GeForce GTX 1070: First Benchmarks

Posted on 31 May 2016 by
Nail Garejev

While the new Pascal GeForce cards were announced at the same time, their releases are put apart, as is usual for Nvidia. The more powerful GeForce GTX 1080 has already been released, but gamers have to wait until June 10th at the earliest to get the more affordable GTX 1070. Fortunately, for the impatient, the GTX 1070 benchmark embargo has ended and we now have a good idea of its performance.

At its core, GTX 1070 is based on a cut down version of GP104 GPU from GTX 1080. GTX 1070 has 1920 CUDA cores (25% less than GTX 1080) clocked at 1506 MHz with 1683 MHz boost (3% less than GTX 1080). Thus, GTX 1070 is 27% behind GTX 1080 in terms of compute raw performance. GTX 1070 also has 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM on 256-bit bus. As this memory is slower than GDDR5X in GTX 1080, GTX 1070 has 20% less memory bandwidth than its bigger brother. All these cuts also mean that card should require less power and generate less heat, with its 150 W TDP. Nvidia’s reference design utilises less powerful cooler than GTX 1080, but there will likely be many partner boards offering the same cooling solutions for both cards.

Many other features are equivalent between GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. GTX 1070 has hardware capability to encode and decode 4K 60 FPS HEVC videos and supports output to HDR displays with wider colour gamut and 12-bit depth per colour channel. SLI is only supported for two-card setup and a new high bandwidth SLI bridge is recommended. Using more GTX 1070 cards in SLI is possible, but is not trivial to do. The VR performance improvements should give it a bigger edge compared to the older cards, but games must support them.

While the specifications sheet puts GTX 1070 nearly 30% behind GTX 1080, the actual in-game performance does not scale perfectly with raw graphics power. Thus the practical performance gap is closer to 20%. Compared to the previous generation GTX 980Ti, GTX 1070 usually has 7–10% performance lead. In cases where AMD’s GCN beats Maxwell considerably, GTX 1070 has even larger lead over 980Ti, but is outperformed by AMD Radeon Fury and Fury X. Outside those cases, GTX 1070 comfortably outperforms AMD‘s top previous generation cards.

Overall, GTX 1070 is a nice high-end graphics card at this moment. With $379 MSRP for the partner cards and $449 for the reference “Founders Edition”, it finally drops the price of what still was the top level performance of 980Ti and Fury X just a month ago (also Titan X, but it never was a good value). While GTX 1070 is not as amazing in its value as GTX 970 and GTX 670 were during their release, it still makes better graphics performance more affordable. It will also be interesting to see what the first AMD Polaris cards look like and how they affect the price/performance landscape.

Review round-up:

Tom’s Hardware

PC Perspective

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