Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition Graphics Card Review – A Solid Choice For Some

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Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review - RTX 4070 Philippines

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We enter the 2nd quarter of 2023 with the announcement of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X Graphics Card. The RTX 4070 is the successor of the fan-favorite RTX 3070 GPU. In typical Nvidia fashion and as seen with the recent RTX 4070 Ti, RTX 4080, and RTX 4090, the RTX 4070 comes with a significant price bump to $599 from the $499 launch price. Nvidia claims the RTX 4070’s performance to be on par with the $799 RTX 3080 on pure rasterization and up to 1.2x with DLSS 3 all while being almost 50% more power efficient. Let’s put the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition to the test.

Nvidia Ada Lovelace Architecture

Nvidia RTX 4090 Review Ada Lovelace architecture

Following the success of the RTX 30 series card and the Ampere architecture, Nvidia continues to double down on its proven and tested formula with the debut of the Nvidia Ada Lovelace architecture featuring 76 Billion Transistors. Nvidia has moved from Samsung 8N to TSMC’s 4N process, resulting in much bigger performance gains and slighter higher pricing as TSMC recently hiked up its prices. The new Ada Lovelace features 3rd Generation RT Cores at 200 RT TFLOPs and 4th Gen Tensor Cores for 1,4000 TFLOPs as well as a new streaming multiprocessor with up to 2x power efficiency. Moreover, Ada Lovelace also brings in new features exclusive to the RTX 40 series graphics card such as DLSS 3, AV1 Encoding, and Shader Execution Reordering.

Shader Execution Reordering

Nvidia RTX 4090 Founders Edition Review Shader Execution Reordering

Shader Execution Reodering largely contributes to the performance gains of the RTX 40 series GPUs thanks to the more efficient usage of the shaders. SER is a scheduling system that reorders shading work on-the-fly for better execution efficiency, especially on ray-traced workloads. Think hyperthreading plus thread director but for GPUs particularly the RTX 40 series where the rays are reordered so that the ones that are running on the same program or similar are grouped together resulting in the shader working consistently instead of waiting on each other.

SER is an NVAPI extension meaning that developers would have to enable it on their games. We should expect SER to be heavily and quickly adopted especially in games where there are already Nvidia features enabled such as Reflex, RTX, and DLSS.

Nvidia DLSS 3

Nvidia RTX 4090 Founders Edition Review DLSS 3 PH

DLSS 3 uses the 4th Gen Tensor Cores and the Optical Flow Accelerator of the RTX 40 series to improve overall performance using AI-generated frames. In addition to already upscaling existing frames like DLSS 2, DLSS 3 generates intermediate frames in your game aka inserting AI-generated frames to improve performance. The RTX 40 series GPU will analyze two in-game frames and generate an optical flow field, closely looking at all elements in the game and using the information gathered to construct a frame in between. Additionally, DLSS 3 incorporates Nvidia Reflex ultra-low-latency solution making your games way more responsive and providing more frames. Games that support DLSS 3 will automatically support Nvidia Reflex.

DLSS 3 can be used by older Nvidia RTX graphics cards but won’t be able to fully maximize the feature as the biggest improvement of the technology, Frame Generation, is exclusive to the RTX 40 series graphics cards.

Nvidia RTX 40 Series Specifications

RTX 40 SERIES SPECSRTX 4090RTX 4080 16GBRTX 4070 TiRTX 4070
Cores16,3849,7287,6805,888
Tensor Cores184
RT Cores46
Boost Clock (GHz)2.522.512.612.47
Base Clock (GHz)2.232.212.311.92
Memory Config24GB GDDR6X16GB GDDR6X12GB GDDR6X12GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface384-bit256-bit192-bit192-bit
Graphics Power450W320W285W200W
Required System power850W750W700W650W
PricePhp 112,300Php 84,200Php 63,200Php 40,590

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 sports an average of 24% fewer cores than the RTX 4070 Ti and with a significantly lower base clock of only 1,920 Mhz, making it the lowest-clocked RTX 40 GPU. It does, however, sport the same 12GB GDDR6X and 192-bit memory configuration. The 24% lower core count translates to a much lower TGP of only 200 watts and a 35 percent cheaper price tag of only $499 (Php 40,590) albeit it’s $100 more than the launch price of the GeForce RTX 3070.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition

Like the previous generation RTX 3070, Nvidia has a Founders Edition variant which is quite surprising as the higher tier RTX 4070 Ti didn’t have an FE model.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition has similar packaging to the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 Founders Edition variants. Apart from the GPU itself, the package contains a 12VHPWR adapter.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review - 13

The RTX 4070 Founders Edition uses the same FE cooler design albeit in a much more compact form factor. Its aesthetic closely matches the RTX 3080 FE design but with the size measurements of an RTX 3070 FE.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review - 19

The back part shows the stunning backplate with an exposed second fan completing the flow-through cooler design. The compact nature of the RTX 4070 FE makes the FE design much more appealing compared to the bulkier versions found on the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090.

