Revisiting the GeForce GTX 1070 in 2021

Over the past few weeks we've looked at previous generation graphics cards that could be used as a stopgap solution to the GPU shortage if you can get them second hand at a good price. It all started with the Radeon RX 580 8GB, which was $ 300 when we recommended it earlier this year, but by the time we got around the price had unfortunately gone up to $ 400-500 each. Lately it seems to be going down again so to see something.

We later switched to the much cheaper GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, which was conveniently available for about $ 300, or $ 50 over the 5-year MSRP. As ridiculous as that sounds – and it is – this is a decent deal, and makes the GTX 1060 one of the cheaper, more affordable graphics cards you can buy right now.

However, if you're willing to spend the RTX 3060 Ti money ($ 400) on an old GeForce GTX 1070, you can enjoy the latest and greatest games at respectable quality settings. The GTX 1070 was launched in mid-2016 with an MSRP of $ 380, and today you pay roughly that price for a used model.

That's ridiculously bad deal on a normal market, but today it's actually decent and it certainly beats buying an RX 580 for the same money, especially since that model sold brand new for ~ $ 150 about two years ago.

To ensure that nothing has changed during this time, we compare the GTX 1070 directly with the RX 580 8GB in 15 games at 1080p and 1440p with different quality settings.

Before we jump into all of the blue bar charts, a few brief notes on the test system.

All tests were performed on our Ryzen 9 5950X test system with 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and the latest display driver available, so results are completely limited to the GPU. Let's get to that …

Gaming benchmarks

Starting with Assassin's Creed Valhalla, we see that the GTX 1070 is about 15% faster than the RX 580 at 1080p and about 10% faster at 1440p. This is a great result for the aging GeForce GPU as it was good with the medium quality settings for around 60 fps at 1080p and then 70 fps at low quality.

It also means you can get a decent experience with the low quality settings at 1440p, which isn't amazing, but it's a nice step up over the Radeon RX 580 and since both are very competitive in the pre-owned market right now, that's what makes the GeForce GPU a much better buy.

Next up we have Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege and here the GTX 1070 was blazing fast, outperforming the RX 580 by a 16% margin at 1080p and 1440p using the medium and high quality settings.

For those looking for 200+ fps, the medium quality preset works at 1080p, and for the slightly more casual gamers over 120, you'll get away with high even at 1440p.

Biomutant was a bit of a chore on the RX 580, especially with the high quality preset. This was far less of a problem with the GTX 1070, which was 35-45% faster at 1080p and 40-50% faster at 1440p.

This meant that at 1080p, even with the high quality preset, over 80 fps could be achieved, while at 1440p with low, comparable performance was possible. So overall an excellent performance, especially for 1080p gamers.

The GTX 1070 proves once again that it can still master the latest games very well, this time with well over 60 fps in Outriders with the high-quality preset. Even at 1440p the performance was good, 66 fps with Medium was a great experience and even 53 fps with the high quality settings wasn't bad, it was also an impressive 61% increase in performance over the RX 580.

The GTX 1070 was also in a completely different class when tested with Horizon Zero Dawn. We see an increase in performance of ~ 35% and that means well over 60 fps at 1080p even with the preferred quality preset and then over 60 fps at 1440p with the original quality preset. That's a solid result and a lot of performance with respectable quality settings for gamers to enjoy this title.

We're aiming for around 25-30% more performance with the GTX 1070 in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and that allows for well over 60 fps at 1080p with respectable quality settings like the middle preset, which still looks very good.

At 1440p, the 1070 falls below 60 fps with the medium preset. Therefore, those looking for more images will need the Low or Lowest preset.

We've already seen Doom Eternal run exceptionally well on the RX 580 and even the older R9 390. It is therefore not surprising that the GTX 1070 does well and delivers over 100 fps even at 1440p with the nightmare settings.

Death Stranding plays well with the Radeon RX 580 and here the GTX 1070 offers 25-30% more performance at well over 60 fps, even at 1440p with the second highest quality preset. In this case, the GTX 1070 is more than capable of providing a comfortable gaming experience in either 1080p or 1440p in Death Stranding.

