Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition Review: Superb graphics performance, if you can buy one

Announced during Computex 2021 in June, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics processing unit (GPU) is a mid-generation refresh to help “alleviate” the never-ending shortage of the RTX 3070 GPUs.

It also comes at a more affordable official pricing of US$599, compared to the flagships RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, for upgrades from previous RTX 2070 or GTX 1070 owners.

Nvidia FeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition. (Photo: Nvidia)

The RTX 3070 Ti has more cores and is equipped with blazing fast GDDR6X memory, delivering delivering 1.5x better performance over the RTX 2070 SUPER and twice frame rate over the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti – launched in 2017.

SPECS
PRICE: US$599 or S$810 (yeah, right…)
GRAPHICS PROCESSOING CLUSTERS: 6
TEXTURE PROCESSING CLUSTERS: 24
TRANSISTORS: 17.4 billion
GPU CORES: 48
CUDA CORES: 6,144
BASE CLOCK: 1,575MHz
BOOST CLOCK: 1,770MHz
VIDEO MEMORY: 8GB
PORTS: DisplayPort x 3, HDMI x 1
POWER SUPPLY: 750W (recommended)

But by now, you probably know the story. With the global chip shortage and crypto-miners hoarding GPUs, you probably cannot find any RTX 3070 Ti to buy from anywhere. And even if you can find one, it is probably going to cost you around S$2,000 or an arm and a kidney.

So when Nvidia wanted to send a RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition (FE) review unit over, I jumped on the opportunity.

Nvidia FeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition with its box. (Photo: Nvidia)

Even if it is for a short period, at least I can finally play Cyberpunk 2077 in its full glory with ray-tracing and deep learning super sampling (DLSS) technology turned on!

For this review, I am using my ageing desktop gaming rig running an Intel Skylake i7-6700k processor with 16GB of RAM, 1TB of solid-state drive and a 34-inch (2,560 x 1,080 pixels) 144Hz G-Sync gaming monitor. I will be swapping out my Zotac GeForce GTX 980 with this review unit.

DESIGN
Design wise, the RTX 3070 Ti looks similar to the RTX 3080 and 3090 FE GPUs.

FOR
+ Excellent performance
+ Sleek design
+ No overheating
+ Adapter included

AGAINST
– Will be very expensive (if you can find one)
– No RGB lighting

I like the clean predominately black design with silver sides and lines running through the graphics card. Some might find this rather plain and bland, but I find it to be minimalistic cool.

Many PC gamers usually have a glass panel on their gaming desktops, so they can ogle at the pulsating RGB lightings and neon water cooling pipes of their coveted PC chassis. If you are one of them, this particular card is probably not for you.

The Nvidia FeForce RTX 3070 Ti looks pretty sleek. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

It does lack the RGB lighting found in RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. You probably have to look at third-party graphics card makers like Asus or Zotac for that.

In terms of ports, the RTX 3070 Ti provides three DisplayPort 1.4a ports and a HDMI 2.1 port. On one side of the card, you will find a 12-pin power connector.

You probably only need one of these four ports. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

In addition, the instruction manual specifically states that you have to use the included Nvidia dual PCIe 8-pin power connector adapter with the Founders Edition graphics card. You have to plug this adapter into the 12-pin power connector before connecting it to your power supply unit (PSU).

You have to use the included adapter. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

PERFORMANCE
Nvidia recommends a PSU of at least 750W. Luckily, my rig has a 850W PSU. So despite its age, it was able to run the RTX 3070 Ti without any issues.

But with the ageing motherboard and processor of my rig, I expect to see some bottlenecks in terms of graphics performance.

In the graphics benchmarking test of Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 at 1080p in Ultra, the RTX 3070 Ti has a relatively low score of 4,273 compared to other RTX 3070’s 5-digit scores. This is no doubt the result of my old processor. But it has an awesome average frame rate of 169 frames per second (fps). So, this is encouraging.

Playing MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, I suddenly can see terrain and buildings further away than my old graphics card. Textures on each Mech also look way better than before.

Can I don’t return this? It’s sitting nicely in my computer. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

When playing the graphics-intensive Cyberpunk 2077 role-playing game with the graphics setting tuned to Ultra, I am witnessing an average frame rate of an amazing 120fps. Compared to the pathetic 30fps I am getting with my own GTX 980, this is akin to being in graphics heaven.

Next, I tried playing Doom Eternal with the graphics setting at Ultra level, and I witnessed an amazing average of 144fps. In short, the graphics performance is simply superb, even on an ageing gaming rig of mine.

In addition, I was concerned about heating issues even though I never overclock the graphics card, as I only have four cooling fans in my gaming rig. Thankfully, the PC never felt alarmingly warm hovering around 80°C or so.

VERDICT
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is definitely a superb upgrade for anyone who does not have a RTX 30 series GPU. That is, if you can find one.

Now, you can weep with me, as I remove the RTX 3070 Ti from my gaming rig and wrap it back into the box for return…

RATINGS
DESIGN: 9/10
PERFORMANCE: 9.5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
OVERALL: 9/10