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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB Review: Vega In The Crosshairs

Conclusion

For more than one year, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 enjoyed uncontested dominance atop the high-end graphics market.

Although Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 challenged both incumbents a couple of months ago, scarce availability and opportunistic pricing kept AMD’s solutions from generating enthusiasm commensurate with the company’s overplayed marketing.

Slowly but surely, though, both Vega cards are sliding closer to the prices AMD promised at launch: up until a day ago, Vega 64 sold for somewhere between $550 and $600, while Vega 56 was largely between $450 and $470. AMD managed some last-minute adjustments to try shifting favor in its direction, and gamers who were waiting for Vega to become more affordable should appreciate them. However, such a heavy-handed move is almost certain to be temporary.

To its credit, Radeon RX Vega 56 debuted with better performance than its principal competition, GeForce GTX 1070. And with the vanilla 1070 mostly available between $400 and $500, Vega 56 is earning deserved attention. Nvidia doesn’t want this. In fact, it’s willing to put pressure on GTX 1070 and 1080 with an in-between model to get gamers talking ahead of the holidays. GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, starting at $450, is intended as a hit on Radeon RX Vega 56.

We’d call it more of a glancing blow, though.

In roughly half of our benchmarks, the 1070 Ti does successfully land in front of Vega 56. In several others, the two cards trade jabs. Destiny 2 at 2560x1440 is AMD’s only real victory, and it’s a mere single-digit-percentage win. But rather than edge out the Radeon at a more attractive price, GeForce GTX 1070 Ti costs almost the same as Vega 56.

Granted, the GeForce enjoys big advantages in power, noise, and overclockability. But slightly better stock performance than Vega 56 at a similar cost doesn’t get our blood pumping like GTX 1080/1070 when it launched, or GTX 1080 Ti more recently. The real coup would have been nudging GeForce GTX 1070 Ti closer to $400, then moving the vanilla 1070 down to fill an almost-$150 hole between the 1070 and GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. After all, Nvidia’s partners were supposed to be selling 1070s starting at $380 back in mid-’16. It sounds like that would have required a less 1080-like approach, though. Vapor chamber-based coolers aren't cheap.

One aspect of this launch that we do applaud is Nvidia’s decision to sell its GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition card through geforce.com for $450, leaving none of the pricing ambiguity that dogged Radeon RX Vega (damaging AMD’s credibility in the process). We may not love the 1070 Ti’s positioning, but at least enthusiasts can grab one without getting gouged if their opinions differ.


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  • 10tacle
    Yaaayyy! The NDA prison has freed everyone to release their reviews! Outstanding review, Chris. This card landed exactly where it was expected to, between the 1070 and 1080. In some games it gets real close to the 1080, where in other games, the 1080 is significantly ahead. Same with comparison to the RX 56 - close in some, not so close in others. Ashes and Destiny 2 clearly favor AMD's Vega GPUs. Can we get Project Cars 2 in the mix soon?

    It's a shame the overclocking results were too inconsistent to report, but I guess that will have to wait for vendor versions to test. Also, a hat tip for using 1440p where this GPU is targeted. Now the question is what will the real world selling prices be vs. the 1080. There are $520 1080s available out there (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127945), so if AIB partners get closer to the $500 pricing threshold, that will be way too close to the 1080 in pricing.
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    Vega Still wins , If you take in consideration $200 Cheaper Freesync 1440p wide/nonwide monitors , AMD is still a winner.
    Reply
  • SinxarKnights
    So why did MSI call it the GTX 1070 Ti Titanium? Do they not know what Ti means?

    ed: Lol at least one other person doesn't know what Ti means either : If you don't know Ti stands for "titanium" effectively they named the card GTX 1070 Titanium Titanium.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    20334482 said:
    Vega Still wins , If you take in consideration $200 Cheaper Freesync 1440p wide/nonwide monitors , AMD is still a winner.

