Palit GeForce RTX 3070 Jetstream OC review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words

It is good to see that Palit has been changing their strategy a little bit. This shows itself with a new aesthetic overhaul that is very pleasing to the eyes. Next to that wee now have a dual BIOS as well, which is handy as fail-save as well as switching and choosing in between a performance and silent mode. We can solely recommend the silent mode, which returns performance levels close or equal to performance mode at a very comfortable 36~37 DBa level. With the RTX 3070; 1250 USD graphics card series performance is now attainable at 500 USD, granted it has less memory, but throughout the benchmark suite, you can see that the RTX 3070  really is battling last-gen's flagship product, the RTX 2080 Ti. And that does make this product series special. With AIB products, the card becomes even faster as the PALIT model tested was on average 3% faster than FE as well.  So therein is a lot of substance to be found. My most important objection for the 3070 however is its 8GB of graphics memory as yes, this still is a proper Ultra HD card. While you'll be fine in Full HD and Wide Quad HD at 8GB, for Ultra HD we feel framebuffer sizes do need to go up. Then again, if this card had 16GB as opposed to its 8GB of GDDR6, then you could easily add close to a 150 maybe 200 USD premium on top of the 500 USD asking price, as yes graphics memory is very one of the most expensive things in that bill of materials for a manufacturer. With that in mind, a 3080 would then be the more logical choice. With that said and done, I get why NVIDIA opted for 8GB, the reasoning behind 8GB as for most games that will be sufficient and keeps that bill of materials used at that a  level we ll can embrace.

Performance

Ultimately everything and anything it's all about gaming price, performance, and, of course, rendering quality. Of course, the GeForce RTX 3070 is a product that meets all these factors in a proper way, while we do feel the RTX 3080 offers more value for money, the RTX 3070 simply is more reachable for a bigger crowd (money-wise). This card is capable of running games at 4K, it will serve best at WQHD and extremely GPU bound games. At Full HD you'll be quite often bottlenecked and CPU limited as again, this is 2080 Ti level performance. Performance-wise we can safely state that for future gaming this is a true Quad HD graphics card that is very Ultra HD capable with the current games. But whether or not you use traditional rendering or games that can be ray-traced and manage DLSS, this combo comes together in that WQHD and UHD resolution. Battlefield V with ray-tracing and DLSS enabled, in Ultra HD now running in a ~55 FPS bracket. DX-R ray-tracing and Tensor performance; the RTX 30 series has received new Tensor and RT cores. So don't let the actual RT and Tensor core count confuse you. They're located close inside that rendering engine, they became more efficient and that shows. If we look at an RTX 2080 with Port Royale, we will hit almost 30 FPS. The RTX 3070 passes that at over 38 FPS. Tensor cores are harder to measure, but overall from what we have seen, it's all in good balance, better than the 2000 series for sure. Overall though, the GeForce RTX 3070 starts to make sense starting at a Quad HD resolution (2560x1440) being ultra HD capable, it is that simple. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 will make you trigger happy at close to 50 FPS in UHD resolutions with the very best graphics settings. As always, comparing apples and oranges, the performance results vary here and there as each architecture offers advantages and disadvantages in certain game render workloads. 


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Compute performance

We could easily add an extra section for compute performance, as content creation remains baffling to me with the Ampere series. Not necessarily comparing 3070, to 3080 and 3090, but the step from last-gen series 20 towards series 30 has been nothing short of amazing. The RTX 3070 a good notch faster than an RTX 2080 and still faster than the RTX 2080 Ti. As you have been able to see, the content creation scene is gonna be happy with the Ampere architecture overall as well, applications like Blender and VRAY tear a new hole in performance, absolutely staggering to see and observe. What need I say and state more about performance, you have all the evidence you need in our extensive benchmark suite.

Cooling & noise levels

Depending on the level of airflow inside your chassis, expect the card to sit in the 73~75 Degrees C range temperature-wise under hefty load conditions, which is just tremendously good for a card of this caliber. In extremely stressed conditions, we'd hit ~40 DBa and 36~37 DBA with the silent BIOS. The last one is very acceptable and actually has our preference.

