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Review: Palit GeForce RTX 2070 Dual

by Parm Mann on 16 October 2018, 14:00

Tags: Palit, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadylw

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Introduction

Nvidia's Turing architecture has arrived on the scene with the promise of revolutionary enhancements to PC graphics. The era of ray-tracing and AI-based game development is officially upon us, but as is often the case with forward progress, there are a few immediate hurdles. Games employing such technologies are still in the works, and with prices starting at £750 for an RTX 2080 (rising to £1,100 for an RTX 2080 Ti), most gamers have been priced out of proceedings.

A third Turing GPU, dubbed GeForce RTX 2070, hopes to alleviate some of the financial burden and launches today priced from £459. Hardly pocket change, yet the introduction of ultra-premium parts in recent years has paved the way for a new level of mainstream. In today's world, half-a-grand can be considered a mid-range outlay for many forms of technology, be it graphics card, processor or mobile phone.

GeForce: from GTX to RTX

 
RTX 2080 Ti
GTX 1080 Ti
RTX 2080
GTX 1080
RTX 2070
GTX 1070
Launch date
Sep 2018
Mar 2017
Sep 2018
May 2016
Oct 2018
May 2016
Codename
TU102
GP102
TU104
GP104
TU106
GP104
Architecture
Turing
Pascal
Turing
Pascal
Turing
Pascal
Process (nm)
12
16
12
16
12
16
Transistors (bn)
18.6
12
13.6
7.2
10.8
7.2
Die Size (mm²)
754
471
545
314
445
314
Base Clock (MHz)
1,350
1,480
1,515
1,607
1,410
1,506
Boost Clock (MHz)
1,545
1,582
1,710
1,733
1,620
1,683
Founders Edition Clock (MHz)
1,635
-
1,800
-
1,710
-
Shaders
4,352
3,584
2,944
2,560
2,304
1,920
GFLOPS
13,448
11,340
10,068
8,873
7,465
6,463
Founders Edition GFLOPS
14,231
-
10,598
-
7,880
-
Tensor Cores
544
-
368
-
288
-
RT Cores
68
-
46
-
36
-
Memory Size
11GB
11GB
8GB
8GB
8GB
8GB
Memory Bus
352-bit
352-bit
256-bit
256-bit
256-bit
256-bit
Memory Type
GDDR6
GDDR5X
GDDR6
GDDR5X
GDDR6
GDDR5
Memory Clock
14Gbps
11Gbps
14Gbps
10Gbps
14Gbps
8Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
616
484
448
320
448
256
ROPs
88
88
64
64
64
64
Texture Units
272
224
184
160
144
120
L2 cache (KB)
5,632
2,816
4,096
2,048
4,096
2,048
Power Connector
8-pin + 8-pin
8-pin + 6-pin
8-pin + 6-pin
8-pin
8-pin
8-pin
TDP (watts)
250
250
215
180
175
150
Founders Edition TDP (watts)
260
-
225
-
185
-
Suggested MSRP
$999
$699
$699
$549
$499
$379
Founders Edition MSRP
$1,199
$699
$799
$699
$599
$449

Based on the purpose-built TU106 GPU, the 12nm RTX 2070 borrows liberally from its bigger, better-equipped siblings. As part of the snipping process, a further 10 streaming processors have been shaved from the RTX 2080 specification, giving the third-tier GPU a total of 2,304 shaders and 144 texture units. Boost clock has also been reduced, falling from 1,710MHz to 1,620MHz, though the back-end remains largely intact, with 64 ROPs, a 256-bit memory bus and 8GB of GDDR6 memory dialled-in at 14Gbps. Unlike GTX 1070, Nvidia has chosen not to hamper memory on its x70-series card of this generation.

The specification holds no major surprises, though with the additional Tensor and RT cores, TU106 remains a particularly sizeable chip, measuring 445mm² and carrying almost 11-billion transistors. It is almost as large as last year's flagship, the GTX 1080 Ti.

Will the forward-looking architecture prove its worth in the months ahead? That remains to be seen, but the promise is undeniable. Nvidia is having to use custom demos to highlight the potential of AI-based rendering enhancements such as DLSS, with Final Fantasy XV being a favourite. Running the in-house test reveals a performance increase of almost 40 per cent, as benchmark score climbs from 2,757 using traditional TAA to 3,797 using DLSS. Such a boost is not to be scoffed at, yet we need to see real-world games before we can officially label RTX as a game-changer.

In keeping with other cards in the series, the RTX 2070 will be made available direct from Nvidia in Founders Edition guise for an additional $100 premium. The dual-fan cooler looks fantastic and, given that it works a treat on the RTX 2080 Ti, we imagine it will have no problem taming this third-rung chip. As before, Nvidia is ensuring that all RTX FE cards are factory overclocked as standard. For RTX 2070, that means boost clock rises from the default 1,620MHz to an RTX 2080-matching 1,710MHz, though as a trade-off, board TDP climbs from 175W to 185W.

It would be fair to say that the newly-improved Founders Edition has taken away some of the appeal of third-party designs from Nvidia's army of add-in-card partners; why purchase a huge, ostentatious Gamer Rox OC Turbo Insane Edition when the elegant Founders Edition is readily available? Perhaps aware of this conundrum, Nvidia has opted not to sample UK media with a reference board for the RTX 2070 launch, putting the spotlight entirely on partners who are bringing multiple SKUs to market. That being the case, let's shift our focus to the Palit RTX 2070 Dual.