Final Words

As we wrap up, it’s clear that judging the RTX 2070 involves the same themes that surfaced in the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 review. First is for the forward-looking featuresets that have yet to publicly launch. Another, and closely intertwined, is the premium pricing that is based on those features, as opposed to being based on conventional gaming performance. And lastly is the existing competition in the form of Pascal, especially where the RTX cards fall in the same performance tier.

For the RTX 2070 Founders Edition, those themes are more relevant and harder to dismiss. By its nature, the card is an entry-level model for consumers interested in real time raytracing and other RTX platform features, as well as the traditional high-end card for prospective enthusiasts and upgraders on a budget. In the past couple generations, these ‘enthusiast value’ parts have essentially provided last-gen flagship performance (or better), at non-flagship prices. For example:

  • GTX 1070 for GTX 980 Ti
  • GTX 970 for GTX 780 Ti
  • GTX 770 refresh of GTX 680
  • RX 580/480 for R9 390
  • R9 390 refresh of R9 290
  • R9 280X refresh of HD 7970

Going back to the numbers, the RTX 2070 Founders Edition TDP and boost clock tweaks only amount to around a 4% gain over the reference 2070 at 4K. The difference is not much in the grand scheme of things, but the setup makes more sense when looking at the GTX 1080 competition. The reference RTX 2070 is faster than the GTX 1080 at 4K and 1440p by only around 10%, a gap that is easily closed by factory-overclocked custom cards.

By hardware resources, the RTX 2070 was expected to be around 75% of the 2080. But Founders-to-Founders and reference-to-reference, the RTX 2070 is bringing around 83% of the RTX 2080’s 1440p performance (and 82% of 4K performance). So the performance gap is comparable to previous generations, where the GTX 1070 brought 81% of the performance of the GTX 1080, and the GTX 970 brought 87% of the GTX 980. Except here the RTX 2080 is only managing GTX 1080 Ti level performance for traditional gaming.

Looking back at the Pascal launch, the GTX 1070 brought a 57% 1440p performance gain over GTX 970, which was substantive but with its $450 Founders Edition pricing, not necessarily a must-buy for GTX 970 owners. On the other hand, GTX 770/670 owners had a lot to gain from that upgrade.

Here with Turing, the RTX 2070 is ahead of the GTX 1070 reference-to-reference around 35% and 36% at 1440p and 4K, respectively. In its Founders Edition guise, the difference is around 41% for both resolutions. Either way, the performance lies somewhere between the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti, except with a $600 Founders Edition price. In that sense, it offers less than last generation but at a higher price, the premium being tied to real time raytracing and other hardware-accelerated features. And when those features finally release, there's no clear sense of the quality or resolution compromises necessary to run those features.

For current GTX 10 series owners, the RTX 2070 is largely a side-grade, offering known performance for possibily worse power efficiency. For those with low-end cards, or 900 series and older products, the $500/$600 budget pulls in a number of other alternatives: the GTX 1080, RX Vega 64, or even the GTX 1070 Ti. As far as standard $500 MSRP pricing goes, for which some cards are priced so currently, it helps the RTX 2070 stay in the price/performance race, where at $600 that might be a $100+ premium over a competing product. In particular, the sub $500 GTX 1080 cards are a major spoiler for the RTX 2070, offering equivalent performance at lower price. A prospective RTX 2070 buyer will have to be honest with themselves on utilizing RTX features when the time comes, and any intentions they might have on upgrading monitors for HDR, higher resolution and/or refresh rate, and variable refresh rate technology.



View All Comments

  • beisat - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Thanks for the review, nice as always.
    Was hoping to upgrade my 970 before Turing was announced, but I feel like I'm getting ripped of with these cards. The review did nothing to change that feeling, but that was to be expected.
  • Luke212 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Please investigate why Turing is slower than Volta for HGEMM. If it was using the tensor cores they should be not that slow. Reply
  • SMOGZINN - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    On the "The Test" page you show that the "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition" is one of the cards being compared, but it does not show up in the benches. Reply
  • Targon - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    From the information, seeing Vega 64 going up to a temp of 86C would put it into thermal throttle range, which would cripple performance. From my own experience, manually adjusting the fan settings in Global Wattman to go up to 4500rpm and with a temperature target of 75C will avoid the throttle issues in the first place and also improving performance significantly, even without tweaking clock speeds or voltages.

    So, if Vega 64 is getting throttled and still hitting the numbers reported, that implies that with the fan profile adjusted as I suggested, we would be seeing Vega 64 doing a bit better in terms of framerates.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Let's be honest: Vega isn't here for competition purposes, it's just included as a courtesy. Reply
  • atl - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Would be good to have some SLI & Cryptocurrency benchmarks included Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    These RTX cards are going to be a fantastic value... summer when they drop the prices.
  • eva02langley - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Even there, I don`t know if Navi can really be a 250$ GPU with 1080 GTX performances. Reply
  • sandman74 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    980 owner here gaming at 1440p. Really wanted to upgrade but when I cost everything up, PC gaming has suddenly become a very expensive hobby.

    Decided to completely abandon the PC as a future gaming platform mostly thanks to the pricing of the new gpu cards.

    2.5yrs since the 1080 for barely better performance. RTX isn’t viable on this card. My own view is the new line up sucks.

    Practically all my mates are on consoles these days which is a shame but it’s a sign of the times. Tried the BF5 beta on my xbox one S and was blown away at how decent it was. Had real fun playing with friends which is what matters.

    So I can only imagine it’s even better on the Xbox One X which you can buy for the price of just this GPU.

    Prices have gone insane, so I’m stepping out. Total respect for those that can justify the prices and carry on PC gaming. I can’t.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    tl;dr rather get a heavily discounted 1080 Ti (which will probably be factory overclocked and have a beefier cooler). Reply

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