While the RTX 4070 Founders Edition uses the controversial 12VHPWR connector, Nvidia allowed its board partners to use the standard 8-pin PCI-E connector as the RTX 4070 has a rated 200W TGP. The included 12VHPWR adapter uses two 8-pin PCI-E cables – quite an overkill for a 200W TGP card, but hey at least you could reuse the adapter on the Ti variant.

The RTX 4070 Founders Edition’s size sits in between the RTX 3080 FE and RTX 4070 FE – It’s basically what the RTX 3070 FE would look like if it used a shorter version of the RTX 3080 FE cooler. Its Dual-slot design paired with an efficient 200W TGP makes it an ideal graphics card for ITX and SFF builds.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review - 65

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition has the standard display output configuration with three DisplayPort 1.4a ports and one HDMI 2.1 port. The lower half of the IO bracket has large cutouts for ventilation.

Test Bench Setup and Benchmark Methodology

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review 77

Gadget Pilipinas’ testing philosophy is to provide detail-oriented results as accurately as possible so that our readers can replicate our tests given that these conditions are met. Different benchmarking apps and sequences are used depending on the component or device being tested.

RTX 4070 Founders Edition Testbench Specs

CPUIntel Core i9 13900K
COOLERASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360mm V2 – Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Paste
MOTHERBOARDASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming
MEMORYKingston Fury Beast RGB 32GB(2x16GB) 6000 MHz DDR5
GPUNvidia RTX 4090 FE | Colorful iGame RTX 4090 Vulcan OC-V | RTX 4080 FEASUS TUF RTX 4080 | 531.42 driver
STORAGEKingston KC3000 1TB PCI-E Gen 4 SSD
POWER SUPPLYGigabyte UD1000GM PG5 1000W
OPERATING SYSTEMWindows 11 Pro Build 22H2
DISPLAYLenovo Legion Y27Q Gaming Monitor

We use CapFrameX 1.7.0 Beta as our primary FPS capture and analysis tool for all our gaming benchmarks. The latest build version of Windows 11 Pro and WHQL-certified drivers are used for our benchmarks. Readings such as temperatures and power draws are recorded using HWINFO64, and other relevant software for cross-checking.

RTX 4070 Founders Edition Benchmarks

COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive aka CSGO is an 11-year-old first-person shooter title that’s still widely popular despite its old Source Engine. CS:GO is a great game to test out CPU performance as the game is heavily CPU-dependent like any other FPS title. Our CS:GO benchmark process uses ULLETICAL’s FPS Benchmark workshop mod to measure the hardware’s performance.

DOTA 2

Most gamers play at least one of the following free-to-play titles: League of Legends, CS: GO, Dota 2, and/or Fortnite. Dota 2 is a good representation of the F2P titles as it is the most demanding game in the spectrum. The benchmark will give you an idea of the graphic card’s relative performance on other lesser demanding titles. Our benchmark sequence is based on a replay of OG vs. Liquid in the TI9 grand finals from the team fight that happened from 28:30 to 29:30.

Far Cry 5 & Far Cry 6

FarCry 5 is an FPS game published by Ubisoft and uses the Dunia engine. It heavily relies on and takes advantage of DirectX 11 to render a realistic environment that makes it taxing to both the CPU and GPU. Far Cry 6 is the latest installment in the franchise which utilizes DirectX 12 to run the virtual world of Yara.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Seige is one of the few popular AAA games that’s still popular in 2021 due to its competitive gameplay mechanics. R6S uses the AnvilNext game engine, which the game’s publisher, Ubisoft, developed. As of writing, Rainbow Six Siege is currently the most popular Tom Clancy title beating out Wildlands, Breakpoint, and even Division 2.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is arguably the most hyped game of 2020. Developed by CD Projekt Red, the dystopian open-world, action-adventure RPG sports is one of the most demanding titles to date. Cyberpunk 2077 also supports three Ray Tracing settings as well as DLSS which makes the game a great tool to measure Ray tracing performance for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

Shadow of The Tomb Raider

Shadow of The Tomb Raider or SOTR is the latest installment of the Lara Croft Tomb Raider franchise. Developed by Square Enix, SOTR uses the Foundation engine and is further enhanced by Eidos Montreal. SOTR is also one of the first games to come out with Ray Tracing and DLSS support.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is the third Metro game trilogy based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels. The game is a first-person shooter with survival horror and stealth elements. The post-apocalyptic game uses 4A Engine by 4A games. Released last 2019, Metro Exodus remains to be one of the most graphically pleasing and demanding games that’s popular to date.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the latest franchise installment from Ubisoft. It’s by far the most popular and stable Assassin’s Creed title since AC IV: Black Flag. It uses the AnvilNext 2.0 game engine, an updated version of Rainbow Six Siege’s game engine, and uses the DirectX 12 API.

