NVIDIA debuted its Pascal graphics architecture nearly one and a half years ago with the GeForce GTX 1080, but it seemed only just like yesterday doesn’t it?
Between now and then, a lot has happened. For NVIDIA, they expanded on the success of the GeForce GTX 1080 with a whole range of 10 series cards. For mainstream gamers, we have the excellent GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce GTX 1060. And for the truly power crazed, we have the Titan Xp and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. There’s something for everyone.
However, things got interested in the past few months after AMD released its Vega cards. The Radeon RX Vega 64 finally offered NVIDIA’s high-end GPUs something to think about, while the Radeon RX Vega 56 gave the mid to high-end GeForce GTX 1070 some really serious competition.
The GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is therefore NVIDIA’s response to this competition. And based on specifications alone, it sure looks like it will the high-end graphics card to get this Christmas.
The first GeForce GTX 1070 Ti card to arrive in our labs is the Galax GeForce GTX 1070 Ti EX-SNPR White and it features a white custom dual-fan cooler that looks like it was made specially for the upcoming festive season. It also has a couple of notable upgrades over a reference GeForce GTX 1070 Ti so let's see how it performs. But first, a quick rundown on what makes a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti.
The GeForce GTX 1070 Ti slots in between the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. However, it is closer to the former. It uses a new variant of the Pascal GP104 GPU called the GP104-300. This is basically the same GP104-400 GPU found in the GeForce GTX 1080 but with an SM (streaming multiprocessor) disabled.
This means the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti has 19 SM units, 2432 CUDA cores, 152 TMUs, and 64 ROPS. If you look at the table that I have complied below, you will see that it sits very closely to the GeForce GTX 1080.
|GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce GTX 1070 Ti||GeForce GTX 1070|
|Transistors||12 billion||7.2 billion||7.2 billion||7.2 billion|
|Base clock||1480 MHz||1607 MHz||1607 MHz||1506 MHz|
|Boost clock||1582 MHz||1733 MHz||1683 MHz||1683 MHz|
|Memory||11GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory bandwidth||484 GB/s||352 GB/s||256 GB/s||256 GB/s|
|Launch price (USD)||US$699||US$549||US$499||US$399|
Pay close attention to the number of cores that the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti has. At 2432, it only has 128 cores (5%) less than the GeForce GTX 1080. Compared to the GeForce GTX 1070, the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti has 512 more cores, which is about 26% more! To ensure that the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti doesn't come to close to the GeForce GTX 1080, I suspect NVIDIA has purposefully held back its clock speeds.
To further differentiate the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti from the GeForce GTX 1080, the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti will also be equipped with slower GDDR5 memory. Theoretical memory bandwidth will be the same as the GeForce GTX 1070, which is 256GB/s or about 27% less than the GeForce GTX 1080.
While the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti ships with slightly stunted clock speeds and slower memory, NVIDIA says it would be immensely overclockable. To that end, the Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti will ship with the same 5-phase dual-FET power supply that comes with the GeForce GTX 1080. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if an overclocked GeForce GTX 1070 Ti can come close or even surpass a stock GeForce GTX 1008.
The test card I have is from Galax and it is the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti EX-SNPR White. It ships with NVIDIA’s default clock speeds, but it features a custom cooler and an upgraded power supply.
Galax calls it custom cooler “Silent Extreme Technology” and it features a thick aluminum cover and two large 100mm diameter fans. The fans channel cool air through a large and elaborate heatsink. The heatsink consists of a large radiator and four thick heat pipes that draw heat away from the GPU core.
The card also comes with a thick aluminum backplate to improve rigidity. One thing worth noting is that the aluminum backplate adds a bit to the thickness of the card, and on some motherboards, it can interfere with the SO-DIMM slots for memory. The workaround is to install the card is another PCIe slot further away from the SO-DIMM slots.
Nestled with the custom cooler are LED lights for decorative purposes. The dual fans feature white LEDs, while the backplate features a large ring of RGB lights, which can be customized using the Galax's Xtreme Tuner Plus utility.
The Galax GeForce GTX 1070 Ti EX-SNPR White comes with the usual video output ports. There’s a single HDMI 2.0B port, three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, and a single dual-link DVI port.
One unique thing about the Galax GeForce GTX 1070 Ti EX-SNPR White is its upgraded power supply phase. As I mentioned earlier, the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti comes with the same 5-phase dual-FET power supply as the GeForce GTX 1080. However, the Galax GeForce GTX 1070 Ti EX-SNPR White comes with a “5+2” phase power supply. The additional two phases are dedicated to the memory. In addition, it also comes with special SMD inductors that are said to minimize noise. The end result, according to Galax, is better overclocking performance.