EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra review: Frigid, silent, and built to overclock

A phenomenal custom cooler and abundant overclocking-friendly features.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

GTA V

This DX11 game that isn’t really a visual barn-burner like the (somewhat wonky) Red Dead Redemption 2, but it still tops the Steam charts day in and day out, so we deem it more worthy of testing. RDR2 will melt your graphics card, sure, but GTA V remains so popular years after launch that upgraded versions of it will be available on the next-generation consoles. That’s staying power.

We test Grand Theft Auto V with all options turned to Very High, all Advanced Graphics options except extended shadows enabled, and FXAA. GTA V runs on the RAGE engine and has received substantial updates since its initial launch.

gtav Brad Chacos/IDG

Rainbow Six Siege

Like GTA V, Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege still dominates the Steam charts years after its launch, and it’ll be getting a visual upgrade for the next-gen consoles. The developers have poured a ton of work into the game’s AnvilNext engine over the years, eventually rolling out a Vulkan version of the game that we use to test. By default, the game lowers the render scaling to increase frame rates, but we set it to 100 percent to benchmark native rendering performance on graphics cards. Even still, frame rates soar—especially with the EVGA FTW3 Ultra’s out-of-the-box overclock applied.

rb6 Brad Chacos/IDG

Power draw, thermals, and noise

We test power draw by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test system. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

This isn’t a worst-case test. We removed the Core i7 8700K’s overclock and specifically chose a GPU-bound game running at a GPU-bound resolution to gauge performance when the graphics card is sweating hard. If you’re playing a game that also hammers the CPU, you could see higher overall system power draws. Consider yourself warned.

power Brad Chacos/IDG

The EVGA FTW3 Ultra draws more power than the Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition, but that’s to be expected. This is an overclocked card with a higher power limit enabled for enhanced performance. Even still, note that the FTW3 Ultra manages to come well under the RTX 2080 Ti’s power demands despite matching or beating its performance in games.

We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2020 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

Here’s where EVGA’s goliath custom cooler shines, even before you start overclocking. Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Founders Edition hit 72 degrees Celsius under load, which is comparable to what we've seen from well-designed custom cooling solutions in the past. But EVGA’s cooler makes Nvidia’s cool temperatures look downright balmy, topping out at a frosty 62 degrees even after long gaming workloads. Even better, while Nvidia’s FE can be heard while gaming, EVGA’s FTW3 Ultra stays essentially silent at all times, even when we popped off our case’s side panel for a closer listen.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: This is a fantastic cooler.

Next page: Should you buy the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra?

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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