Our power, clocks, and temperature testing now utilizes the same test suite as our gaming benchmarks, as the PCAT v2 hardware and FrameView software lets us collect this data alongside frametimes. We're also using our updated Core i9-13900K platform, so we're less likely to have CPU or platform limitations playing a role.
We have 1080p, 1440p, and 4K charts for power, GPU clocks, and temperatures below. Then we do a test using Metro Exodus Enhanced at whatever "demanding for the GPU being tested" means, and after letting the game run for 15 minutes or more, we check noise levels. We'll present additional tables and information about efficiency (FPS/W) and value (FPS/$) at the bottom of the page.
Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture proves very efficient overall, and PNY locks down power use more than Nvidia's reference card, so even when overclocked power use doesn't break 200W. The maximum average power use we saw was actually just 192W when overclocked, versus 198W running stock (though we didn't test the overclocked card at 4K ultra or 1080p medium).
The PNY RTX 4070 uses less power than AMD's RX 6800 while delivering performance closer to that of the RX 6950 XT. Even if we drop the ray tracing results, it would still be equal to the RX 6800 XT in rasterized performance while using over 100W less power. Like we said, it's an efficient GPU.
GPU clock speeds on their own don't mean too much, but it's interesting how much clocks have shot up with the latest Nvidia RTX 40-series. Taking a page from AMD's RDNA 2 book, Nvidia focused on improving clocks and is now routinely hitting 2.6–2.8 GHz, where the previous generation RTX 30-series usually topped out at around 1.9 GHz (without serious manual overclocking).
Here's where we also start to see some of the low-level limitations of the PNY RTX 4070. It's nearly as fast as the Founders Edition, but clocks are typically slightly lower, and the gap widens at more demanding settings. Overclocking also hits power limits on the PNY card, so that it runs about 100 MHz slower than the FE card at 1440p.
Temperatures are the other part of the equation, and it's possible to tune cards for higher clocks by cranking up fan speeds and noise levels. The PNY RTX 4070 doesn't run hot, but it does run warmer than the reference card by about 4C–5C. Let's look at noise levels to see what's going on...
We check noise levels using an SPL (sound pressure level) meter placed 10cm from the card, with the mic aimed right at the center of one of the fans (the right fan on the PNY card). This helps minimize the impact of other noise sources like the fans on the CPU cooler. The noise floor of our test environment and equipment is less than 32 dB(A).
After running Metro Exodus for over 15 minutes, the PNY RTX 4070 settled in at a fan speed of 57% and a noise level of 42.7 dB(A). That's okay in terms of noise, but it's still 3 dB(A) higher than the Founders Edition. It's also interesting that both the FE and PNY cards are at relatively high fan speed percentages, meaning there's not as much room for additional cooling.
We also tested with a static fan speed of 75%, which caused the PNY RTX 4070 to generate 51.4 dB(A) of noise. So the stock noise levels are pretty average, with larger cards typically making less noise. Conversely, at 75% fan speed this is one of the quieter results... though the RTX 4070 FE still does better.
GPU Value and Efficiency
|Graphics Card||FPS/$||FPS/W||1080p FPS||1440p FPS||4K FPS||Online Price||Power|
|Radeon RX 6750 XT||0.143||0.188||68.0||47.2||24.3||$330||251W|
|GeForce RTX 4060 Ti||0.137||0.382||80.1||54.9||27.9||$400||144W|
|GeForce RTX 4070||0.122||0.385||101.5||73.0||39.2||$600||190W|
|GeForce RTX 4070 PNY||0.121||0.394||101.3||72.8||39.1||$600||185W|
|Radeon RX 6950 XT||0.118||0.230||100.4||74.5||40.2||$630||324W|
|Radeon RX 6800||0.115||0.247||78.6||56.3||30.1||$490||228W|
|GeForce RTX 4070 Ti||0.115||0.367||121.7||90.5||50.0||$790||246W|
|Radeon RX 7900 XT||0.111||0.281||113.2||86.2||47.8||$780||307W|
|GeForce RTX 4080||0.098||0.412||139.0||108.3||62.7||$1,108||263W|
|Radeon RX 6800 XT||0.074||0.222||90.1||65.4||35.1||$880||294W|
This final gallery of images shows the full performance test suite, along with the above power, clocks, and temperature information. Latency is also provided, at least in some of the games (depending on the GPU and drivers used).
We've calculated efficiency in FPS/W for the various games, plus value in FPS/$ using the best current online prices we could find (usually at Newegg or Amazon, though B&H and Best Buy were also checked). We've summarized those results in the above table (based on 1440p performance and power), sorted by overall value.
It shouldn't be too surprising that the RX 6750 XT is the best overall value out of the GPUs we've tested, followed by the RTX 4060 Ti and RX 6800 XT. Lower prices will go a long way toward making a GPU a better value, and those are the least expensive cards we've included in this review. The Nvidia and PNY RTX 4070 cards are tied for fourth, followed closely by the RX 6950 XT. Note also that the spread in FPS/$ for a lot of the cards is very narrow, with the RX 7900 XT to RTX 4070 all in the 0.111–0.122 range.
Meanwhile, the RTX 4080 ranks as the most efficient GPU we've tested to date, at least for 1440p ultra, with the PNY RTX 4070 coming in second — just edging out the RTX 4070 FE. All of the Nvidia RTX 40-series GPUs have better efficiency than any of the AMD GPUs, with a pretty sizeable drop going from the RTX 4070 Ti (0.367 FPS/W) to the RX 7900 XT (0.281 FPS/W).