NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition

El traductor de Google no quiere traducir la página, y no tengo timepo para traducirla yo mismo, asi que va en ingles, sorry.

When NVIDIA first announced their Turing based GeForce RTX 20 series, they unveiled three GeForce RTX models: the 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070. As we’ve seen earlier, Turing and the GeForce RTX 20 series as a whole are designed on a hardware and software level to enable realtime raytracing for games, as well as other new specialized features, though all of these are yet to launch in games. Nevertheless, last month’s release of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 finally revealed their places on the traditional performance spectrum. As the ‘value’ oriented enthusiast offering, the RTX 2070 is arguably the more important card for most prospective buyers. And so, ahead of tomorrow’s launch, today we take a look at the GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition.

Even as the value option, which is historically the case for the x70 part, the RTX 2070 Founders Edition comes in at $599, with standard MSRP at $499. For all intents and purposes, the lower $499 price won’t be seen in the near-future as AIBs will be aligned with NVIDIA to avoid cannibalization and lower ASPs. Either way, the $500 mark makes it clear that ‘value’ and ‘cheap’ don’t necessarily mean the same thing

For the RTX 2070, its value would be measured by both traditional rasterization performance, and hybrid rendering performance. For the former, the GeForce GTX 1080 sits at the $500 price point, so that is very much the card to beat, with the AMD Radeon Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1070 Ti also offering similar levels of performance. Beating the GTX 1080 by a significant margin will in turn offer more to those still on older generation cards like the GTX 970 & 980. But trading blows with the GTX 1080 would leave the RTX 2070 in a situation where it is priced higher with less availability for equivalent traditional performance. As an aside, HDR presents a wrinkle where the RTX 20 series incurs less of a performance hit, but the difference varies per game and only a selection of games support HDR in the first place.

Unfortunately, accurate hybrid rendering performance remains somewhat of a mystery. Games have yet to bring support for RTX platform features, and additionally DXR itself is only just starting to rollout as part of Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809), itself delayed due to data-loss issues. RTX platform features like realtime ray tracing and DLSS come at a steep cost; currently, the RTX 2080 Ti stands at $1200 and the RTX 2080 at $800, and now with the $600 RTX 2070 as the entry card for those features. So for gamers interested in using realtime ray tracing, it’s still unclear what we should expect as far as real-world hybrid rendering performance is concerned; in any case, the RTX 2070 does not support SLI, which precludes a future mGPU drop-in upgrade. That is to say, if the RTX 2070’s real time ray tracing performance target for resolution/framerate is significantly lower than the RTX 2080 Ti or 2080, there won’t be an easy solution in the form of doubling up 2070s.

In any case, the RTX 2070 is built on its own GPU, TU106, rather than being a cut-down version of TU104, and by the numbers offers 75% of the RTX 2080’s shading/texturing/tensor resources with the same ROP count and 256-bit memory bus. Considering the SM-heavy nature of ray tracing workloads, it would be interesting to investigate once real time ray tracing and DXR is fully released to the public in production-ready in games.

But as a straight upgrade, the RTX 2070 is in a delicate situation. What we know already is where the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 lie in terms of conventional gaming performance; the RTX 2080 Ti is roundabouts the Titan V, while the RTX 2080 is comparable to the Titan Xp and GTX 1080 Ti. As the top two performing cards of the stack, there’s some natural leeway with premiums, but the RTX 2070 does not have that luxury as the x70 part, and will be right in the mix of Pascal with the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Ti in the $450 to $600 range, along with GTX 1080 Ti models at the $700 mark. The GTX 1080s priced at $490 could act as a significant spoiler if there are issues with launch inventory, which has already caused delays in the RTX 2080 Ti.

Beyond that, the biggest open questions are all about the RTX platform features like realtime ray tracing and DLSS. Gamers considering making the plunge will be looking at the RTX 2070 as the entry point, but right now there is no accurate and generalizable way to determine what that entry level performance would look like in the real world.

