ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 TUF Gaming review


ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 TUF Gaming OC review

The turn goes to ASUS, for whom we review the TUF Gaming RTX 3070. ASUS is heavily promoting the TUF series as its new high-end brand. And we have to admit; they certainly stepped things up a notch or two this year with the series. Loaded with 5888 shader cores is has the means to game even a bit intoxicating. This product will sit at GeForce RTX 2080 Ti performance levels and, in due time, even its replacement. 

On September 1st of the year, 2020 NVIDIA declared three initial Ampere graphics cards in its inaugural launch wave. A week before announcements, specifications of the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 took a twist; the shader core count mysteriously doubled up from what everybody expected. The GPUs are fabricated on an 8nm node derived from Samsung. This process is a further development of Samsung's 10nm process; no EUV is applied in production just yet. The first wave of announcements would see the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 being released first, and, as a bit of a surprise, the GeForce RTX 3070 would be arriving in roughly the same timeframe as well. The initial launch of Ampere for consumers entails the GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6, RTX 3080 10GB GDDR6X, and what we test today, the 24GB GDDR6X based premium flagship, the mighty mo, the GeForce RTX 3090. The lineup nearly doubles ray-tracing performance with Gen2 ray-tracing cores and 3rd iteration Tensor cores. These cards will all be PCIe 4.0 interface compatible and offer HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a, but most importantly is that exorbitant Shader processor count (referred to as CUDA cores by NVIDIA), passing the 10K marker for the flagship product, nobody... not even us, saw that one coming. With roughly half that shader processor count, we now meet the NVIDIA GA104 GPU, initially to be used solely in the GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards. And despite a lower segmented card, it still holds a big GPU die; the 3070's GA104-300-A1 GPU is firing up over 17 billion transistors. To compare, a GeForce RTX 3080 is listed at 8,704 Shader cores, and the GeForce RTX 3090 (GA102) has 10496 Shader cores. In this review, we'll check out the Founder edition GeForce RTX 3070, paired with 8GB of GDDR6 graphics memory. A product that runs a boost clock of 1730 MHz and the sheer muscle power makes you smile, a lasting one.

Model Base Clock (MHz) Boost Clock (MHz) VRAM Base Clock (MHz) VRAM Effective Datarate (MHz) Max Power % left
GeForce RTX 3070 1500 1730 1750 14000 109
ASUS RTX 3070 TUF Gaming 1500 1815 1750 14000 112

The ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming TUF OC edition is the new hipster in the ASUS series. TUF is promoted a lot, being a cross-brand with other gear and components as well. As such, ASUS had to step things up a notch trying to get you warmed up for that TUF eco-system. And they certainly did deliver with this nice dark looking product, offering a quality build with dual BIOS, silent acoustics, and excellent working temperatures. Fitted with that NVIDIA GA104 GPU, it has a nice 5888 Shader cores activated and is paired with 8GB GDDR6 graphics memory. ASUS also equipped the card with a semi-passive design; the three fans start to spin and cool once the GPU warms up. You'll notice it has 2x 8 (6+2) pin power connectors.  The card is rated by us with a 235W power draw, which is 220W for the reference design. This indicates it will perform a notch better at default clocks, alright. Weighing in at close to 1500g, this product has been sized quite big, 301x 143 x 44mm. The out of the box boost clock for this product is a rather high 1830 MHz (1730 MHz is the reference clock), and it's memory clocked at reference 14 Gbps (1 Gbps reference).  

Keep an eye out; ASUS has two SKUs available, both named the same; the SKU labeled TUF-RTX3070-O8G-GAMING is the one we test today dubbed OC edition, the TUF-RTX3070-8G-GAMING (without that O) clock in slower at 1755 MHz. We refer to the out of the box clock frequencies, of course. Realistically if you want my opinion, just grab the cheaper one available, we say, as the performance differences these days are marginal at best.


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