Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti review: A GPU for wild times

A decent graphics card bracketed by much better options, but you'll enjoy it if you manage to snag one.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

Our test system

We’re using our new AMD Ryzen 5000-series test rig to be able to benchmark the effect of PCIe 4.0 support on modern GPUs, as well as the performance-boosting AMD Smart Access Memory and Nvidia Resizable BAR features (which are both based on the same underlying PCIe standard). Currently, we’re testing it on an open bench with AMD’s Wraith Max air cooler. In the future, we’ll move the setup into a case and add an NZXT Kraken liquid cooler to the mix. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the storage ourselves.

  • AMD Ryzen 5900X, stock settings
  • AMD Wraith Max cooler
  • MSI Godlike X570 motherboard
  • 32GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 3800 memory
  • EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply
  • 1TB SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD

We’re sticking to direct competitors from the current generation, because the RTX 30-series and its Ampere architecture are known quantities. Let’s compare the $600 GeForce RTX 3080 Ti against Nvidia’s Founders Edition models of the $500 RTX 3070 and $700 RTX 3080, of course, as well as AMD’s rival $580 Radeon RX 6800.

Time constraints prevented us from testing Resizable BAR or ray tracing performance. That said, because the 3070 Ti is essentially a 3070 with a few more cores and faster GDDR6X memory, its ray tracing and DLSS performance should be close to that card’s, just a hair faster.

This evaluation focuses purely on traditional gaming benchmarks. We test a variety of games spanning various engines, genres, vendor sponsorships (Nvidia, AMD, and Intel), and graphics APIs (DirectX 11, DX12, and Vulkan). Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets unless otherwise noted, with VSync, frame rate caps, real-time ray tracing or DLSS effects, and FreeSync/G-Sync disabled, along with any other vendor-specific technologies like FidelityFX tools or Nvidia Reflex. We’ve also enabled temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) to push these cards to their limits. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test. The RTX 3080 wasn’t tested at 1080p, because that card is overkill for that resolution.

Because the 3070 Ti is just a bit faster than the 3070, we’re going to present these benchmark charts but save our wrap-up commentary for the end. In general, though, while the RTX 3070 Ti gets Nvidia within spitting distance of the Radeon RX 6800, AMD's card continues to hold the overall performance advantage in non-ray traced games.

Gaming performance benchmarks

Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the first games to debut on next-gen consoles. Ubisoft upgraded its Disrupt engine to include cutting-edge features like real-time ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS. We disable those effects for this testing, but Legion remains a strenuous game even on high-end hardware with its optional high-resolution texture pack installed.

wdl Brad Chacos/IDG

Horizon Zero Dawn

Yep, PlayStation exclusives are coming to the PC now. Horizon Zero Dawn runs on Guerrilla Games’ Decima engine, the same engine that powers Death Stranding.

hzd Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: gaming benchmarks continue

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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