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Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review feat. Asus

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review feat. Asus

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 06The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 is one of the most enticing cards from Nvidia’s latest Turing range of GPUs – and for good reason. It’s one of Nvidia’s latest mid-range offerings, and its performance could get close to high-end products like the RTX 2080. In theory, that means that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 could be a cheaper way to get your hands on a 4K-capable GPU. How does it handle real-world gaming tests, though? Read our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review to find out.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review – The RTX 2070 Core

The RTX 2070 is built using Nvidia’s TU106 core. We’ve seen this part before in the cheaper RTX 2060 – but in the RTX 2070 it’s the full-fat version, with no cores de-activated.

The RTX 2070 has 2,304 Turing-based stream processors. That’s 640 short of the RTX 2080, but it’s almost as many as last year’s GTX 1080 – and it’s 384 more than the GTX 1070 that this card replaces.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 11Nvidia’s pricier mid-range card doesn’t just impress with its core count. The RTX 2070 has 8GB of memory that uses the new GDDR6 protocol. That means it’s more technologically advanced that older cards. It’s faster, too: its 14,000MHz effective speed easily beats the best Pascal cards, which topped out at 10,000MHz.

In other areas, Nvidia has made sensible compromises when building the RTX 2070 and its underlying TU106 core.

The RTX 2070’s base clock sits at 1,410MHz, with its stock Boost clock coming in at 1,620MHz. They’re fine speeds, but the Boost clock in particular is a little underwhelming when compared to the rest of the RTX range. It’s also underwhelming when compared to many of the more powerful cards from last year’s Pascal slate. The RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 both have higher stock boost speeds. The GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080 also boasted quicker speeds.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2067 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 10However, Nvidia’s new architecture, extra stream processors and better memory help the RTX 2070 deliver better performance on paper when the whole specification is considered. The RTX 2070’s base specification delivers 7.4 GFLOPS of power. That’s 1 GFLOPS ahead of the GTX 1070, and a little further behind the GTX 1080’s 8.8 GFLOPS throughput. The RTX 2060 topped out at 6.4 GFLOPS.

It’s also worth considering the wider market. Nvidia may list the RTX 2070 as having a standard boost speed of 1,620MHz, but the market is full of cards with overclocks. Even Nvidia’s own Founders’ Edition card overclocks the boost to 1,710MHz.

In terms of power consumption, the standard RTX 2070 sits at 175W with the overclocked Founders Edition version requiring 185W. Those figures aren’t bad – they’re a little higher than the 150W GTX 1070, and they sit on either side of the GTX 1070 Ti. They’re also miles short of the 215W RTX 2080.

So, the RTX 2070 is a mid-range card that should have a solid performance boost over the RTX 2060. And, because it’s a Turing GPU, it means that you get Ray-tracing and Deep-Learning Super-Sampling.

Those new features sound great on paper, but anyone with an eye on the graphics market knows that the situation isn’t that simple.

Ray-tracing is a technique that uses specialist cores on the card itself to render light and shadows in a more realistic way. It’s impressive, and the RTX 2070 has 36 dedicated RT cores – six more than the RTX 2060 but ten short of the RTX 2080.

However, ray-tracing isn’t yet widely implemented. Support has been promised in around a dozen games, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Control and Metro Exodus. However, it’s only available in Battlefield V right now. It’s a shame that it’s not more widely available in time for our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review, but it’s something we’ll be examining more when further games are added.

Nvidia’s other big feature, Deep-Learning Super-Sampling, uses AI techniques to improve anti-aliasing while also making GPU performance more efficient. So far, games like nearly thirty games have promised to support this new feature. However, it needs to be patched in by Nvidia and by individual developers, and we’re still waiting for true support to be debuted in any games.

Click here to read the latest tech headlines – perfect for staying informed!

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review – The Asus Turbo RTX Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 05In our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review we’ve used an Asus Turbo RTX 2070 8GB. It runs at its stock speeds of 1,410MHz and 1,620MHz. That’s because it’s important to get a baseline performance level without any overclocks.

The Turbo card looks plain on the outside, with a boxy plastic shroud with only a tiny row of RGB LEDs.

Get beyond that, though, and the Turbo has a lot more going for it. For starters, it has an overclocked mode that can be enabled using Asus’ software. With this turned on, the Boost clock gets a modest boost from 1,620MHz to 1,650MHz. It’s got a single high-speed fan that has dual ball-bearings to keep things quiet, and it has a USB Type-C port at the rear.

