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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition Review: More evolutionary than revolutionary

By Aaron Yip - 20 Jun 2021

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series Roundup

Note: This review was first published on 9 June 2021.

A complete RTX 30-Series lineup

At their Computex keynote event, NVIDIA announced two new graphics cards to their RTX 30-Series line-up. The first was, of course, the company’s new gaming flagship and whose existence was often rumoured, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition. The other however, caught us by surprise. Certainly, not many of us at HardwareZone were expecting NVIDIA to launch a video card that sits in between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. And so here we are, the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition.

The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is NVIDIA’s seventh card based on an Ampere GPU but only its sixth Founders Edition card for this generation, because they never made one for their RTX 3060 GPU – leaving it directly to partners. And like all RTX 30-Series GPUs, the RTX 3070 Ti is also made using the 8nm Samsung node and comes with DLSS 2.0, Reflex and ray-tracing technologies. Let’s have a closer look at the key specifications:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Specifications Comparisons
  RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3070 RTX 3070 Ti RTX 3080 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3090
GPU GA104-200 GA104-300 GA104-400 GA102-200 GA102-225 GA102-300
SM 38 46 48 68 80 82
CUDA Cores 4864 5888 6144 8704 10240 10496
RT 38 46 48 68 80 82
Tensor Cores 152 184 192 272 320 328
ROPs 80 96 96 96 112 112
GPU Base clock 1410MHz 1500MHz 1575MHz 1440MHz 1370MHz 1395MHz
GPU Boost clock 1665MHz 1725MHz 1770MHz 1710MHz 1670MHz 1695MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6X 10GB GDDR6X 12GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X
Memory speed 14Gbps 14Gbps 19Gbps 19Gbps 19Gbps 19.5Gbps
Bandwidth 448GB/s 448GB/s 608.3GB/s 760GB/s 912GB/s 936GB/s
Memory bus 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit 384-bit 384-bit
TGP 200W 220W 290W 320W 350W 350W
MSRP US$399 US$499 US$599 US$699 US$1,199 US$1,499

I’ve mentioned in my RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition review of how that GPU is actually closer to the RTX 3090 than the RTX 3080 in specifications and performance, which also explains how narrow the price tags of both cards are. Compared to the RTX 3070, the new GeForce RTX 3070 Ti will feature just 4% more CUDA cores. This is combined with a base clock speed of 1,580MHz and 1,770MHz when overclocked.

The key difference between both cards is memory. Compared to the RTX 3070, the RTX 3070 Ti has faster GDDR6X video memory, and these runs hotter than the standard GDDR6. That also explains the higher TGP and NVIDIA having to go with a different cooler design than the one used on the RTX 3070 Founders Edition, which made it looks like an extended vanilla RTX 3070 in some way.

The RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition sport a different, lengthier, cooler than the original RTX 3070 Founders Edition.

The RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition also requires the use of two eight-pin connectors fed into the single 12-pin.

So, on paper at least, the RTX 3070 Ti has minimal improvements on the original RTX 3070 (unlike the substantial jump that the RTX 3080 Ti had over the vanilla RTX 3080), which certainly raises some questions why a “Ti” variant was created at all? The answer might lie in the card’s price. As we can see in the chart above, the RTX 3070 Ti fills up a market segment that was conspicuously missing in the RTX 30 Series until now - the US$599 bracket. With the new RTX 3070 Ti, NVIDIA essentially now covers all mainstream market segments; the RTX 3060 Ti (US$399), RTX 3070 (US$499), RTX 3070 Ti (US$599), RTX 3080 (US$699) and the RTX 3080 Ti (US$1,199).

So, whether you’re looking for a good performance card on a tighter budget, something balanced between price and performance, or a no-holds barred graphics card solution, you’ll never be short of options here.

With that said, let’s have a look at how the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition fare in our benchmarks.

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7.5
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Solid build
Quiet even at full load
The best graphics card for 1440p gaming
The Bad
Marginal performance gain over the GeForce RTX 3070
Pricey
High power draw
Requires a split-connector cable adapter
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