GTX 1070 Review: The Best Upgrade for Your Computer Rigs

gtx 1070
gtx 1070

There are many graphics cards available on the market, but few have the power or raw specs of the GTX 1070. This technology, which comes from renowned company Nvidia, is an excellent way to boost the graphics on your machine.

The small card is one of the best ways to play and run games on your computer, which then creates a much better overall user experience.

The following guide will break down the different aspects of the device and cover what makes it so special in the sea of graphics cards that are currently available on the market.

A Gaming Force

logo of nvidia geforce GTX


There are many reasons the GTX 1070 stand out above other models on the market. It is a great piece of technology filled with countless features and attributes that many similar or more expensive cards don't have.

This card is all about power, which then brings you the best graphics possible.

This is important to note because the GTX 1070 is not just a stand alone card, it is a large improvement over past Nvidia models (including the stunning 970). It can hold its own against the other titans on the market.

The 1070 has a lot of competition within its own company, but its inner technology and advanced specs make it comparable to graphics cards like the GTX 980 Ti.


The Physical Technology

picture of GEFORCE® GTX 1070


The 1070 is a graphics card equipped with everything you'll ever need to make your computer run smoothly.

A big part of that is the numerous add-ons that come with the device.

The card has a 1/O bracket that includes three full-size DisplayPort 1.3/1.4-ready outputs as 1080 in addition to an HDMI 2.0b connector and a dual-link DVI port.

You'll also find two SLI interfaces on the top that each accommodate Nvidia’s new high-bandwidth bridges (creating seamless integration and easy customization).

1070 Graphics Card add-ons

  • 1/O bracket
  • Three full-size DisplayPort 1.3/1.4-ready outputs
  • HDMI 2.0b connector
  • check
    Two SLI interfaces
  • check
    Dual-link DVI port


However, though some may worry this card doesn't have the capabilities of past models, know that it still comes with all of the features you know and love.

The SLI support two GPUs at the max, and the company will also give all 1070 owners access to the same unlock key that comes with the 1080. That enables three and four way set up for those who want to go that route.

In addition, the card also has a single eight-pin connector that enables it to deliver power across the 16-lane PCIe slot.





Memory and Specs




Though the GTX 1070 has many alterations when compared to past models, the chip's back-end is almost exactly the same as it once was.

There are eight 32-bit memory controllers with eight ROP's and 265KB of L2 cache bound to each. That adds up to 64 ROPs and 2MB of L2.

The 1070 gets 8GB of 8 Gb/s GDDR5 from Samsung and the memory bandwidth peaks at 256 GB/s, which puts it 14 percent higher than GeForce GTX 980 (another example of how it contends with the market).

The card even comes with improved delta color compression that generates 20 percent more effective bandwidth by reducing bytes fetched.


Innovative Pascal Architecture

pascal GPU architecture


One of the reasons this card is so strong is because of Nvidia's special Pascal architecture, which helps take the technology to the next level.

Pascal is the successor to Nvidia's incredibly successful Maxwell CPU architecture, and it improves upon it in numerous ways. It does that by using a smaller manufacturing process, which then reduces the chip's fabrication nodes from 28 nanometers down to 16.

In addition, Pascal allows Nvidia to fit more transistors onto a smaller piece of silicon. This increases performance while also reducing overall power consumption. That change has allowed Nvidia to cram 1,920 CUDA cores onto the 1070, an upgrade that gives it a stark edge over similar cards.

Pascal comes equipped with ultra-fast FinFET and supporting DirectX 12 features to generate gaming experiences that are not just smooth, but that are efficient as well.

In addition, the architecture is specifically built to handle all next generation displays. That includes the use of multiple monitors, ultra high-resolution, and even VR.

For those reasons, this technology is at the core of the graphics card.


Pascal with Pre-Emption


Another bonus of the excellent Pascal architecture is that it helps Nividia answer asynchronous computing.

Async compute technology is used by AMD and enables a CPU to work on both graphics and computing tasks as the same time to let the card complete jobs more quickly.

Nvidia has their own version of that technology, known as "pre-emption."

However, it works a bit differently than traditional async compute technology because it allows the GPU to more intelligently prioritize certain processes.

While that switch is not a huge deal in the current market due to the fact that most games still take advantage of APIs that do not support async computing or pre-emptions, it is something that could become more and more important as time goes on.


Speed and Memory in One Place

GEFORCE GTX 1070

Speed

1,506MHz

Memory Speed

8 Gbps

Standard Memory Config

8 GB GDDR5

Memory Interface Width

256-bit

Memory Bandwidth

256 GB/sec


To improve the 1070's speed, Nvidia boosted it to 1,506MHz. That puts it ahead of the 970's 1,050MHz core clock speed, which is an excellent benchmark for the device to hit.

In addition, the GDDR5X memory also serves as a new generation of RAM that is much faster than past editions. That upgrade gives you more power and allows the device to work at a much higher level than you would expect.

Another bonus of the card is that it has 8GB of DDR5 memory, which features a 256-bit bus for 256GB/sec of memory bandwidth. That should meet the need of just about any gamer and allow even the more performance-heavy titles to run smoothly.

