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

Should you buy the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra?

If you’re an overclocking enthusiast, or someone who wants the best versions of the graphics cards they buy, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra should definitely be on your shortlist. To help refine your choice, we'll walk you through the major feature and cost considerations.

dsc01257 Brad Chacos/IDG

There's so much to talk about with the features. The FTW3 Ultra’s factory overclock pushes this model firmly past the performance of the RTX 2080 Ti, last generation’s $1,200 flagship, while the stock-clocked Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition settles for trading blows. The FTW3 Ultra is an excellent option for 4K gaming, or high refresh rate gaming at 1440p or 1080p resolution, though the 8GB memory buffer probably makes it more suitable for 1440p in the long run.

Better yet, EVGA loaded this card with overclocking-friendly specs to help you push performance even further. You get a dual-BIOS switch, a much higher power limit, an array of helpful temperature sensors, and the superb Precision X1 software to pull it all together.

EVGA sharpens those overclocking chops by equipping the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra with a monstrous 3-slot cooler. It’s phenomenal—both incredibly frigid and utterly silent under full load using stock settings. The cooler also includes a PWM fan header that lets you dedicate a case fan to respond to your graphics card’s thermals.

Remember that you’ll need a 650W power supply and two 8-pin connectors to run this beast, more than the stock RTX 3070 cards require. To be fair, however, that’s more of a benefit than a drawback for the overclocking enthusiasts who would buy the FTW3 Ultra. 

dsc01234 Brad Chacos/IDG

Now let’s look at the money. At $610, the EVGA RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra costs $110 more than the Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition. The RTX 3080 version of the FTW3 Ultra also costs $110 more than its Founders Edition counterpart.

The upcharge rests a little easier with the RTX 3080 model. To upgrade beyond the 3080, you’d need to jump to the $1,500 RTX 3090, which costs over twice as much.

On the other hand, paying $610 for an RTX 3070 doesn’t seem worthwhile when entry-level RTX 3080s (including the great Nvidia Founders Edition) start at $700. Unless your budget is really tight, paying a little more for the RTX 3080 gives you significantly higher frame rates and a better memory configuration—faster GDDR6X (the RTX 3070 uses slower GDDR6), and 2GB more of it.

There is a third consideration: AMD. The company’s $579 Radeon RX 6800 and $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT could put pricier RTX 3070 cards like this one between a rock and a hard place when they launch on November 18. If Team Red's claims prove true, AMD's duo could be faster and have more memory, though the baseline models won't be anywhere near as beefed-out as EVGA's luxurious FTW3 Ultra.

It boils down to this: The EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra is a fantastic version of a fantastic GPU, full stop. But you’ll really want to put those overclocking features to good use, or place a premium on its exceptional cooling and noise performance, to consider picking it up. If you do pull the trigger on this card (and can fit its massive girth in your system) you won’t be disappointed.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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