Much like the RTX 3080, the RTX 4070 can legitimately handle 4K gaming, as long as you're not hoping to max out all of the settings — especially in ray tracing games. Here's the big picture.
Perhaps because of the 192-bit interface, even with 12GB of VRAM, the RTX 4070 trails the RTX 3080 by a couple of percent. Averaging 40 fps overall, it's really mix of games that remain very playable (most of the rasterization suite) and games that fall well short of being smooth (most of the ray tracing suite).
If you're hoping to game at 4K with the RTX 4070, you'll definitely want to consider using DLSS or some other upscaling algorithm, which we'll cover on the next page. It's the difference between sub-30 fps and potentially 60+ fps in the most demanding games.
In our rasterization suite, the RTX 4070 falls behind most of the other GPUs in our charts — it ties the RX 6800 XT and leads the RX 6800, RTX 3070 Ti, and RTX 3070, but nothing more than that.
Average performance across the suite is 55 fps, with only three of the nine games clearing 60 fps. A Plague Tale: Requiem ranks as the most demanding of the rasterization games, and the 4070 only manages 35 fps.
You can check our full GPU benchmarks hierarchy for comparisons with other graphics cards, and if you do that you can also see that the RTX 4070 beats the first generation RTX 2080 Ti quite soundly. That's no surprise as the RTX 3070 basically ties the 2080 Ti at 4K. So, in a bit more than four years, Nvidia has improved performance over its best GPU by about 33% while cutting the price in half.
Maxed out settings, with ray tracing, at 4K, without upscaling? Yeah, good luck. Of the six DXR games in our suite, only Spider-Man can consistently break 30 fps. That's hardly shocking, considering even the RTX 4080, which costs twice as much, only manages 41 fps.
But then, these results are precisely why Nvidia started working on DLSS clear back before the RTX 20-series even saw the light of day! The first iteration wasn't all that great, but it paved the way for substantially better results over the past four years. So let's not belabor the poor native 4K results and instead move on to our upscaling tests.