Meet The GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition Card

Touching quickly on the card itself, there’s little we haven’t already seen with the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 Founders Editions. The biggest change is, of course, a new open air cooler design. Along with the Founders Edition specification changes of +10W TDP and +90 MHz boost clockspeed, the cards might be considered ‘reference’ in that they remain a first-party video card sold direct by NVIDIA, but strictly-speaking they are not because they no longer carry reference specifications.

Wrapped in the flattened industrial design introduced by the other RTX cards, the RTX 2070 Founders Edition looks essentially the same, save a few exceptions. The single 8-pin power connector is at the front of the card, while the NVLink SLI connectors are absent as the RTX 2070 does not support SLI. Internally, the dual 13-blade fans accompany a vapor chamber, while a 6-phase system provides the power for the 185W TDP RTX 2070 Founders Edition.

So while the single 8-pin configuration, suitable for up to 225W total draw, has remained the same from the GTX 1070, the TDP has not. The RTX 2070 Founders Edition brings 185W, with reference specification at 175W, compared to the 150W GTX 1070 and 145W GTX 970, following the trend of the 2080 Ti and 2080 pushing up the watts.

As for I/O, there is one difference between the 2070 and its older siblings. The RTX 2070 Founders Edition drops the isolated DisplayPort for a DVI port, matching the GTX 1070’s outputs. This is in addition to DisplayPort 1.4 and DSC support, the latter of which is part of the DP1.4 spec, as well as the VR-centric USB-C VirtualLink port, which also carries an associated 30W not included in the overall TDP. While the past few years have seen DVI excised from the top-end cards, it’s more of a matter of practicality for mid-range cards (inasmuch as $500 is a midrange price) that are often paired with budget DVI monitors, particularly as a drop-in upgrade for an aging video card.

As mentioned in the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 launch article, something to note is the potential impact on OEM sales with this reference design change. The RTX 2070 also arrives as an open air design and so can no longer guarantee self-cooling independent of chassis airflow. In addition to the price and lower volume nature of these GPU parts, these aspects make the RTX reference cards less suitable for large OEMs.

The Test
Because NVIDIA is not productizing any other reference-quality GeForce RTX 2070 card besides the Founders Editions, which have non-reference specifications, we’ve gone ahead and emulated the true reference specifications with a 90MHz downclock and lowering the TDP by roughly 10W. This is to keep comparisons standardized and apples-to-apples, as we always look at reference-to-reference results.

Battlefield 1 (DX11)

Battlefield 1 returns from the 2017 benchmark suite, the 2017 benchmark suite with a bang as DICE brought gamers the long-awaited AAA World War 1 shooter a little over a year ago. With detailed maps, environmental effects, and pacy combat, Battlefield 1 provides a generally well-optimized yet demanding graphics workload. The next Battlefield game from DICE, Battlefield V, completes the nostalgia circuit with a return to World War 2, but more importantly for us, is one of the flagship titles for GeForce RTX real time ray tracing, although at this time it isn’t ready.

We use the Ultra preset is used with no alterations. As these benchmarks are from single player mode, our rule of thumb with multiplayer performance still applies: multiplayer framerates generally dip to half our single player framerates. Battlefield 1 also supports HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision).



In Battlefield 1, the RTX 2070 cards mark their spots in between the GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1080. The Founders Edition tweaks don’t play much of a role here, as the RTX 2070 is firmly above than the competing GTX 1080 and RX Vega 64. This is arguably the ideal space for the RTX 2070 to be in, as any faster would undermine the RTX 2080.

At lower resolutions though, cards at the GTX 1080 Ti performance tier and above highlight the CPU bottleneck in play.

Far Cry 5 (DX11)

The latest title in Ubisoft’s Far Cry series lands us right into the unwelcoming arms of an armed militant cult in Montana, one of the many middles-of-nowhere in the United States. With a charismatic and enigmatic adversary, gorgeous landscapes of the northwestern American flavor, and lots of violence, it is classic Far Cry fare. Graphically intensive in an open-world environment, the game mixes in action and exploration.

Far Cry 5 does support Vega-centric features with Rapid Packed Math and Shader Intrinsics. Far Cry 5 also supports HDR (HDR10, scRGB, and FreeSync 2).



