly across the PCB back area but the NVTTM does pile up the heat in the GPU heatsink bloc and while the card automatically boosts the fan speed to around 60%, only around 80% does the fans do provide adequate cooling which in turn makes the card quite audible.
The question we got most during our testing of the GTX 1070 Ti is if its a better option than the GTX 1080 which is of course the most expensive option. In our test we can clearly see the reference GTX 1070 Ti dip against the GTX 1080 and the aftermarket-cooled GTX 1070 Tis. The main take here is that given adequate cooling, the GTX 1070 Ti is an incredible performance and a more efficient one at that. At 1080p, the reference trails more but at Quad HD 1440p we can see the GTX 1070 Ti go head to head against the GTX 1080 in many situations.
With this information in hand, we can safely assume that if you play mostly in 1440p, the GTX 1070 Ti is a viable option versus the GTX 1080 should supply be a challenge. Indeed, a GTX 1080 will be far more powerful in AAA titles that are more demanding but for well-optimized modern titles, this shouldn’t be an issue for the GTX 1070 Ti to keep up with its bigger brother. Frametimes do show the GTX 1080 to be faster overall but the difference is almost negligible.
Once again, the reference cooler holds back the GPU and is barely capable of keeping it at optimal levels but thanks to custom-cooled models, there’s plenty of options out there of GTX 1070 Tis that don’t throttle back.
Given the scarcity and noise/heat of the Vega64, the GTX 1070 Ti outright beats it in pure value bridging GTX 1080 performance at close to Vega64 prices.
We’ll follow up this review with a separate overclocking article but it is worth mentioning that the previous reports that the GTX 1070 Ti will be incapable of overclocking is absolutely false and the cards we have are more than capable of running at 2Ghz core clocks which gives them plenty of performance to close the GTX 1080 performance gap even further.
In closing, the NVIDIA GTX 1070 Ti will most likely be the last Pascal-based GeForce GTX card made available and NVIDIA didn’t disappoint with this card. It offers great value for its recommended price and ultimately secures NVIDIA’s spot between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, denying it further from AMD.
Warranty varies by AIB. We give the NVIDIA GTX 1070 Ti our B2G Editor’s Choice Award!