It’s hard to rate the current crop of GPUs when price is such an important factor and supply is all over the place. We’ve listed the official price of $499 for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 for the Founders Edition in this review, but the more realistic board-partner prices start from around $550 at retailers.
That still makes it a fair bit cheaper than the Radeon RX 6800 in terms of retail prices, though, and the GeForce RTX 3070 is at least turning up in limited quantities. If you can find one for a good price, it’s certainly worth buying, as this card crosses the threshold into 2,560 x 1,440 gaming at decent frame rates.
The RTX 3070 is based on a different GPU and memory system from the RTX 3080 and 3090, which are based on Nvidia’s top-end GA102 Ampere GPU. The RTX 3070 uses the smaller GA104 chip, and it also has one Texture Processing Cluster (TPC) disabled, so you lose two Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs) compared with a fully enabled chip. The end result is a chip with 5,888 CUDA cores, along with 46 2nd-gen RT cores for ray tracing.
Meanwhile, the RTX 3070 has 8GB of GDDR6 memory, rather than GDDR6X, and it’s attached to a 256-bit wide memory interface. It runs at 1750MHz (14GHz effective), giving you a total bandwidth of 448GB/s – that’s substantially narrower than the RTX 3080 and 3090, and lower than the Radeon RX 6800’s 512GB/s, but it’s still fine for the RTX 3070’s target resolution of 2,560 x 1,440.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 gaming frame rates
Where the GeForce RTX 3070 really excels is with both ray tracing and DLSS enabled, where you get the beautiful shininess of ray tracing, while still maintaining reasonable frame rates. Its 55fps 99th percentile and 65fps average frame rates in Cyberpunk 2077 at these settings are fine, as is its respective 46fps 99th percentile and 70fps average in Metro Exodus.
It can even play Shadow of the Tomb Raider at these settings without dropping below 67fps. It doesn’t cope so well in Cyberpunk 2077, but it’s fine in our other ray-tracing tests.
The downside is that its raw shading power can’t quite keep up with that of the Radeon RX 6800 in terms of rasterization performance. Its Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla average frame rate was 11fps behind the Radeon at 2,560 x 1,440, and it was 7fps behind in Metro Exodus.
The RTX 3070’s frame rates at this resolution are all still playable, though – its 56fps average in Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t quite meet our preferred 60fps target, but it’s still perfectly playable.
Where it starts to struggle is at 4K, dropping well back from the rest of the field, often with unplayable results, but then you can’t expect to run every game at 4K on a card at this price.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 pros and cons
- Ray tracing at 2,560 x 1,440 with DLSS
- Decent shading power at 2,560 x 1,440
- Great value at MSRP
- Radeon RX 6800 XT has more shading power
- Struggles at 4K
- Hard to find in stock
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 specs
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 specs list is:
|Stream processors / CUDA cores||5,888|
|RT cores||46 (2nd-gen)|
|Tensor cores||184 (3rd-gen)|
|Base clock||1500 MHz|
|Max boost clock||1725 MHz|
|Memory||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory clock||14 GHz effective|
|Memory bandwidth||448 GB/s|
|Card interface||16x PCIe 4|
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 price
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 price is $499 (£469) for the Founders Edition, but the current lack of supply means prices are often higher.
Price: Expect to pay $550 (£530).
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review conclusion
If the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition ever becomes properly available for $499 again, it would be a no-brainer, but even at $550, it’s worth waiting for stock to arrive at retailers.
It can’t quite catch the Radeon RX 6800’s raw shading frame rates, but its support for DLSS means you can run games with ray tracing at 2,560 x 1,440, including Cyberpunk 2077, and it maintained decent frame rates in all our test games at this resolution. If you’re looking to play the latest games at 2,560 x 1,440 with ray-tracing bling enabled, this is the card to get if you can find one.
If you’re looking for more GPU power, or you can’t quite stretch your budget to the RTX 3070, then check out our guide to the best graphics card, where we walk you through all the best options at a range of prices. Since we published this review in 2020, Nvidia has now also released its GPUs based on the Nvidia Ada architecture, so make sure you read our full GeForce RTX 4070 review.
The best-value mid-range GPU, enabling ray tracing with DLSS at 2,560 x 1,440 and still having decent shader performance.