That memory is a specific upgrade over the 970, which did not have a lot of space to go around. The extra room enables 4k gaming, which is a necessity for playing modern machines at full capacity.

It offers a fantastic 1440p gaming performance as well.


Pinnacle Performance

a man playing computer games


The GTX 1070 is fantastic in many ways, allowing you to play all of the more demanding games and titles with ease.

While it can get overloaded with some tougher titles at higher work loads, the card is able to run most of the new games at 4k with very few lag or skips. In fact, most of the time, it will have none at all. There is almost no loss of image quality or performance the higher up you go. That is important because it ensures you'll be able to play all of your favorite titles.

Nothing is worse than buying into a graphics card only to have it not work for your more demanding programs. That is not an issue with the GTX 1070, ensuring you are making a worthwhile purchase no matter what like to play.


Excellent Features at an Excellent Price

Sale
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
  • Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics processing unit (GPU)
  • 8GB GDDR5 (256-bit) on-board memory
  • PCI Express 3.0 x16 interface

Though some people might want to try and go above and beyond the GTX 1070's specs (and there are such options if you are so inclined), there is almost nothing on the market that matches the card's excellent value-to-price ratio.

The ability to upgrade your machine for a fraction of the cost you would spend on other cards is fantastic and is a definitely one of the biggest draws here.

Computers are quite expensive, and it is always nice to be able to get high quality without breaking the bank.

For that reason, the GTX 1070 is the perfect card for any PC gamer who wants to enjoy smooth, affordable 1440p gaming.


Unique-but-Sleek Design

picture of Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 1070


There is no doubt that the GTX 1070 has a great all-around design.

That is not only good for people who like to show off their internal hardware, but it also ensures the card works exactly as intended.

The device appears much like the 1080. It has Nividia's classic industrial package complete with a faceted body that gives it a tough, modern look.

Beyond aesthetics, that build also helps cool the device down and keeps it quiet as it runs.

Both of those are critical aspects for any graphics card to have, especially on people who have small form factor gaming systems.


High Power with Little Heat

picture of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

As mentioned, the GTX 1070 is fantastic in terms of both controlling heat and conserving power.

The radial fan works to keep your machine cool by pushing any heated air through the aluminum fins and out the I/O bracket.

In addition, where the 1080 uses a vapor chamber solution to keep it cool, the 1070 comes with an aluminum heat sink complete with three embedded copper heat pipes.

Though some people may have preferred the vapor chamber option, a lower-power card simply does not need such a strong or complex cooler to work at an optimal level.

The pipes are more than enough to make sure the 1070 never gets close to overheating. It will run cool during operation and stay that way for extended periods of time.

That is important because the 1070 is a high-power card that needs energy. The four-phase dual-FET design is a great feature that keeps the card power efficient during operation.

picture of GTX 1070 Ti

While the standard 1070 is a great card, this review would not be complete without mention of the fantastic GTX 1070 Ti.

This card shares many similarities with the base 1070, but it has a few premium options that are great for people who want the same Nvidia dependability in a more premium package.


The Road in Between

Sale
Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 1070 Ti - FE Founder's Edition
  • THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED GAMING GPU ARCHITECTURE Pascal
  • NVIDIA CUDA Cores 2432
  • Architecture Pascal

While this is more expensive in base price than the basic 1070, the Ti is also much less expensive than the GTX 1080. In that way it fills in a key budget gap and enables you to alter the card to what you're willing to pay.

In fact, the GPU serves as a sort of combination of both the lower and higher prices models. You get the video memory and boost clock speed noted in the 1070, but you also get the base frequency and CUDA core count of the 1080.

That gives it a good amount of power and strong performance without going too high on the price. Perfect for anybody who wants a middle option.


A Cold and Cool Design

picture of Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 1070 Ti
picture of Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 1070 Ti


As the Ti is a 1070 at its base, it looks almost exactly like the model covered above. You get the Nvidia classic look alongside the standard prismatic GPU frame.

While some people might see that as a drawback, there is nothing wrong with the modern edge the company gives their devices.

Not only that, but the card has the same 5-phase dual-FET noted in many more expensive options. To handle that, it forgoes the 1070's pipe cooling system for a vapor chamber that allows it to run for extended periods of time without overclocking.

While this model is a bit more energy hungry than the standard GTX 1080, it rarely gets any hotter. In fact, it will never leave the safe operating zone of the Pascal architecture.


Enhanced, Next Level Performance


While there are many subtle upgrades to this card, the biggest reason it commands a higher price tag than the regular GTX 1070 is because of its incredible performance.

The card can run any high quality game on the best settings. It is even able to run many top-of-the-line games at QHD resolutions with basically no problems.

The frame rates are great, holding up through extended use, and the all of your games will look and feel incredibly smooth as you play.


No Better Way to Improve Your Graphics

The GTX 1070 (and GTX 1070i) are two great graphics cards that will complement the needs of all gamers.

The card line is one of the best for its price on the market, and the above sections cover exactly why it shines.

You are not just paying for smooth graphics with this model, you are paying for a dependable device that will keep your computer running smoothly for the foreseeable future (and quite possible beyond).

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