Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition Review: Replacing GeForce GTX 1080

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Results: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, The Witcher 3, and WoW

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon (DX11)

The only reason we use Ghost Recon’s Very High detail setting is to avoid the Ultra preset’s Turf Effects option, which creates an unfair comparison between GeForce and Radeon cards.

True to Nvidia’s claims, GeForce RTX 2070 looks most at home gaming on a QHD screen with detail settings maxed out. It enjoys an 8% lead over GeForce GTX 1080 and a 14% advantage compared to Radeon RX Vega 64.

Our GeForce RTX 2080 review showed that card falling short of smooth performance in Ghost Recon at 4K, so it’s no surprise that GeForce RTX 2070 ends up even further down the hierarchy. You can splurge on GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for the ultimate experience at 3840x2160, drop to 2560x1440 and maintain the gorgeous-looking visuals, or dial back the quality settings to get a better frame rate at 4K. It’s a tough balancing act, to be sure.

The Witcher 3 (DX11)

AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 fare similarly in The Witcher 3 at 2560x1440 using Ultra settings. The new GeForce RTX 2070 blows past both with a 16%+ lead. To be fair, though, even a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is ample in this game.

On the other hand, playing at 4K calls for heavier artillery. A GeForce RTX 2080 is ideal, though a GTX 1080 Ti works well for significantly less money. GeForce RTX 2070 nearly averages 60 FPS. We still think it’s better on a high-refresh QHD display, though.

Bonus: World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (DX12)

WoW is another game that’d likely benefit more from a CPU upgrade than a $600 graphics card. However, since Battle for Azeroth added DirectX 12 support to its custom engine, we decided it’d be fun to test the game using its most taxing detail settings with 4x MSAA enabled.

If you’re already using a high-end Pascal-based graphics card, Blizzard’s latest expansion doesn’t get much faster from Turing at this resolution.

Switching to 4K and disabling MSAA has little effect on the top five finishers. GeForce RTX 2070 lands just ahead of GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 Ti, both of which offer far better value (and greater than 60 FPS rates at 3840x2160 using the top quality setting in WoW).

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • coolio0103
    200$ more expensive a rtx 2070 than a gtx 1080 Strix or msi which is the same perfomance than the FE 2070. Bye bye 1080? Really? This page is dropped to the lowest part of the internet news pages. Bye bye Tom's hardware
  • 80-watt Hamster
    Frustrating how, in two generations, Nvidia's *70-class offering has gone from $330 to $500 (est). Granted, we're talking more than double the performance, so it can be considered a good value from a strict perf/$ perpsective. But it also feels like NV is moving the goalposts for what "upper mid-range" means.
  • TCA_ChinChin
    gtx 1080 - 470$
    rtx 2070 - 600$

    130$ increase for less than 10% fps improvement on average. Disappointing, especially with increased TDP, which means efficiency didn't really increase so even for mini ITX builds, the heat generated is gonna be pretty much the same for the same performance.
  • jaexyr
    What a flop
  • cangelini
    21406199 said:
    200$ more expensive a rtx 2070 than a gtx 1080 Strix or msi which is the same perfomance than the FE 2070. Bye bye 1080? Really? This page is dropped to the lowest part of the internet news pages. Bye bye Tom's hardware

    This quite literally will replace 1080 once those cards are gone. The conclusion sums up what we think of 2070 FE's value, though.
  • bloodroses
    21406199 said:
    200$ more expensive a rtx 2070 than a gtx 1080 Strix or msi which is the same perfomance than the FE 2070. Bye bye 1080? Really? This page is dropped to the lowest part of the internet news pages. Bye bye Tom's hardware

    Prices will come down on the RTX 2070's. GTX 1080's wont be available sooner or later. Tom's Hardware is correct on the assessment of the RTX 2070. Blame Nvidia for the price gouging on early adopters; and AMD for not having proper competition.
  • demonhorde665
    wow seriously sick of the elitism at tom's . seems every few years they push up what they deem "playable frame rates" . just 3 years ago they were saying 40 + was playable. 8 years ago they were saying 35+ and 12+ years ago they were saying 25+ was playable. now they are saying in this test that only 50 + is playable? . serilously read the article not just the frame scores , the author is saying at several points that the test fall below 50 fps "the playable frame rate". it's like they are just trying to get gamers to rush out and buy overpriced video cards. granted 25 fps is a bit eye soreish on today's lcd/led screens , but come on. 35 is definitely playable with little visual difference. 45+ is smooth as butter
    yeah it would be awesome if we could get 60 fps on every game at 4k. it would be awesome just to hit 50 @ 4k, but ffs you don't have to try to sell the cards so hard. admit it gamers on a less-than-top-cost budget will still enjoy 4k gaming at 35 , 40 or 45 fps. hell it's not like the cards doing 40-50 fps are cheap them selves… gf 1070's still obliterate most consumer's pockets at $420-450 bucks a card. the fact is top end video card prices have gone nutso in the past year or two... 600 -800 dollars for just a video card is f---king insane and detrimental to the PC gaming industry as a whole. just 6 years ago you could build a decent mid tier gaming rig for 600-700 bucks , now that same rig (in performance terms) would run you 1000-1200 , because of this blatant price gouging by both AMD and nvidia (but definitely worse on nvidia's side). 5-10 years from now ever one will being saying that 120 fps is ideal and that any thing below 100 fps is unplayable. it's getting ridiculous.
  • jeffunit
    With its fan shroud disconnected, GeForce RTX 2070’s heat sink stretches from one end of the card, past the 90cm-long PCB...

    That is pretty big, as 90cm is 35 inches, just one inch short of 3 feet.
    I suspect it is a typo.
  • tejayd
    Last line in the 3rd paragraph "If not, third-party GeForce RTX 2070s should start in the $500 range, making RTX 2080 a natural replacement for GeForce GTX 1080." Shouldn't that say "making RTX 2070 a natural replacement". Or am I misinterpreting "natural"?
  • Brian_R170
    The 20-series have been a huge let-down . Yes, the 2070 is a little faster than the 1080 and the 2080 is a little faster than the 1080Ti, but they're both are more expensive and consume more power than the cards they supplant. Shifting the card names to a higher performance bar is just a marketing strategy.