F1 2020 and F1 22

F1 2020 is the official video game of the 2020 Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships developed by Codemasters. F1 2020 is the twelfth installment in the franchise and uses the Ego Engine 3.0. F1 2020 is a good representation of racing games thanks to its realistic graphics and fairly demanding spec requirements.

HORIZON ZERO DAWN

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most popular console-port RPG developed by Guerilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Horizon Zero Dawn is a multi-award-winning action RPG, and its popularity resulted in an exclusive Complete Edition game bundle on Steam.

CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE II

The latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise is a sequel to the much loved Modern Warfare game that launched in 2019. Call of Duty Modern Warfare II is one of the most demanding titles to date, pushing the latest hardware from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. CODMW2 is one of the few games that comes with DLSS feature without Ray Tracing.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Ray Tracing and DLSS Benchmarks

Cyberpunk 2077

F1 22

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Metro Exodus

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Temperatures and Power Daw

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review RTX 4070 Temps PH

The Founders Edition cooler never fails to do its job regardless of its size as the RTX 4070 FE manages a cozy 71.1°C max temp with a 32.1°C idle during our benchmark session. Considering its 2-slot form factor, the cooling performance of the RTX 4070 FE is impressive with thermal headroom to spare should you decide to slap it inside a cramped case with little to no active cooling.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition Review RTX 4070 Power Draw PH

With a rated TGP of 200W and a recorded maximum power draw of 201.802 watts, the RTX 4070 sits at RTX 3060 Ti levels of power draw all while delivering performance that’s closer to the RTX 3080.

Performance Summary and Conclusion

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Nvidia has managed to craft an RTX 3080-level graphics card with the latest Ada Lovelace such as SER, DLSS 3, and DLFG in a much more power-efficient package. However, that comes with a huge asterisk as we see history repeat itself with the memory problem of the RTX 4070 GPU. At 1080p or specifically games that don’t have grueling textures or are simply optimized, the RTX 4070 barres similar performance to that of the RTX 3080. But when you crank things up to 1440p or 4k, the RTX 3080 leads by 20% more performance as seen with our benchmarks. Like the RTX 4070 Ti, the RTX 4070 falls short of anything memory related despite having a larger 12GB GDDR6X capacity due to the gimped 192-bit memory interface. The slightly disappointing performance at higher resolution is compensated by both Ray Tracing and DLSS 3 as the RTX 4070 leaves a considerable gap against the RTX 3080.

With a price tag of $599 or Php 40,590, the RTX 4070 seems to be a reasonably priced GPU considering the absurd yet somehow justified pricing of the higher tier RTX 40 series cards. When you compare it to the previous generation is where it gets dicey, the RTX 4070 is a 70 series card, and while its performance is definitely higher than the previous-gen RTX 3070, its $100 premium over the 3070’s launch price is a tough pill to swallow for most people as its xx70 tiering should mean that it should be more widely affordable to consumers. Sure, Nvidia’s slides say that it has the price of last year’s RTX 3070 Ti with the performance of the RTX 3080 and more with DLSS 3, but that again is another argument as both cards share the same launch price.

So, is the RTX 4070 a bad product? Well, not necessarily as it will mostly depend on what the user’s needs are. Nvidia was able to hit a good balance between performance, form factor, price, and power efficiency that simply can’t be contested by other GPUs unless you factor in the secondhand market. That said, the Nvidia RTX 4070 is an upgrade for those sporting last-generation GPUs that are lower than the RTX 3080 but it simply isn’t tempting enough for existing RTX 3080 users unless you want to have 150 watts less power draw. That said, the RTX 4070 is a god-sent for small form factor and power efficiency enthusiasts as the RTX 4070 is simply unparalleled in that regard. So, if you’re looking for a well-balanced 1080p or even 1440p graphics card that can crank up the settings to the max without having to worry about your electric bill or if you simply want to dive into the ITX manhole, then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is an enticing choice.

Grant is a Financial Management graduate from UST. His passion for gadgets and tech crossed him over in the industry where he could apply his knowledge as an enthusiast and in-depth analytic skills as a Finance Major. His passion allows him to earn at the same time help Gadget Pilipinas' readers in making smart, value-based decisions and purchases with his reviews and guides.

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