Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition Review
The nVidia GPU range is become a little clogged up isn't it.
If we only look at the ones that nVidia themselves consider current products then we have the GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. That's not including the higher end Titan models, nor very recent products that have similar levels of performance such as the GTX 980 Ti. We think you'll agree that it would be a bit of a struggle to find a place in the range that the GTX 1070 Ti can slip into. Certainly if you look at the plain specifications it is only 128 CUDA Cores shy of the GTX 1080, or 5% if you prefer to think of it that way. The 1050 Ti is perhaps too low down the list to be worthy of consideration against the GTX 1070 Ti, and the GTX 1080 Ti is equally excluded as it lays at the opposite end of the performance spectrum, but the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 are perfect candidates for comparison. It seems odd that nVidia felt there was somewhere they could squeeze another model into this tight grouping.
When you read the press briefing it talks a lot about how the GTX 1070 Ti is aimed at the Vega RX56, and perhaps the elephant in the room is one painted red and with a Radeon logo on the side of it. We certainly were impressed by the Vega cards, and our testing today showed that the GTX 1070 Ti wavers somewhere between a stock Vega RX56 in some tests, whilst beating out an overclocked Vega RX64 in others. Usually press releases overstate the performance capabilities and it is up to us reviewers to discover the truth. It is a surprise to see nVidia being so coy about the capabilities of this latest entrant into the burgeoning GeForce range when compared to its AMD rivals. Or maybe that's the point? Maybe nVidia wanted to underplay things so that we'd be even more impressed and thus speak more kindly of the GTX 1070 Ti than we might otherwise have done?
Here at OC3D we have no interest in press releases as a guide for our thoughts on a product. We treat every release with a clean mental slate and let it live or die on its merits in performance and price terms. Once we've tested it we get a feel for what we think is its place in the market and the likely competition. Then we look at the price and see what else you can buy for the money and if our initial findings are reinforced by the pricing or we have to adjust them in light of the evidence. With the GTX 1070 Ti it's certainly a very capable performer, often making light of the 128 fewer CUDA Cores it has over its bigger brother whether you're running at the popular 1080P resolution, the 1440P that the GTX 1070 Ti was designed to do, or even in a lot of cases the 4K resolution where the GTX 1070 Ti isn't quite enough to push the very latest titles to smooth frame rates. Equally against the Radeon Vega cards the results varied between matching the Vega RX56 - like nVidia claim it would - all the way up to smashing the Vega RX64 in certain scenarios. Then again, so did the GTX 1080.
Pricing for the GTX 1070 Ti founders is £419 and goes all the way up to £500 for the heavy hitters from the partner vendors. Given the price of the Vega RX56 and RX64 this is fairly aggressive pricing from nVidia.
Should you buy one though? Well if you own a GTX 980 Ti, GTX 1070, 1080 or 1080 Ti then probably not. But if you own anything older, or further down the nVidia range, then there is a huge amount of performance here for a very reasonable price. You're also gaining great efficiency and good thermals, which will undoubtedly improve once the beefier coolers from the ASUS/MSI/Gigabyte etc vendors of this world appear. Like all reference nVidia cards they are good enough to be worthy of purchase, but the reality is that nearly everybody will buy a partner card, and thus it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.