In Far Cry 5, the RTX 2070 is essentially dueling with the RX Vega 64, and the extra Founders Edition performance allows it to claim a win out of a tie. Like Battlefield, this is another case where the RTX 2070 is in between the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti, but far from ideal in how close it is to the GTX 1080, especially at 4K. Eiither way, it reaches the ~45fps mark at 4K.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (DX12)

A veteran from both our 2016 and 2017 game lists, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation remains the DirectX 12 trailblazer, with developer Oxide Games tailoring and designing the Nitrous Engine around such low-level APIs. The game makes the most of DX12’s key features, from asynchronous compute to multi-threaded work submission and high batch counts. And with full Vulkan support, Ashes provides a good common ground between the forward-looking APIs of today. Its built-in benchmark tool is still one of the most versatile ways of measuring in-game workloads in terms of output data, automation, and analysis; by offering such a tool publicly and as part-and-parcel of the game, it’s an example that other developers should take note of.

Settings and methodology remain identical from its usage in the 2016 GPU suite. To note, we are utilizing the original Ashes Extreme graphical preset, which compares to the current one with MSAA dialed down from x4 to x2, as well as adjusting Texture Rank (MipsToRemove in settings.ini).



For Ashes, the 20 series in general fare a little worse in their gains over the 10 series, with an advantage at 4K around 14 to 22%. Here, the Founders Edition power and clock tweaks are essential in avoiding any performance regression. For the RTX 2070, Founders Edition specs ensure that it is close enough to virtually tie the GTX 1080 and RX Vega 64, as opposed to lagging behind. The situation is largely similar to the RTX 2080 FE, which needs the tweaks to stay neck-and-neck to the 1080 Ti.

In other words, this scenario is exactly what the RTX 2070 needs to avoid, where it is slightly slower against both GTX 1080 and RX Vega 64. The card is already coming in with a price premium so it’s important to firmly faster.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Vulkan)

id Software is popularly known for a few games involving shooting stuff until it dies, just with different ‘stuff’ for each one: Nazis, demons, or other players while scorning the laws of physics. Wolfenstein II is the latest of the first, the sequel of a modern reboot series developed by MachineGames and built on id Tech 6. While the tone is significantly less pulpy nowadays, the game is still a frenetic FPS at heart, succeeding DOOM as a modern Vulkan flagship title and arriving as a pure Vullkan implementation rather than the originally OpenGL DOOM.

Featuring a Nazi-occupied America of 1961, Wolfenstein II is lushly designed yet not oppressively intensive on the hardware, something that goes well with its pace of action that emerge suddenly from a level design flush with alternate historical details.

The highest quality preset, “Mein leben!”, was used. Wolfenstein II also features Vega-centric GPU Culling and Rapid Packed Math, as well as Radeon-centric Deferred Rendering; in accordance with the preset, neither GPU Culling nor Deferred Rendering was enabled.



Wolfenstein II gives us a more intriguing look at the underlying capabilities of the RTX 2070. In general, the RTX 20 series and RX Vega perform very well in this game, leaving the GTX 1080 Ti in an uncharacteristic position. The older cards, however, suffer extra for their lack of VRAM. Where the GTX 980 Ti’s 6GB is already wearing a little thin, the GTX 980’s 4GB is simply not enough and the game makes sure to remind you. The measured 30+fps numbers is an amusing disguise for the everpresent stuttering. In that sense, the RTX 2070 has a distinct advantage by virtue of its full 8GB complement of framebuffer.

It’s not clear how much is due to Wolfenstein II’s Vulkan implementation, and it will be very interesting to see how the upcoming Doom Eternal fares on GPUs. It’s hardly the case that these high framerates would be wasted, even at 1080p; 240Hz monitors and the like are very much on the market.

In any case, the RTX 2070’s 1440p Wolfenstein II performance is another ideal scenario, where previous generation Pascal and Maxwell are simply outclassed and thus wouldn’t be threatening 2070 sales in the least.

Final Fantasy XV (DX11)

Upon arriving to PC earlier this, Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition was given a graphical overhaul as it was ported over from console, fruits of their successful partnership with NVIDIA, with hardly any hint of the troubles during Final Fantasy XV’s original production and development.

