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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62 comments
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  • gromann
    Fury X is going for $399-449 as of yesterday on Newegg.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • DookieDraws
    Edit: The article has been updated, so I deleted my original comment about the MSI GPU.
  • 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.
  • straatkat
    Still annoyed that they posted this review without including the 970 as a baseline.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • TJ Hooker
    1294514 said:
    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?
    It has narrow peaks that go over 75 W, as have a number of cards in the past. For the most part, what people were concerned about with the RX 480 was that average power was over 75 W. Whether that concern was warranted... well that's another question.
  • avatar_raq
    The last page needs to be updated as well.
    "Missing out on power consumption, operating temperatures and noise due to the constraints of Computex leaves us with an incomplete picture of GeForce GTX 1070, though we can certainly make some assumptions."
    You added those pages.
  • turkey3_scratch
    I don't see why people bought the Founder's Edition. This is just proof how much better aftermarket coolers are.
  • jtd871
    Looking forward to reviews of 3rd party cards from other vendors.
  • Calculatron
    1636679 said:
    It has narrow peaks that go over 75 W, as have a number of cards in the past. For the most part, what people were concerned about with the RX 480 was that average power was over 75 W. Whether that concern was warranted... well that's another question.


    Yep, and that's why I am poking fun at it.
  • turkey3_scratch
    Yeah the same could be said about anything. An aftermarket GTX 1080 reaches 400W. But that's only a rare thin spike.
  • d_s_c_8
    TJ Hooker said:
    It has narrow peaks that go over 75 W, as have a number of cards in the past. For the most part, what people were concerned about with the RX 480 was that average power was over 75 W. Whether that concern was warranted... well that's another question.


    The GTX 1070 Founder Edition averages 75 watts but realistically has a 65 watt limit.
  • turkey3_scratch
    2284094 said:
    TJ Hooker said: It has narrow peaks that go over 75 W, as have a number of cards in the past. For the most part, what people were concerned about with the RX 480 was that average power was over 75 W. Whether that concern was warranted... well that's another question. The GTX 1070 Founder Edition averages 75 watts but realistically has a 65 watt limit.


    That doesn't make any sense.
  • d_s_c_8
    1712875 said:
    2284094 said:
    TJ Hooker said: It has narrow peaks that go over 75 W, as have a number of cards in the past. For the most part, what people were concerned about with the RX 480 was that average power was over 75 W. Whether that concern was warranted... well that's another question. The GTX 1070 Founder Edition averages 75 watts but realistically has a 65 watt limit.
    That doesn't make any sense.


    From page 7 of the review:

    "Taking a closer look at the motherboard slot yields a surprising finding: none of the cards in this round-up use the 3V rail at all. This means that the PCIe slot doesn’t really provide the 75W most enthusiasts assume it does, since the 12V rail only offers about 65W on its own."
  • neblogai
    2284094 said:
    "Taking a closer look at the motherboard slot yields a surprising finding: none of the cards in this round-up use the 3V rail at all. This means that the PCIe slot doesn’t really provide the 75W most enthusiasts assume it does, since the 12V rail only offers about 65W on its own."


    That is about the PCIe spec at 12V, not the power usage of cards in the test.
  • d_s_c_8
    124761 said:
    2284094 said:
    "Taking a closer look at the motherboard slot yields a surprising finding: none of the cards in this round-up use the 3V rail at all. This means that the PCIe slot doesn’t really provide the 75W most enthusiasts assume it does, since the 12V rail only offers about 65W on its own."
    That is about the PCIe spec at 12V, not the power usage of cards in the test.


    That is exactly my basis. The spec says 65W on 12V, and the card averages 75W on 12V. I call that going over spec.
  • turkey3_scratch
    The spec actually says 5.5A of current.
  • d_s_c_8
    1712875 said:
    The spec actually says 5.5A of current.


    And the card averages 6.25A on the 12V rail.
  • 10tacle
    416069 said:
    Fury X is going for $399-449 as of yesterday on Newegg.


    Only one is going for $399[US]...the XFX variant. The rest are $600 and up, so that is suspicious on NewEgg ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007709%20600566292 ).

    Also, whatever they are selling for now is irrelevant. AMD stopped making them. It's what the launch price is as to what is directly comparable. It launched at $650[US]. Never mind that GPU was a fail for the most part and not the 980Ti killer it was supposed to be (according to the AMD fans anyway). It couldn't overclock as it was already maxed out and a factory overclocked 980Ti that was overclocked again like the Gigabyte G1 Gaming just destroyed it:

    http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image//skymtl/GPU/GTX%20-980-TI-GB/GTX%20-980-TI-GB-87.jpg