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Review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition

by Tarinder Sandhu on 9 June 2021, 14:01

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeqnv

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Introduction

Announced at the same time as the higher-performing Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, less attention was focused on the RTX 3070 Ti. Retailing at $599/£529 - but good luck in finding any cards at that price - this model improves upon its non-Ti namesake in a couple of noteworthy ways, illustrated in the table below.

Ampere and Turing Compared

 
RTX 3090
RTX 3080 Ti
RTX 3080
RTX 3070 Ti
RTX 3070
RTX 2080 Ti
RTX 2080
RTX 2070 Super
Launch date
Sep 2020
June 2021
Sep 2020
June 2021
Oct 2020
Sep 2018
Sep 2018
July 2019
Codename
GA102
GA102
GA102
GA104
GA104
TU102
TU104
TU104
Architecture
Ampere
Ampere
Ampere
Ampere
Ampere
Turing
Turing
Turing
Process (nm)
8
8
8
8
8
12
12
12
Transistors (bn)
28.3
28.3
28.3
17.4
17.4
18.6
13.6
13.6
Die Size (mm²)
628.4
628.4
628.4
392.5
392.5
754
545
545
PCIe
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
Base Clock (MHz)
1,400
1,365
1,440
1,580
1,500
1,350
1,515
1,605
Boost Clock (MHz)
1,695
1,665
1,710
1,770
1,725
1,545
1,710
1,770
Founders Edition Clock (MHz)
1,695
1,665
1,710
1,770
1,725
1,635
1,800
1,770
Shaders
10,496
10,240
8,704
6,144
5,888
4,352
2,944
2,560
GFLOPS
35,581
34,099
29,768
21,750
20,314
13,448
10,068
9,062
Founders Edition GFLOPS
35,581
34,099
29,768
21,750
20,314
14,231
10,598
9,062
Tensor Cores
328
320
272
192
184
544
368
320
RT Cores
82
80
68
48
46
68
46
40
Memory Size
24GB
12GB
10GB
8GB
8GB
11GB
8GB
8GB
Memory Bus
384-bit
384-bit
320-bit
256-bit
256-bit
352-bit
256-bit
256-bit
Memory Type
GDDR6X
GDDR6X
GDDR6X
GDDR6X
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6
Memory Clock
19.5Gbps
19Gbps
19Gbps
19Gbps
14Gbps
14Gbps
14Gbps
14Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
936
912
760
608
448
616
448
448
ROPs
112
112
96
96
96
88
64
64
Texture Units
328
320
272
192
184
272
184
160
L2 cache (KB)
5,120
5,120
5,120
4,096
4,096
5,632
4,096
4,096
SLI
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Power Connector (FE)
12-pin
12-pin
12-pin
12-pin
12-pin
8-pin + 8-pin
8-pin + 6-pin
8-pin + 6-pin
TGP (watts)
350
350
320
290
220
250
215
215
Founders Edition TDP (watts)
350
350
320
290
220
260
225
215
Suggested MSRP
$1,499
$1,199
$699
$599
$499
$999
$699
$499
Founders Edition MSRP
$1,499
$1,199
$699
$599
$499
$1,199
$799
$499

GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Analysis

The Ti model uses the full power of the second-rung GA104 Ampere die, translating to a design with 48 SMs, or two more than the non-Ti, Crunching the numbers reveals commensurately more shaders, RT Cores and Tensor Cores. Nvidia also takes the opportunity to increase base and boost frequencies by a small amount. The net result is an extra seven per cent shading power adjudged by comparing RTX 3070 Series Founders Editions cards to one another.

Hardly much to get excited about, you would think. Nvidia knows that it can't add to the shader-core count without moving to a larger, more expensive die so does the next best thing by increasing the performance of the memory subsystem. It's still 8GB running across a 256-bit bus, which feels eminently stingy for a premium GPU in 2021 - but now uses 19Gbps-rated GDDR6X memory instead of 14Gbps GDDR6. The move is an easy one to make as the faster GDDR6X memory is already present in the RTX 3080/Ti GPUs.

Cranking up the frequency realises some impressive on-paper gains. There's 36 per cent more bandwidth that ought to come in useful at higher resolutions and image-quality settings. There's no free lunch, however, as increasing the number of cores and utilising speedier memory cause the overall power consumption to rise significantly.

GeForce RTX 3070 Ti runs with a 290W TGP, up from 220W - a whopping 32 per cent increase - so it is very likely that Nvidia's partners building these GPUs will use RTX 3080-optimised cooling instead of smaller cards we sometimes see in the RTX 3070/3060 Ti firmament.

In effect, Nvidia is using a brute-force approach to uplift RTX 3070 performance by up to 10 per cent. This move ought to put the new Ti at around rival Radeon RX 6800 levels, albeit with half the graphics memory. We have no qualms about how Nvidia has gone about constructing this specific GPU from a frequency point of view, but we'd have released the RTX 3070 Ti with 16GB of memory, using double-density modules, in the name of futureproofing. The only reason for not doing so rests with power because GDDR6X memory operating at 19Gbps is known to be power hungy.

Now we know how it's built, let's take a look at the Founders Edition model before running the benchmarks.