The Asus Turbo card costs £540 in the UK and $530 in the US. That means it falls into the mid-range when it comes to RTX 2070 pricing.

Click here for our huge guide on 4K monitors – from finding the best features to picking the right panel!

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review – Pricing

In the UK and at the time of writing our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review, prices for RTX 2070 cards range from around £460 to £650. In the US, expect to pay between $499 and $860.

That’s a huge disparity between the most affordable and most expensive cards, especially for a part that sits in the middle of the market. At the top end, pricier RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards justify their cost with fancy water-cooling and other features that aren’t found on the more expensive RTX 2070 models.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 04So, what do you get?

If you pay less than £500 or $550 for an entry-level card then you’re going to get a modest GPU. There’s still the full might of the RTX 2070 core, but these parts usually run at stock speeds or with modest overclocks. Cards from Gigabyte and MSI took the core beyond 1,700MHz at this price point, but those GPUs are rare and tend to have chunky, dated coolers.

The middle of the RTX 2070 market is more interesting. In the UK, spending around £550 or $600 on an RTX 2070 will open up loads of cards with overclocks that go beyond 1,800MHz – a hefty improvement over the standard 1,620MHz boost.

As you progress further through the range the cards don’t just have better boost speeds. They have more extravagant heatsink designs, with more RGB LEDs.

The top of the market, unsurprisingly, contains the most ambitious cards – more often than not from Asus and Gigabyte.

These cards large overclocks and heatsinks, and plenty of RGB LEDs. They also have higher-quality hardware that’s allegedly used to improve the lifespan and reliability of the card.

If you’re thinking of spending more than £600 or $700 on an RTX 2070, though, we’d question your decision. Entry-level RTX 2080 cards start for less than £700 in the UK and for less than $750 in the US. While you won’t get RGB LEDs or overclocked cores if you buy an affordable RTX 2080, you will get a lot more graphical power for only a little more cash – and we’d save up for that.

You could also save yourself a fair amount of money if you decide to opt for one of the cheaper RTX 2070 options. You may lose out on some clock speed and RGB LEDs, but the former can be handled in Windows software and the latter is only cosmetic.

Want to know more about AMD Ryzen processors? Check out our in-depth guide right here.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review – Performance

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review 1440p averages Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review 1440p minimumsThe benchmarks in the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review show that this card delivers a comfortable boost over the RTX 2060. However, it’s a further way back from the RTX 2080. That’s not surprising when the specs are considered: the RTX 2070 has 384 more stream processors than the RTX 2060, but it’s 640 behind the RTX 2080.

The RTX 2070 had no problems playing games at 1080p. Its minimum in Ghost Recon Wildlands was 53fps – eleven frames better than the  and not far away from the 60fps figure that’s one of Nvidia’s favourite boasts.

In most of our other test games it delivered minimums that beat 60fps. Every single 1080p average got past 60fps easily.

Any current game will play at 1080p with reassuring smoothness. That’s not all: the RTX 2070’s huge 1080p results mean that it can handle high refresh-rate gaming in any title – you’ll only have to make tiny graphical tweaks in the trickiest games to get beyond 100fps. Most titles will run with their graphical settings ramped up – something that the RTX 2060 couldn’t do.

The RTX 2070 performed well at 1440p, too. Its minimums were always beyond 44fps. Its averages in our test games ranged between 50fps in Ghost Recon Wildlands to a monster 120fps in Battlefield 1.

You’ll be able to play loads of games on high refresh-rate screens at 1440p, then – something the RTX 2060 couldn’t handle. The RTX 2070 will also handle normal 1440p screens widescreen panels and VR headsets with no real problems.

However, this mid-range GPU didn’t always run 4K titles smoothly. Its best minimums at 4K were a 59fps result in Battlefield 1 and a 37fps score in Witcher 3, but it dipped below 30fps in six different games. Its 4K averages always beat 30fps, but often by slim margins.

The RTX 2070 will play most games at 4K, but you’ll have to compromise on graphics settings in the most intensive games. If you don’t, you’re going to see visible slowdown in the busiest scenes.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graph Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graph Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graph Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graph Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graph Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review graphNvidia’s latest mid-range card easily beats the RTX 2060 in benchmarks. However, there’s always a larger gap between the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2080.