If these results seem a little strange to you, it's because they are. The RX 580 encounters some sort of bug in Dirt 5, which is funny given that it's an AMD sponsored title. The margins for the GTX 1070 are significantly larger than they should be, but that is not a problem for the GeForce GPU, as it was able to deliver more than 60 fps at 1440p with the medium quality preset. The 1070 is a great second hand option for those looking to rally.

It continues with Watch Dogs: Legion and here the GTX 1070 offered ~ 20-25% more power and the additional frames were particularly useful when using the high-quality preset, where the GeForce GPU averages 73 fps at 1080p and 51. rendered fps at 1440p.

Resident Evil Village played exceptionally well on the RX 580, but the GTX 1070 still has a little something extra to offer, at least if it's not CPU-limited, which we see at 1080p with the performance preset that puts us at around 120 fps limited. With the preset for maximum quality, we see a performance improvement of up to 17% with an average of 84 fps and then 12% at 1440p, which is leaps and bounds from 50 to 56 fps.

Well, Cyberpunk 2077 didn't do that well on the RX 580 as the best we could get was 55 fps with the low quality preset. The GTX 1070 wasn't much better, but the 16% boost at 1080p with the low quality preset was welcomed as it made the game noticeably smoother. Alternatively, you could aim for the same 50-ish frame rate, but increase the graphics with the medium preset, so that the GTX 1070 is a bit more flexible here.

Given what we've seen so far, it probably won't come as a surprise that the GTX 1070 is capable of running Forza Horizon 4 smoothly averaging 87 fps at 1440p with the highest in-game quality preset. For high refresh rate games, the medium quality preset works at 1440p, but if for some reason you need even more performance, the Pascal GPU was able to render 165 fps using the very low quality preset.

The penultimate game tested is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, in which the GTX 1070 simply plays in a different league and offers 40-50% more power than the RX 580.

As a result, with the highest visual settings, we almost hit an average of 60 fps at 1440p. That meant that 66 fps were possible with the high quality preset at 1440p or 102 fps at 1080p, an exceptional performance in this title from the old Pascal GPU.

Finally we have F1 2020, where the GTX 1070 delivers over 60 fps at 1440p with the highest quality preset. In this case, 1080p players can get a high refresh rate experience even at the highest quality settings, so you won't need more than a 1070 for this title.

Average performance

On average, the GeForce GTX 1070 offers ~ 27% more performance than the Radeon RX 580 at both resolutions tested via a number of quality presets. This means that with very few exceptions, the GTX 1070 is still largely capable of 1080p gaming 60 fps or better to deliver.

If you play at 1440p, you can mostly achieve 60 fps or better with medium quality settings. This is a great result for a mid-range product that is now older.

Hot or not?

As expected, the GeForce GTX 1070 is not only faster than the RX 580 for games, but also very powerful in 2021 and delivers a very playable performance in almost every game with respectable quality settings. Obviously, it's hard to pay $ 400 for a used GTX 1070, but if you haven't been able to play for almost a year now, it might be worth the trigger to pull the trigger.

It's hard to give a dollar number for something you enjoy and rely on, and I know from experience that a big part of my week is hanging out with friends and playing something online.

In a normal market, you should have access to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti for $ 400, a product that offers around 80% more performance. Heck, for $ 400 you got over 50% more performance with the 5700 XT two years ago, but of course we're facing a volatile market right now.

Today, the 5700 XT typically sells in the second-hand market for $ 700 to $ 800, which is actually much worse than the GTX 1070 we just showed off in terms of cost per frame. Not to mention the fact that it's just less achievable overall.

Another alternative is to buy an RTX 2060 Super for around $ 600, but that's still 50% more expensive than what the GTX 1070 usually goes for, and you'll only see ~ 25% more performance. In other words, for desperate gamers looking to the used market, the GTX 1070 currently looks like a decent deal for a good level of performance.

Purchase abbreviation:
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT on Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X on Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon

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