In preparation for the launch, Square Enix opted to release a standalone benchmark that they have since updated. Using the Final Fantasy XV standalone benchmark gives us a lengthy standardized sequence to utilize OCAT. Upon release, the standalone benchmark received criticism for performance issues and general bugginess, as well as confusing graphical presets and performance measurement by ‘score’. In its original iteration, the graphical settings could not be adjusted, leaving the user to the presets that were tied to resolution and hidden settings such as GameWorks features.

Since then, Square Enix has patched the benchmark with custom graphics settings and bugfixes to be much more accurate in profiling in-game performance and graphical options, though leaving the ‘score’ measurement. For our testing, we enable or adjust settings to the highest except for NVIDIA-specific features and ‘Model LOD’, the latter of which is left at standard. Final Fantasy XV also supports HDR, and it will support DLSS at some date.



NVIDIA, of course, is working closely with Square Enix, and the game is naturally expected to run well on NVIDIA cards in general. For the RTX 2070, 4K and 1440p performance once agani settles near the GTX 1080. The RTX Founders Edition tweaks do add a bit more cushion, though not to extent that it helps the RTX 2080 score a win out of a tie against the 1080 Ti.

Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)

Now a truly venerable title, GTA V is a veteran of past game suites that is still graphically demanding as they come. As an older DX11 title, it provides a glimpse into the graphically intensive games of yesteryear that don’t incorporate the latest features. Originally released for consoles in 2013, the PC port came with a slew of graphical enhancements and options. Just as importantly, GTA V includes a rather intensive and informative built-in benchmark, somewhat uncommon in open-world games.

The settings are identical to its previous appearances, which are custom as GTA V does not have presets. To recap, a “Very High” quality is used, where all primary graphics settings turned up to their highest setting, except grass, which is at its own very high setting. Meanwhile 4x MSAA is enabled for direct views and reflections. This setting also involves turning on some of the advanced rendering features – the game’s long shadows, high resolution shadows, and high definition flight streaming – but not increasing the view distance any further.

GTA V is another case where the RTX 2070 performs solidly faster than the GTX 1070, but in the end is not very much beyond GTX 1080 performance. This is compounded by the fact that the RTX 2080 isn’t able to beat the GTX 1080 Ti.

It’s a testament to both GTA V and the nature of graphics optimization work that a GeForce card can only now average 60fps. Even still, it’s restricted to the RTX 2080 Ti performance tier, which is roughly where the Titan V stands as well. Regardless, the results represent the performance scenario that NVIDIA is ultimately hoping to avoid: the 1080 Ti exceeding the 2080 in performance even with the Founders Edition tweaks. At this point, the 1080 Ti is a mature card and the offerings will skew towards tried-and-true halo custom cards, factory overclocked and well-cooled. Plain performance regression in reference settings is not something the RTX 2080 can easily afford with the higher price – Founders Edition or otherwise.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (DX11)

Next up is Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to Shadow of Mordor. Developed by Monolith, whose last hit was arguably F.E.A.R., Shadow of Mordor returned them to the spotlight with an innovative NPC rival generation and interaction system called the Nemesis System, along with a storyline based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, and making it work on a highly modified engine that originally powered F.E.A.R. in 2005.

Using the new LithTech Firebird engine, Shadow of War improves on the detail and complexity, and with free add-on high resolution texture packs, offers itself as a good example of getting the most graphics out of an engine that may not be bleeding edge. Shadow of War also supports HDR (HDR10).



Shadow of War is one of the more favorable games in terms of the 20 series’ performance gains over Pascal, and this carries over to the RTX 2070. The resulting situation is rather favorable for the RTX 2070, as it creeps up on or even overtakes the GTX 1080 Ti, while the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 perform comfortably above. So even when the RX Vega outperforms the GTX 1080, the RTX 2070 is a tier above.

Regardless, at 1080p we start to see the flagships reach the CPU bottleneck.

