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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 review: The new people's champion topples Titans

Brad Chacos | May 30, 2016
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070 is one hell of a graphics card, delivering Titan X-level performance at a price real gamers can afford.

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Once again, the GTX 1070 delivers more raw frames per second than the Titan X, but just barely. The GTX 1070 offers roughly 56 to 58 percent more performance than the GTX 970 across the board.

Hitman

Hitman is where things start to get interesting. This glorious murder-simulating sandbox’s Glacier engine is heavily optimized for AMD titles, with Radeon cards significantly outpunching their GeForce GTX 900-series counterparts, especially at higher resolutions. We’re still having trouble coaxing the game’s bolted-on DirectX 12 mode to launch in the wake of a borked game update, so these results are limited to DX11 only.

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While the GTX 1080’s raw power helps bolster it into top-dog status despite Hitman’s Radeon-centric leanings, AMD’s 390X and Fury lineup manage to equal or flat-out beat the GTX 1070 in raw frame rates here. That drives home how important in-engine support for a particular graphics architecture can be.

That said, the GTX 1070 still manages to outperform Nvidia’s own Titan X by a hair in all resolutions once again. The GTX 1070 performance gains over the GTX 970 increase the further you move up in resolution, with a 26.1 percent jump at 1080p, a 39.1 percent jump at 1440p, and a 49 percent jump at 4K.

Ashes of the Singularity

The varied failings of Tomb Raider and Hitman’s DirectX 12 modes left us with a single DX12 game to test: The superb Ashes of the Singularity, running on Oxide’s custom Nitrous engine.

AoTS was an early flag-bearer for DirectX 12, and the performance gains AoTS offers in DX12 over DX11 are mind-blowing—at least for AMD cards. AoTS’s DX12 implementation makes heavy use of asynchronous compute features, which are supported by dedicated hardware in Radeon GPUs, but not GTX 900-series Nvidia cards. In fact, the software pre-emption workaround that Maxwell-based Nvidia cards use to mimic the async compute capabilities tank performance so hard that Oxide’s game is coded to ignore async compute when it detects a GeForce GPU.

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