EVGA RTX 2070 Black Review
Published: 4th January 2019 | Source: EVGA | Price: |
The pricing of graphics cards has been somewhat out of control in recent times. Whereas it wasn't that long ago that £400 would buy you a range topping one and £800+ was reserved for the Quadro's of this world, nowadays a flagship GPU is four figures and a good midrange offering is still way above the price of a current gen console.
Keeping pricing in check is something nVidia have taken very seriously with their mainstream model, the RTX 2070. Whilst we all might dream of RTX 2080Ti's or even Titans in our rig, the reality is that most of us find a months wages or more on a single GPU that will last 18 months or so to be a bit too much of a price to pay, so cards like the RTX 2070 are where the majority of us will place our hard-earned cash. To this end all the third parties have been instructed to have at least one model in their range which provides all the latest bells and whistles - Turing GPU + Ray Tracing + Tensor Cores - but without kicking the price into the stratosphere.
For EVGA that card is the Black. It would have been easy for them to stick with a reference cooler just to tick off that pricing requirement in the same way that all websites have a pen which is 90% off and everything else is 5% off just so they can claim their sale has up to 90% off all items, or price a sofa in one shop in the Shetland Islands high to fulfil the "previously available for x" advertising standards legal requirements. Thus EVGA would fulfil nVidias requirement, but in the knowledge nobody will actually buy it. Instead they have taken the opportunity to understand how big of a market these £500 GPUs will have and done their best to make theirs the most obvious candidate for your money. It is equipped with the outstanding iCX2 cooler so it looks like a much more expensive card, and whilst it might come out of the box with a stock clock speed, that cooler enables the nVidia GPU Boost or, if you prefer, OC Scanner technology to rock out and produce much higher real-world clocks.
As you could see throughout our testing the various RTX 2070 cards were all extremely tightly grouped. You can make some generalisations about the Zotac AMP Extreme being about the fastest, or the when-locked-to-stock MSI Armor and EVGA Black being the slowest. However, nobody locks down their cards, because we all want as much performance as possible for the smallest outlay. The Zotac AMP Extreme might be a shade quicker, but it's also got a street price of £575. The MSI Armor performs about the same as this RTX 2070 Black, but it's £530. The Black is £499.
All of which makes it an extremely attractive proposition. You have a card which looks like a much more expensive model, has a cooler which keeps temperatures well under control without making you deaf in the process, and all the benefits of the new RTX architecture without having to sacrifice a kidney to purchase it. About our only complain is the lack of a full-length backplate somewhat spoils the aesthetics and gives away its more affordable price tag. However, if you're in the market for a graphics card that will run all the latest titles in the most popular resolutions then the EVGA RTX 2070 Black is a bargain and should be right at the top of your wishlist.