F1 2018 (DX11)

Succeeding F1 2016 is F1 2018, Codemaster’s latest iteration in their official Formula One racing games. It features a slimmed down version of Codemasters’ traditional built-in benchmarking tools and scripts, something that is surprisingly absent in DiRT 4.

Aside from keeping up-to-date on the Formula One world, F1 2017 added HDR support, which F1 2018 has maintained; otherwise, we should see any newer versions of Codemasters’ EGO engine find its way into F1. Graphically demanding in its own right, F1 2018 keeps a useful racing-type graphics workload in our benchmarks.



F1 2018 is another story of the cramped competitive space that the RTX 2070 and its sibling cards need to weasel their way through. Here, the GTX 1080 lags behind and the RX Vega 64 provides the nearest competition. At reference clocks and power, the matchup is essentially a wash, but as the RTX 2070 Founders Edition the card can claim a small edge. It’s not too surprising considering how the RTX 2080 is in the same position against the GTX 1080 Ti.

As it so happens, we noted F1 2017 incurring significant performance hits on YCbCr422 HDR mode for Pascal; if the same follows in F1 2018, the RTX 20 series would be granted a slight advantage.

Total War: Warhammer II (DX11)

Last in our 2018 game suite is Total War: Warhammer II, built on the same engine of Total War: Warhammer. While there is a more recent Total War title, Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, that game was built on the 32-bit version of the engine. The first TW: Warhammer was a DX11 game was to some extent developed with DX12 in mind, with preview builds showcasing DX12 performance. In Warhammer II, the matter, however, appears to have been dropped, with DX12 mode still marked as beta, but also featuring performance regression for both vendors.

It’s unfortunate because Creative Assembly themselves have acknowledged the CPU-bound nature of their games, and with re-use of game engines as spin-offs, DX12 optimization would have continued to provide benefits, especially if the future of graphics in RTS-type games will lean towards low-level APIs.

There are now three benchmarks with varying graphics and processor loads; we’ve opted for the Battle benchmark, which appears to be the most graphics-bound.



Again, the RTX 2070 slots into familiar position: faster than the GTX 1070 by 30 to 40%, yet only around 10% or so ahead of the GTX 1080. Even if it were to catch up to the GTX 1080 Ti, the RTX 2080 would need to make ground as well.

At 1080p, the cards quickly run into the CPU bottleneck, which is to be expected with top-tier video cards and the CPU intensive nature of RTS’es. Even still, the Founders Edition specs, which don’t materially change the RTX 2070’s positioning, is helpful for the RTX 2080 in pipping the GTX 1080 Ti.

Compute and Synthetics

Shifting gears, we’ll look at the compute and synthetic aspects of the RTX 2070. Though it has its own GPU in the form of TU106, the hardware resources at hand are similar in progression to what we’ve seen in TU102 and TU104.

Starting off with GEMM tests, the RTX 2070’s tensor cores are pulled into action with half-precision matrix multiplication, though using binaries originally compiled for Volta. Because Turing is backwards compatible and in the same compute capability family as Volta (sm_75 compared to Volta’s sm_70), the benchmark continues to work out-of-the-box, though without any Turing optimizations.


At reference specifications, peak theoretical tensor throughput is around 107.6 TFLOPS for the RTX 2080 Ti, 80.5 TFLOPS for the RTX 2080, and 59.7 TFLOPS for the RTX 2070. Unlike the 89% efficiency with the Titan V’s 97.5 TFLOPS, the RTX cards are essentially at half that level, with around 47%, 48%, and 45% efficiency for the RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 respectively. A Turing-optimized binary should bring that up, though it is possible that the GeForce RTX cards may not be designed for efficient tensor FP16 operations as opposed to the INT dot-product acceleration. After all, the GeForce RTX cards are for consumers and ostensibly intended for inferencing rather than training, which is the reasoning for the new INT support in Turing tensor cores.

In terms of SGEMM efficiency though, the RTX 2070 is hitting a ridiculous 97% of its touted 7.5 TFLOPS, though to be fair the reference specifications here are done manually rather with a reference vBIOS. The other two GeForce RTX cards are at similar 90+% levels of efficiency, though a GEMM test like this is specifically designed for maximum utilization.





