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Updated: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Pascal Review

Conclusion

Now that we've had a chance to look at power consumption, temperatures, acoustics, and efficiency, we have a better sense of the GeForce GTX 1070's standing. Losing the 1080's vapor chamber cooling does exact a penalty on the 1070's temperatures, which in turn imposes slightly more fan noise than the 1080 Founders Edition card. But as we see from MSI's Pascal-based boards, it is possible to run a lot cooler and quieter than the reference implementations.

A little extra time post-launch also gave us the opportunity to measure performance per shader, which told us that the GeForce GTX 1070 actually fares better than GTX 1080 (and, by a long shot, GTX 980 Ti). Really, the 1070 is a gaming beast at its price point. Where does it land, exactly? In every test we ran, GeForce GTX 1070 is as fast as, or faster than the $1100+ GeForce GTX Titan X. It’s not always quick enough to beat AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X, or even the vanilla Fury. But in those cases, Nvidia’s previous-gen cards lose by an even larger margin. And it’s hard to call the 1070’s losses meaningful at all. It’s imperceptibly slower than the Fury in Ashes of the Singularity and Hitman at 2560x1440 and 3840x2160. It’s imperceptibly faster than both Fiji-based cards in The Witcher 3 and The Division at 3840x2160. But everywhere else the 1070 enjoys an undeniable advantage.

Oh yeah, and remember that the 1070 Founders Edition card is slated to sell for $449. In the days prior to launch, GeForce GTX 980 Ti still goes for $550 and up. Titan X remains pegged at $1150. Radeon R9 Fury X commands $600 or more. And the vanilla Fury starts in the neighborhood of $520. As you might imagine, a GeForce GTX 1070 that outruns every one of those previous-gen products and sells for ~$450 completely rewrites our high-end recommendations moving forward.

Now consider Nvidia’s claim that third-party cards from its partners will start at $379. Tom’s Hardware staffers have different opinions of those custom designs, which are influenced by quality, cooling, noise and size. But if all you care about is performance, the 1070 puts incredible frame rates in reach of gamers who might have been looking at souped-up 970s or entry-level 980s previously. Flip back through the benchmarks to see what 1070 does to the 980. Now imagine how a 970 would fare.

Where would we deploy a GeForce GTX 1070? The board obviously has little trouble with QHD at maxed-out detail settings. It doesn’t quite get there at 4K, unfortunately—that’s an honor we’ll reserve for the GTX 1080. But if you’re willing to make some quality compromises, the 1070 could easily be a capable 4K card. Shoot, simply disabling anti-aliasing at 3840x2160 bumps Battlefield 4’s average frame rate from 43.5 to 63.7.

Don’t forget VR. While we still don’t have a final, definitive framework for benchmarking Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, my own experiences with the Rift suggested that a GeForce GTX 980 Ti delivered great performance in the launch-day titles. Presumably, an even faster 1070 would have headroom for next-gen games as well. And if they support some of the Pascal architecture’s VR-specific capabilities to improve efficiency, the 1070 could stand out from its predecessors even further.

As in our GeForce GTX 1080 review, Nvidia’s hardware does all of the talking. GeForce GTX 1070 is faster than the company’s fastest Maxwell-based solution at a price point less than half of what a Titan X still sells for. Our only gripe is that we’re dealing with a second paper launch in as many weeks. Hopefully the company has enough availability on June 10th to satisfy what will inevitably be a surge of demand.

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Chris Angelini is Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter andGoogle+.
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  • adamovera
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3073584/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-8gb-pascal-performance-review.html
    Reply
  • gromann
    Fury X is going for $399-449 as of yesterday on Newegg.
    Reply
  • nitrium
    So given the simultaneously lower price and higher performance of the partner boards, only an actual idiot would buy the "Founder's Edition" GTX 1070?
    Reply
  • George Phillips
    I feel that I should regret getting MSI 1070 FE. MSI's custom designs perform superior then FE cards in every way. Very impressive. Asus and Gigabyte's custom designs must also do better than FE cards.
    Reply
  • Krushe
    When you're talking about the heat on FE cards. I think the default fan speed is 45-50% at 83c. Make it 80% and the card never reaches 70c even with boost clock up to 1900+. What speeds are the MSI fans running at during your temp measurements?
    Reply
  • DookieDraws
    Edit: The article has been updated, so I deleted my original comment about the MSI GPU.
    Reply
  • Tony Casagrande
    "This means that the lowest possible GPU Boost clock rate step gets eliminated from the bottom of the BIOS’ table. So, if you want an additional space at the top, you need to make room for it by getting rid of the very bottom one."

    If it were me, I would have removed a low to middle clock rate instead of the very lowest to get both the low idle power consumption and the OC speed.
    Reply
  • straatkat
    Still annoyed that they posted this review without including the 970 as a baseline.
    Reply
  • neblogai
    Regarding the possible audible noise because of power spikes on PEG: it is not really about cheap MB, but about using analog audio out of MB, and not anything digital, right?
    Also, about overclocking: I think reviews of all these new generation nVidia and AMD cards should include average clock that cards operated when doing all game benchmarks. Official boost clock numbers are a bit useless, because AMD cards run games at below boost clocks, and average for nVidia GTX1070 is above boost clocks. Having just official boost clock numbers make it difficult to evaluate overclocking potential and make real gains look much bigger or smaller than expected.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Am I the only one that noticed that the Founder's Edition cards managed to pull over 75 watts from the motherboard PCIe slot and that no one went bonkers over it?
    Reply