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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition review: Petite powerhouse

By Koh Wanzi - 16 Oct 2018

Test setup & gaming performance

Test Setup

The detailed specifications of our new graphics card testbed system is as follows:-

  • Intel Core i7-8086K (4.0GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Maximus X Hero (Intel Z370)
  • 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • ASUS PB287Q, 4K monitor

The full line-up of graphics cards and their driver versions are listed below:

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (ForceWare 416.33)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (ForceWare 411.51)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (ForceWare 411.51)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (ForceWare 399.24)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (ForceWare 399.24)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (ForceWare 399.24)

Test cards compared
  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition
  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition
Launch SRP
  • From S$1188
  • From S$1188
Core Code
  • TU106
  • TU102
  • TU104
  • GP102
  • GP104
  • GP104-300
GPU Transistor Count
  • 10.8 billion
  • 18.9 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 12 billion
  • 7.2 billion
  • 7.2 billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 16nm
  • 16nm
  • 16nm FinFET
Core Clock
  • Core: 1,410MHz, Boost: 1,710MHz
  • Core: 1,350MHz, Boost: 1,635MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,800MHz
  • 1480MHz (Boost: 1582MHz)
  • 1607MHz (Boost: 1733MHz)
  • Base: 1607MHz
  • Boost: 1683MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2.304
  • 4,352
  • 2,944
  • 3584
  • 2560
  • 2432
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 120
  • 272
  • 184
  • 224
  • 160
  • 152
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 64
  • 88
  • 64
  • 88
  • 64
  • 64
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 11GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 11000MHz
  • 10000MHz
  • 8000MHz DDR
Memory Bus width
  • 256-bit
  • 352-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 352-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256 bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 448GB/s
  • 616GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 484.4 GB/s
  • 320 GB/s
  • 256GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCIe 3.0
Power Connectors
  • 1x 8-pin
  • 2 x 8-pin
  • 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • 1 x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • No
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
DVI Outputs
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • 1
  • 1
HDMI Outputs
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0B
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 2x
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1480MHz
  • 1607MHz
  • 1607MHz

 

Benchmarks

Next up, here's a list of all the benchmarks used:

  • 3DMark
  • VRMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division

We used the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark and stress test in 3DMark for our temperature  and power consumption tests respectively.

 

3DMark

The synthetic 3DMark benchmark tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stress your hardware in turn to assess its performance.

Right from the outset, it's clear that the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is miles ahead of the GeForce RTX 2070. However, the latter does come close to the GeForce RTX 2080. In the 4K Fire Strike Ultra test, the GeForce RTX 2080 was ahead of the 2070 by just under 15 per cent. 

However, the GeForce RTX 2080 outdid both the GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 Ti from the previous generation, edging ahead of the former by around 8 per cent.

 

VRMark

Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The second graph also shows how the cards fared against the benchmark's target of an average FPS of 109. 

All the tested cards are more than capable of handling the benchmark, and it looks like they're actually so fast that the CPU is starting to become a limiting factor (and that's considering we've already plugged in the fastest stock-clocked Intel processor in our test rig). In fact, there's hardly any significant difference at the upper end between the top Turing and Pascal cards. 

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity has long been the poster child for the performance benefits a low-level API like DirectX 12 can bring. It is based on the Nitrous engine and can be extremely punishing thanks to the huge number of onscreen units and the sheer level of detail accorded to each unit. However, the CPU does become the limiting factor at lower resolutions and settings. 

The GeForce RTX 2070 continued to outstrip the GeForce GTX 1080 here, even posting decent performance at 4K resolution. However, it's not quite the monster that the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti are, so you won't be tearing through games at 4K with it. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided features just about every trick to make your game look pretty, including things like volumetric and dynamic lighting, screenspace reflections, and cloth physics. Even though it was released in 2016, the game is capable of bringing even the most powerful systems to their knees. 

The GeForce RTX 2070 does pretty well in Mankind Divided, as long as you don't crank the resolution up to 4K. At 1440p and Ultra settings, it was around 17 per cent faster than the GeForce GTX 1080.

 

Far Cry 5

The latest installment in the Far Cry series is actually an AMD launch title, so it'll be interesting to see how the green camp fares here. 

The GeForce RTX 2070 handles itself well here. At 1440p and Ultra settings, it was 11 per cent quicker than the GeForce GTX 1080, but 15 per cent behind the GeForce RTX 2080.

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

The GeForce RTX 2070 handily dealt with most of what Shadow of War threw at it. It doesn't manage to hit 60FPS at the 4K resolution however, but it's still plenty fast at the other resolutions and settings. In addition, it was roughly 20 per cent quicker than the GeForce GTX 1080 on average.

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

NVIDIA has mentioned Shadow of the Tomb Raider a lot lately, largely because it will be one of the first games to support its RTX technology through a post-release patch. At the time of writing however, the patch hasn't dropped yet, so the results still deal with conventional performance metrics. 

A similar picture played out here, with the GeForce RTX 2070 sitting snugly between the GeForce GTX 1080 and RTX 2080.

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8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Features 9.5
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Decent improvement over the GeForce GTX 1070
Compact size great for smaller systems
Excellent build quality
Runs cool and quiet
The Bad
Still a little on the expensive side
Ray tracing acceleration requires more widespread developer support to be actually useful
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