Take 3D Mark’s Time Spy test. The RTX 2070’s score of 8,734 points is 1,415 points ahead of the RTX 2060. However, it’s 1,750 points behind the RTX 2080. The gap is even more pronounced in Fire Strike: the RTX 2070’s result of 19,126 was 1,734 points beyond the RTX 2060 – but 4,487 points shy of the RTX 2080.

That means the RTX 2070 can’t get near the RTX 2080 in real-world tests. The RTX 2070 was thirteen frames slower in both Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V with those games run at 4K. The RTX 2070 was eight frames behind in Ghost Recon Wildlands, eleven back in Shadow of War and Shadow of the Tomb Raider and thirteen slower in Witcher 3.

They’re significant gaps at 4K, when these cards are returning averages that tend to range between 30fps and 60fps. And that’s why we’d save up for an entry-level RTX 2080 instead of considering one of the more expensive RTX 2070 cards.

Get beyond the RTX 2070’s conventional gaming performance and you’ll find Ray-tracing. This feature only works in Battlefield V, and activating in in-game causes a big performance hit.

At 1440p, for instance, the RTX 2070’s standard Battlefield V average was 72fps. With RTX activated that dropped to 43fps. At 4K, the RTX 2070’s score went from a playable 42fps to an unplayable 24fps.

If you want to use ray-tracing, you won’t be able to handle it at 4K with an RTX 2070. It’s 1080p or 1440p – or nothing at all. If you want ray-tracing on a high refresh-rate screen, you’ll have to use a 1080p screen and drop the graphics quality to get a worthwhile result.

We’ve included all of these results in our benchmark graphs. The RTX 2070 is always displayed in blue, with the RTX 2060 in green and the RTX 2080 in red.

Our full-size graphs display key scores. The rest of our graphs, included here as thumbnails, detail 1080p performance and the rest of our 1440p and 4K tests. There’s a graph that shows off theoretical performance in 3D Mark, including the new Port Royal ray-tracing test.

And, finally, we’ve included a graph that compares the RTX 2070 to the GTX 1080. In short: the RTX 2070 is better in most games, albeit not by a huge margin.

Need a new PC? Here’s our ultimate guide to the best desktops for every price and scenario.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Review – Conclusion

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review Asus GeForce RTX 2070 review 01Our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review indicates that this is an excellent graphics card that slots nicely into Nvidia’s current line-up.

It delivers a solid boost over the RTX 2060 – which means it’s more capable with a huge range of gaming tasks. The RTX 2070 will play any game at 1080p or 1440p, and anything on widescreen panels.

It’ll handle VR, and it will also run most games at great framerates on 1080p and 1440p high refresh-rate screens with minimal tweaking.

That makes the RTX 2070 a superb mid-range option with plenty of versatility. There’s loads of headroom for the future, and that’s before ray-tracing and DLSS have become viable.

The only thing this card won’t handle is 4K. If that’s what you’re after, you’re going to need an RTX 2080. We’d also recommend getting a cheaper RTX 2070 or an entry-level RTX 2080 if you’re looking at one of the market’s more expensive RTX 2070 cards. A cheaper RTX 2070 will deliver near-identical performance while saving cash. Entry-level RTX 2080 GPUs will deliver a significant boost to gaming performance if you need it.

If you want to run every kind of gaming except 4K for years then the RTX 2070 is excellent. It’s got more headroom than the RTX 2060. The gap between the two will become more apparent as time goes on.

It’s not as affordable as mid-market cards have been in the past. Despite that, the superb Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 is the mid-range card of choice from Nvidia’s Turing range.

The card in our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review starts from $499 in the US and £460 in the UK.  Discuss our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The Good

  • The best mid-range card available right now
  • Excellent in all 1080p and 1440p scenarios
  • More headroom for the future than the RTX 2060
  • Loads of board partner choice

The Bad

  • Can’t always manage smooth 4K
  • Only a small boost over the GTX 1080
  • Pricier models are barely cheaper than some RTX 2080 cards
  • Ray-tracing and DLSS remain unknown quantities

The Specs

Stream processors: 2,304
Base clock: 1,410MHz
Boost clock: 1,620MHz
Memory: 8GB, 256-bit 7,000MHz GDDR6
Connectivity: PCI Express 3.0
Display Outputs: DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b
Max Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
TDP: 175W
Power connections: 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin
Supported APIs: DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.2, Vulkan 1.1, CUDA 7.5

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

About Author

Mike Jennings

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