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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.

We also tested the GTX 1080 using 3DMark’s highly respected Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra synthetic benchmarks. Fire Strike runs at 1080p, while Fire Strike Ultra renders the same scene, but with more intense effects, at 4K resolution.

gtx 1070 firestrike
(Click for larger image). 

gtx 1070 firestrike ultra
(Click for larger image). 

We see the now-familiar pattern repeated yet again: The GTX 1070 squeaks out just ahead of the Titan X yet again.

Power and heat

Finally, let’s take a look at the GTX 1080’s power and thermal results.

gtx 1070 power
(Click for larger image). 

All of AMD’s recent cards consume far more power than Nvidia’s, full stop. That’s sure to change when the new 14nm FinFET Polaris-based Radeon cards roll out, but it’s reality today. But let’s compare something a bit more apples-to-apples: While the GTX 1070’s performance virtually mirrors the Titan X’s, it uses a full 50 percent less power under load, peaking at the exact same whole-system wattage as the older GTX 970. That’s crazy, and a testament to the Pascal GPU’s power efficiency.

Power is measured by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, then running a stress test with Furmark for 15 minutes. It’s basically a worst-case scenario, pushing graphics cards to their limits.

gtx 1070 gpu temp
(Click for larger image). 

The GTX 1070 runs a wee bit hotter than the GTX 970, on the other hand—a trend we also saw in the jump from the GTX 980 to the GTX 1080. That makes sense; cramming all those billions of transistors into such a tiny footprint results in more focused heat than with previous-generation GPUs. The GTX 1070’s fan still keeps remarkably quiet for a reference design, and you won’t see much thermal throttling—the GPU dynamically scaling back clock speeds to keep cool—since it tops out at a mere 78 degrees Celcius.

The outlier on this chart, AMD’s Fury X, stays so chilly with help from an integrated closed-loop water cooler. Its radiator actually makes more noise, subjectively, than the GTX 1070’s blower-style fan under load.

The new prince

If the GTX 1080 is the new graphics king, the GeForce GTX 1070 is a prince worthy of a royal reception. This beast lives up to the lofty promises set by Nvidia, delivering Titan-toppling performance for half the power and a whopping 62 percent lower price. That’s breathtaking. Thanks, 16nm FinFET!

 

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