The rumors and leaks were true. Asus and Noctua have officially partnered to release the GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua edition graphics card (opens in new tab), featuring two high-performance Noctua NF-A12x25 120mm fans, in Noctua's (in)famous beige-and-brown color scheme. Asus says the card will reach just 60 degrees Celcius in optimal conditions, with very low noise levels.
In the official announcement, Asus' Ken Chien says the RTX 3070 Noctua Edition is geared toward noise-conscious enthusiasts, desiring the maximum amount of cooling possible per decibel of noise emitted. And it comes in a package that can be matched with other Noctua components in a DIY PC.
Noctua's CEO Roland Mossig, also chimed in, saying that its customers have been asking them to create a GPU cooling solution for quite some time now, which is how the RTX 3070 Noctua Edition came to be. Through the use of NF_A12x25 fans and a new heatsink designed to best take advantage of the fans, Mossig says they were able to achieve a "...significant boost in performance-to-noise efficiency."
This is a dream card for many DIY PC enthusiasts who love high performance and low noise levels. The card itself is a sight to behold, with a gigantic heatsink and shroud, measuring in at 3.45 inches -- or just beyond three PCI-e slots in thickness. This effectively makes the RTX 3070 Noctua Edition a quadruple-slot card, requiring lots of room in your case for proper airflow.
The twin NF-A12x25 120mm fans that sit at the top of the card pack a thermal punch, being some of the quietest, best-performing fans you can buy for CPU, as we saw in our own testing earlier this year. These fans won't beat the best performing static pressure fans on the market, but they beat almost everything in acoustics.
The rest of the card stays true to the Noctua theme, with the backplate and graphics card shroud painted in Noctua's brown color scheme, with no RGB lights to be found. The shroud is also optimized for raw airflow, covering only half of the card's heatsink, allowing the NF-A12x25 fans to push air directly through the heatsink and back out into the case from all directions.
The RTX 3070 Noctua Edition will also come in two flavors: standard and factory overclocked. The vanilla model comes with a 1755MHz boost clock in the card's OC mode, while the factory overclocked version will come with a 1845MHz boost clock in the same mode.
According to Asus' performance tests, the RTX 3070 Noctua edition cooling power is shockingly good, and on par with full custom loop waterblocks. Asus tests both the RTX 3070 Noctua Edition, as well as its standard RTX 3070 in both temperatures and fan noise.
In the low fan speed test of 900 RPM for the Noctua card, and 1300RPM for the standard RTX 3070 from Asus, the Noctua peaks at just 60C on the GPU and a noise rating of just 12.6dB(A), one of the best results we've ever seen.
Going up to the medium fan speed test of 1350RPM for the Noctua card, and 2250RPM for the regular Asus GPU, the temperature drops significantly for both cards, measuring just 53C for both cards. But the Noctua card comes in at a significantly lower fan noise of just 21.1 dB(A), compared to 36.8dB(A) for the standard 3070.
Finally, for the maximum fan speed result -- which is 2000 RPM for the Noctua card and 3200 RPM for the standard version, the Noctua GPU wins by 1C at 50C and a noise level of 33.3dB(A) vs 42.2dB(A).
If Asus' numbers are to be believed, then the RTX 3070 Noctua Edition is definitely the best performing RTX 3070 we've ever seen, and one of the best-cooled graphics cards of all time.