Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti in the test: More of what gamers need
"The Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti is a decent value for great 4K gaming performance."
Great 4K gaming
HDMI 2.1 included
Strong performance in content creation
Requires more power than the RTX 3070
Closer to RTX 3070 than 3080 in performance
The Nvidia RTX 3070 was already one of the most recommended graphics cards. It delivered powerful 4K performance but cost a reasonable $ 500. That's downright cheap in today's market where graphics cards are sold for twice their retail price.
After Nvidia released the overpriced RTX 3080 Ti last week, Nvidia is releasing their more modest RTX 3070 Ti. It costs just $ 100 more than the 3070, and it fills the market with lower-priced options that offer the performance PC gamers need.
Is the RTX 3070 Ti the best graphics card you can buy or is it just as unnecessary as the RTX 3080 Ti?
|RTX 3070 Ti||RTX 3070||RTX 3080|
|interface||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0|
|memory||8GB GDDR6X||8GB DDR6||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Bandwidth||608 GB / s||448 GB / s||760 GB / s|
The RTX 3070 Ti represents a small advance in specifications over the RTX 3070. It has only 4% more CUDA cores than the RTX 3070, while the RTX 3080 has 29% more cores. If that tells us anything, it is that the RTX 3070 Ti has a lot more in common with the 3070. That might sound obvious given the name, but the RTX 3080 Ti was actually a bigger step up from the 3080 in raw CUDA number.
Of course, there is much more to these cards than just the core number. The RTX 3070 Ti has a faster GDDR6X memory with a greatly expanded bandwidth, now up to 608 GB / s (gigabytes per second). The bus size remains the same, however, so the wider 320 bits are left to the RTX 3080.
The RTX 3070 Ti's faster clock speeds should also help with gaming performance. This is noteworthy as the frequency tends to decrease as more cores are added to a card. For example, the RTX 3080 Ti has a lower clock rate than the standard RTX 3080.
Of course, the RTX 3070 Ti also has a bit more tensor and RT cores to help with both ray tracing and DLSS performance. It's only a marginal improvement, however, and leaves a larger gap between the 3070 Ti and the 3080.
I tested the reference device, the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition manufactured by Nvidia itself. Like other cards in the RTX 30 series, the 3070 Ti has a beautiful dark silver case accented by beveled edges and a black aluminum back plate. The intake fan is on one side and the exhaust is on the other, creating the same “push-pull” system found on the other cards in the RTX 30 series.
It looks identical to the RTX 3070, but is a little longer. Both are standard two-slot cards, but the 3070 Ti is an inch longer at 11.5 inches. That's only 0.3 inches shorter than the RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti. That means you may have a harder time fitting it into smaller form factor cases than the RTX 3070.
Unlike the RTX 3070, the Ti model requires the use of both 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The reason? Well, the RTX 3070 Ti sucks 290 watts of power compared to the 220 watts of the RTX 3070. This also means that Nvidia recommends a larger 750 watt power supply in your system – compared to a 650 watt device with the RTX 3070.
Like the other cards in the series, they must be routed to the card's 12-pin connector using the adapter supplied by Nvidia. It's been mentioned ad badly, but the need for an adapter makes your rig look messy.
On the back there are three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and an HDMI 2.1.
I tested the RTX 3070 Ti in the same system as the 3080, 3080 Ti and Radeon RX 6700 XT. It was in a 30-liter case with 32 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i9-10900K. Unfortunately, we did not have a test device of the RX 6800 XT, which is a closer price and performance comparison to the RTX 3070 Ti. All titles were tested in 4K, 1440p, and 1080p with maximum and medium graphics presets. However, the following results are in 4K at maximum settings.
|Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti||Nvidia RTX 3080||AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT|
|3DMark time spy||13893||16108||11726|
|3DMark fire strike||26516||28460||26830|
|Assassin's Creed Valhalla||50||52||42|
If you want a general idea of performance, the RTX 3070 Ti is about 8% faster than the 3070, while the RTX 3080 is 14% ahead of the 3070 Ti. Of course, these numbers can vary quite a bit from one game to the next. Take a look at Battlefield V, for example, where the RTX 3080 is 20% faster. Then there's Fortnite, which was 26% faster on the RTX 3080.
In a CPU-bound game like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, of course, the margin was tighter. We're only talking about a few frames per second (fps) here. And unfortunately, the RTX 3070 Ti can't quite play the game at maximum settings in 4K. The game's average 68 fps at 1440p was a smoother and more enjoyable experience. This also applied to Cyberpunk 2077. Even with medium settings in 4K, the RTX 3070 Ti only achieved an average of 48 fps. If you want to turn on the ray tracing effects (which you really should) that's one more reason not to even bother playing in 4K.
We also tested the RTX 3070 in a different system, the Dell XPS 8940. It is a smaller desktop with more limited cooling and a non-standard GPU, so it was not included in the standardized test results above. Based on the numbers provided by Nvidia, it's around 3% slower than our XPS system, which I took into account in my evaluation and comparison.
This is an important consideration as the RTX 3070 Ti costs $ 100 more than the RTX 3070 and $ 100 less than the 3080. Hundreds of dollars for 10% better performance isn't bad, especially when compared to the RTX 3080 Ti's one-sided pricing of $ 1,200. This card cost $ 500 more than the RTX 3080 and offers roughly the same increase in performance. On the other hand, the performance is closer to the RTX 3070 than the RTX 3080, which means that both the 3070 and 3080 offer slightly better performance per dollar.
In all of my tests, the card never got too loud or rose above the maximum 83 degrees Celsius. In my Time Spy runs, the GPU temperature never exceeded 76 degrees.
I've also tested some creative accomplishments. First, I tested the RTX 3070 Ti in the Blender benchmark, which allows you to choose the component that will render the image. Many applications use a combination of CPU and GPU, making the Blender benchmark a great way to test the strength of the RTX 3070 Ti on its own. I ran the first three tests in the benchmark and found between 11% and 22% slower render times compared to the RTX 3080.
The difference in graphics performance in PugetBench Adobe Premiere fell into a similar void at 11%. This test measures how much the GPU speeds up important video editing tasks like playing and exporting 4K videos.
Any other year would be hard to argue for an RTX 3070 Ti. The 3070 and 3080 launched less than a year ago and were already great graphics cards that offer great 4K gaming at a decent price.
The global chip shortage and the proliferation of crypto mining have made the existence of the RTX 3070 Ti a little more meaningful. It ranks between the 3070 and 3080 in terms of both performance and price. And unlike the RTX 3080 Ti, Nvidia didn't raise the price just because it could.
Are there alternatives?
The RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 are both good alternatives from Nvidia. The 3070 Ti is sandwiched right between the two and performs just as well for the price. On the AMD side, the closest competitor is the Radeon RX 6800 XT for $ 649.
How long it will take?
The RTX 3070 Ti should keep your rig up to date for over 10 years. It supports the latest technology and screen resolutions and is designed to ensure that PC games that are released in five years time can still be played.
Should you buy it?
If you can find it at (or near) retail price, buy it.