The breakdown of the GB4 subscores seems to reveal a similar uplift like we spotted with the Titan V, which had scored in excess of 509,000 points. We’ll have to investigate further but Turing and Volta are clearly accelerating some of these workloads beyond what was capable in Pascal and Maxwell.

Given that TU106 has 75% of the hardware resources of TU104, the tessellation performance is in line with expectrations. For reference, we noted earlier that the Titan V scored 703 while the Titan Xp scored 604.


Power, Temperature, and Noise

As always, we’ll take a look at power, temperature, and noise of the RTX 2070 Founders Edition, especially considering its atypically large GPU, new cooler design, new fixed-function hardware, and higher TDPs. For the most part, the dual axial fan open air design provide straightforward benefits in lower noise and cooling, though with drawbacks as mentioned earlier.

As this is a new GPU, we will quickly review the GeForce RTX 2070’s stock voltages and clockspeeds as well.

The voltages are broadly comparable to the preceding 16nm GTX 1070. In comparison to pre-FinFET generations, these voltages are exceptionally lower because of the FinFET process used, something we went over in detail in our GTX 1080 and 1070 Founders Edition review. As we said then, the 16nm FinFET process requires said low voltages as opposed to previous planar nodes, so this can be limiting in scenarios where a lot of power and voltage are needed, i.e. high clockspeeds and overclocking. Of course, Turing (along with Volta, Xavier, and NVSwitch) are built on 12nm “FFN” rather than 16nm, but there is little detail on the exact process tweaks.

In terms of clockspeeds, the RTX 2070 isn’t bringing any surprises. Like Pascal and the GTX 1070, the boost clock reading is used liberally, usually boosting beyond, and varies per game/workload. With the +90MHz Founders Edition OC, the RTX 2070 dutifully ramps up. What remains to be seen is how these clockspeeds hold when RT cores or tensor cores are actively and steadily utilized. In any case, at its Founders Edition specs, the RTX 2070 has perhaps another 100MHz or so to push, but otherwise is out of headroom (or power).



The steady TDP creep has taken its toll, and the 2070 is no longer a power-sipper of the likes of the 1070 or 970. At the very least, it is far from the excesses of its older 2080 Ti and 2080 siblings. Of note is its additional power draw over the GTX 1080, which in certain games trades blows with the 2070.

Temperature
The adoption of an open air cooler with dual axial fans has immediate benefits, especially with a lower temperature target.



Noise
In turn, the open air cooler allows for quieter, slower spinning axial fans.



Overclocking

Last, but not least, we’ll take a look at overclocking. While NVIDIA does support overclocking, they have limited actual overvolting, and instead providing the ability to unlock 1-2 more boost bins and associated voltages. Either way, Maxwell 2 and Pascal certainly have much to thank for high clockspeeds; for Maxwell 2, it was a combination of high efficiency and ample overclocking headroom, while Pascal took advantage of the FinFET process to ramp up the clocks to new heights.

Built on the 12nm “FFN” process, Turing doesn’t appear to push the envelope spec-wise, although it does introduce GPU Boost 4 and NVIDIA Scanner, both of which are naturally featured in EVGA’s Precision tool. Re-designed into the RTX-oriented Precision X1, the utility succeeds Precision XOC, and we’ve opted to use that tool for our overclocking today. We adjusted the core and memory clocks, as well as the power/temperature limit and percent ‘overvoltage.’ For the 185W RTX 2070 Founders Edition, this is a 116% TDP limit (215W). We were unable to fully test the new Scanner functionality as it would not save to a profile and crashed on certain button presses, which is somewhat unsurprising given that Precision X1 is still in beta. But as far as NVIDIA’s GPU Boost 4 is concerned, it exposes certain boost algorithms to users so that you can manually modify the voltage-frequency curve.

A total of four different overclocks were tested. First was a baseline, consisting of 100% overvoltage and max power/temperature limits. The second was overclocking the GDDR6 memory by 1Gbps. The third was overclocking the GPU by +100MHz; in practice this resulted in observed clocks between 1900 and 1990 MHz. Lastly, all previous adjustments were combined for an overall overclock.