Energy

In the previous paragraph, I already mentioned this; your heat output and energy consumption are always closely related to each other as (graphics) processors and heat can be perceived as a 1:1 state, 100 Watts in (consumption) often equals 100 Watts of heat as output. This is the basis of TDP. NVIDIA is listing their TGP at 220 Watts, which is okay for a graphics card in the year 2020, and certainly a lot better than the RTX 3080 and 3090 in that sub 350W domain. I want to make a remark here, as throughout this review I have been comparing the performance of the 3070 towards the 2080 Ti. With a TGP of 320W for the 2080 Ti, the 220W for the 3070 is absolutely impressive. That's 100 watts less for more or the same performance levels. The PALIT JetSTream OC edition has a little more power allowance at defaults, we measure the power draw at gaming load to be roughly 265 Watt 

Coil whine

The GeForce RTX 3070 exhibits only very low levels of coil squeal. Is it annoying? No. It's at a level you can hear it. In a closed chassis, that noise would fade away in the background. However, with an open chassis, you can hear coil whine/squeal. Graphics cards all make this in some sort of form, especially at high framerates this can be perceived.

Pricing

NVIDIA is pricing the GeForce RTX 3070 at USD 499. The good news is that that is a third of the price of the RTX 3090, while in most scenarios you are at half the performance. We do expect AIB cards to be more expensive as that is a trend as of late.  We'll have to wait and see how that pans out though as everything is dependant on the actual volume availability of these cards.

Tweaking

Tweaking Ampere GPUs has been a bit of a challenge. Sometimes puzzling, other times easy. The tweaks on the clock frequency and memory run fine, but the performance was just often lower than defaults. There is new safety protection active on memory, which will prevent the card from crashing when clocked too far, it, however, will drop in performance. For the RTX 3070 series we'd expect you to add and reach 500~1000 Mhz+ with a steady 15 to 16 Gbps of effective bandwidth. Of course, increase the power limiter to the max so your GPU gets (even) more energy budget and then the GPU clock can be increased anywhere from +50 to +125 MHz. Why this huge differential you might wonder? Well, results will vary per board, brand, and even card due to cooling (GDDR6X/GPU/VRM), but also ASIC quality. I will say this though, frequency matters LESS these days. Even if the GPU could do 2000~2100 MHz, your power limiter will be the decisive and dominant factor, lowering that clock frequency to meets its assigned power budget.

Conclusion

Nice job Palit, we like it. Where the 3080 and 3090 mostly sit at a price level that many can't or are willing to afford, the sub 500 US price bracket we feel is where it begins (but still a lot of money). Overall the RTX 3070 series cannibalizes the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti domain and territory. So from that perspective, you quite honestly just cannot go wrong here. The predicament at launch as said will be actual availability. And if you do not buy through Nvidia or an NVIDIA assigned e-tailer, the prices will go up due to shortages. Is the price higher than say 550 USD? Then you as a consumer should absolutely refuse that, seriously don't buy at prices over 500~500 USD, WAIT until there is volume availability as retailers and etailers will otherwise rip that wallet of your empty. That said and done, there's little to report otherwise that is negative about the graphics card, super performance combined with fitting cooling and acoustics is what you'll get. And next to that, it's just a nice looking graphics card, isn't it?. Now we can argue about the nature and choice of an 8GB GDDR6 framebuffer, but in most use cases it's enough and we understand the choice made here, NVIDIA needs to keep that bill of materials healthy, as otherwise, this 499 USD card would have easily been 650 USD based on that 16GB decision. With future games in mind, this will turn out to become a WQHD (2560x1440) resolution card, and with current games, you can quite easily play Ultra HD games, in that domain, it shines whether that is using shading (regular rendered games) or when using hybrid ray-tracing + DLSS as that combo will offer a very decent performance. Palit did it correctly, you could perhaps argue the need for triple-fan cooling over dual-fan, but as you have been able to see the temperatures are under control and the silent mode quite silent. Of course people like 60 Degrees over 70 Defrees C in temperature, but for the GPU that doesn't really matter, it's just that we all consider that cooler = better. Palit ticks the right boxes with the Jetstream model. I mean 37 or 40 DBA depending on dual BIOS choice, then the nice looks as well as a product that already has been clocked at a boost frequency of 1815 MHz for you. You really cannot complain there. The performance you gain from any 3070 of course also is nice, for 500 bucks you sit at that RTX 2080 TI performance level, and that is not a bad deal. Overall you'll run 3 to 4% faster than reference and when tweaked you can further extend that. This is something we definitely can recommend (if priced right and if available of course).

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- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.

  

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