    Well that is true and always goes without saying. You pay more for G-sync than Freesync which needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on GPUs. However, if you already own a 1440p 60Hz monitor, the choice becomes not so easy to make, especially considering how hard it is to find Vegas.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    For those interested, Guru3D overclocked their Founder's Edition sample successfully. As expected, it gains 9-10% which puts it square into reference 1080 territory. Excellent for the lame blower cooler. The AIB vendor dual-triple fan cards will exceed that overclocking capability.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/nvidia_geforce_gtx_1070_ti_review,42.html
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Chris, what is it that pummels the minimums for the 1080 Ti and Vega 64 in BF1 at 1440p? And why, when moving up to UHD, does this effect persist for the 1080 Ti but not for Vega 64?

    Also, wrt the testing of Division, and comparing to your 1080 Ti review back?rel=ugc]http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-ti,review-33819-5.html]back in March, I notice the results for the 1070 are identical at 1440p (58.7), but completely different at UHD (42.7 in March, 32.7 now); what has changed? This new test states it's using Medium detail at UHD, so was the March testing using Ultra or something? The other cards are affected in the same way.

    Not sure if it's significant, but I also see 1080 and 1080 Ti performance at 1440p being a bit better back in March.

    Re pricing, Scan here in the UK has the Vega 56 a bit cheaper than a reference 1070 Ti, but not by much. One thing which is kinda nuts though, the AIB versions of the 1070 Ti are using the same branding names as they do for what are normally overclocked models, eg. SC for EVGA, AMP for Zotac, etc., but of course they're all 1607MHz base. Maybe they'll vary in steady state for boost clocks, but it kinda wrecks the purpose of their marketing names. :D

    Ian.

    PS. When I follow the Forums link, the UK site looks different, then reverts to its more usual layout when one logs in (weird). Also, the UK site is failing to retain the login credentials from the US transfer as it used to.

    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    20334510 said:
    Well that is true and always goes without saying. You pay more for G-sync than Freesync which needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on GPUs. ...

    It's a bit odd that people are citing the monitor cost advantage of Freesync, while article reviews are not showing games actually running at frame rates which would be relevant to that technology. Or are all these Freesync buyers just using 1080p? Or much lower detail levels? I'd rather stick to 60Hz and higher quality visuals.

    Ian.

    Reply
  • FormatC
    @Ian:
    The typical Freesync-Buddy is playing in Wireframe-Mode at 720p ;)

    All this sync options can help to smoothen the output, if you are too sensitive. This is a fact, but not for everybody with the same prio.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    20334648 said:
    Chris, what is it that pummels the minimums for the 1080 Ti and Vega 64 in BF1 at 1440p? And why, when moving up to UHD, does this effect persist for the 1080 Ti but not for Vega 64?
    From other benchmarks I've seen, DX12 performance in BF1 is poor. Average FPS is a bit lower than in DX11, and minimum FPS far worse in some cases. If you're looking for BF1 performance info, I'd recommend looking for benchmarks on other sites that test in DX11.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    20334667 said:
    It's a bit odd that people are citing the monitor cost advantage of Freesync, while article reviews are not showing games actually running at frame rates which would be relevant to that technology. Or are all these Freesync buyers just using 1080p? Or much lower detail levels? I'd rather stick to 60Hz and higher quality visuals.

    Well I'm not sure I understand your point. The benchmarks show FPS exceeding 60FPS, meaning maximum GPU performance. It's about matching monitor refresh rate (Hz) to FPS for smooth gameplay, not just raw FPS. But regarding the Freesync argument, that's usually what is brought up in price comparisons between AMD and Nvidia. If someone is looking to upgrade from both a 60Hz monitor and a GPU, then it's a valid point.

    However, as I stated, if someone already has a 60Hz 2560x1440 or one of those ultrawide monitors, then the argument for Vega gets much weaker. Especially considering their limited availability. As I posted in a link above, you can buy a nice dual fan MSI GTX 1080 for $520 on NewEgg right now. I have not seen a dual fan MSI Vega for sale anywhere (every Vega for sale I've seen is the reference blower design).
    Reply