Naturally, these results cannot be taken as representative of all RTX 2070 Founders Edition cards, but results here can offer some insight.




Although this is more of a cursory look than anything else, the combined overclock provides the best performance, just like it was for the Pascal based cards like the GTX 1080 and 1070. Given the GDDR6-equipped 2070, we would expect memory overclocking to be less effective, though it appears it’s necessary for the best overclock here. Ultimately, the combined overclock can make up some ground, but the extent of its benefits are largely comparable to Pascal cards.

OC Power, Temperature, and Noise
There isn’t much to add on the power, temperature, and noise front. The card will heats up a few more degrees, but kept relatively quiet thanks to its open air cooler. The full OC costs about ~30W at the wall in games, bringing it up to 1080 Ti FE levels, though only select games will see an overclocked RTX 2070 surpass the 1080 Ti.






Final Words

As we wrap up, it’s clear that judging the RTX 2070 involves the same themes that surfaced in the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 review. First is for the forward-looking featuresets that have yet to publicly launch. Another, and closely intertwined, is the premium pricing that is based on those features, as opposed to being based on conventional gaming performance. And lastly is the existing competition in the form of Pascal, especially where the RTX cards fall in the same performance tier.

For the RTX 2070 Founders Edition, those themes are more relevant and harder to dismiss. By its nature, the card is an entry-level model for consumers interested in real time raytracing and other RTX platform features, as well as the traditional high-end card for prospective enthusiasts and upgraders on a budget. In the past couple generations, these ‘enthusiast value’ parts have essentially provided last-gen flagship performance (or better), at non-flagship prices. For example:

Going back to the numbers, the RTX 2070 Founders Edition TDP and boost clock tweaks only amount to around a 4% gain over the reference 2070 at 4K. The difference is not much in the grand scheme of things, but the setup makes more sense when looking at the GTX 1080 competition. The reference RTX 2070 is faster than the GTX 1080 at 4K and 1440p by only around 10%, a gap that is easily closed by factory-overclocked custom cards.

By hardware resources, the RTX 2070 was expected to be around 75% of the 2080. But Founders-to-Founders and reference-to-reference, the RTX 2070 is bringing around 83% of the RTX 2080’s 1440p performance (and 82% of 4K performance). So the performance gap is comparable to previous generations, where the GTX 1070 brought 81% of the performance of the GTX 1080, and the GTX 970 brought 87% of the GTX 980. Except here the RTX 2080 is only managing GTX 1080 Ti level performance for traditional gaming.

Looking back at the Pascal launch, the GTX 1070 brought a 57% 1440p performance gain over GTX 970, which was substantive but with its $450 Founders Edition pricing, not necessarily a must-buy for GTX 970 owners. On the other hand, GTX 770/670 owners had a lot to gain from that upgrade.

Here with Turing, the RTX 2070 is ahead of the GTX 1070 reference-to-reference around 35% and 36% at 1440p and 4K, respectively. In its Founders Edition guise, the difference is around 41% for both resolutions. Either way, the performance lies somewhere between the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti, except with a $600 Founders Edition price. In that sense, it offers less than last generation but at a higher price, the premium being tied to real time raytracing and other hardware-accelerated features. And when those features finally release, there’s no clear sense of the quality or resolution compromises necessary to run those features.

For current GTX 10 series owners, the RTX 2070 is largely a side-grade, offering known performance for possibily worse power efficiency. For those with low-end cards, or 900 series and older products, the $500/$600 budget pulls in a number of other alternatives: the GTX 1080, RX Vega 64, or even the GTX 1070 Ti. As far as standard $500 MSRP pricing goes, for which some cards are priced so currently, it helps the RTX 2070 stay in the price/performance race, where at $600 that might be a $100+ premium over a competing product. In particular, the sub $500 GTX 1080 cards are a major spoiler for the RTX 2070, offering equivalent performance at lower price. A prospective RTX 2070 buyer will have to be honest with themselves on utilizing RTX features when the time comes, and any intentions they might have on upgrading monitors for HDR, higher resolution and/or refresh rate, and variable refresh rate technology.

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