Nvidia has yet to launch its GeForce RTX 3090, and we're already seeing board partners listing RTX 3070 aftermarket cards which are slated to be released next month. Gigabyte is one of the first to show off new RTX 3070 graphics cards, on its Gaming and Eagle lineups.
The GeForce RTX 3070 will be Nvidia's mid-range graphics card for the Ampere generation. The GPU will feature 5888 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory (no GDDR6X). Nvidia says the RTX 3070 will be on equal performance levels as the RTX 2080 Ti. Also, the slower VRAM and reduction to CUDA cores helps drop the RTX 3070's TDP significantly, only requiring 220W for the FE model. This should make designing aftermarket cards easier for manufacturers.
The Eagle and Gaming RTX 3070s look similar to the RTX 3080 / RTX 3090 equivalents, they both are triple-fan cooling solutions that exhaust air out of all sides of the card. The major design change for the RTX 3070 models is the reduction to height. With the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 variants, the cards were quite a bit higher to help include larger 90mm fans at the center and rear parts of the cooler. With the RTX 3070 variants, they only require three 80mm fans instead of the 90mm. Allowing the shroud to be shortened. Hopefully, this can allow better compatibility in small form factor chassis.
From the back of both cards, there's an open slot that allows you to see the aluminum heatsink cooling the GPU and PCB components. Like other Ampere aftermarket cards, this design allows the rear fan to intake and exhaust more air without the PCB blocking airflow, increasing cooling efficiency.
Interestingly, the supplementary power plugs are at the rear of the card where there is no PCB (the card is probably using cable extensions to allow this setup to work). I'm assuming Gigabyte did this to help improve cable management for users, having them more in the middle can be frustrating for routing cables. Both cards feature a single 8-pin plus 6-pin power connectors.
The primary difference between the Gaming and Eagle is the shroud's aesthetics. The Gaming has a black and silver theme with an all-silver backplate. The Eagle is more conservative with a black/dark grey shroud plus blue accents. The card has a lot of pronounced edges as well. I'm assuming this breaks up its more minimalistic design.
For now, Gigabyte has not announced core clocks or memory clocks for both graphics cards. The only RTX 3070 cards listed on Gigabyte's site are OC variants, however, so expect higher frequencies vs the reference specification.
The GeForce RTX 3070 will launch on October 15th. However that is only for the Founders Edition, there's no word on when AIB partner cards will release (yet).
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.