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The GeForce GTX 1070 is the top-average video card from NVIDIA. With 1,920 processing cores and 8 GiB of GDDR5 video RAM, the GeForce GTX 1070 is a value version of the GeForce GTX 1080. Let’s test it!
The most recent generation of NVIDIA video cards, based Pascal architecture, was launched in May 2016. At first, were launched the GeForce GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070. Later, they launched the GeForce GTX 1060 6 GiB (which we already tested), the TITAN X (the most high-end of the series), the GTX 1060 3 GiB, and finally the entry models GeForce GTX 1050 e GTX 1050 Ti, also already reviewed at Hardware Secrets.
The GeForce GTX 1070 is based on the GP104 chip, manufactured under 16 nm technology. This is the same chip used on the GTX 1080, with the difference that on the GTX 1080 all the 2,560 cores are enabled, while on the GTX 1070 there are only 1,920 enabled cores.
This chip works with GDDR5 memory running at 8.0 GHz (on the GTX 1070) or with GDDR5X running at 10 GHz (on the GTX 1080), with 256-bit bus in both the cards. The TDP on the GTX 1070 is 150 W.
We tested the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition”, which is the reference model offered by NVIDIA itself. Video card manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte, Zotac, Galax, EVGA, etc, can offer custom models. Curiously, the “Founders Edition” is more expensive than the custom models (USD 499 vs. USD 399 MSRP), even if the technical specs are, in theory, the same: 1,506 MHz clock base, 1,683 MHz turbo clock and 8 GiB of GDDR5 VRAM at 8 GHz with 256 bits bus, presenting a bandwidth of 256 GiB/s. Some custom models can, however, bring higher clocks (and prices).
Just like its less expensive sisters, the GeForce GTX 1070 supports SMP (Simultaneous Multi-Projection) technology, which is useful for Virtual Reality applications, and the Ansel technology, which allows to capture an in-game high-resolution picture with any camera position and even 360 degrees.
The GeForce GTX 1070 supports SLI technology, that combines the processing power of two or more identical video cards.
Figure 1 shows the GeForce GTX 1070 FE video card.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 1: the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition

As the GeForce GTX 1070 can be found starting from USD 380, its direct competitor from AMD is the Radeon Fury X. Unfortunately, we have not this card in the lab to make a direct comparison.
So, we decided to benchmark the GeForce GTX 1070 against the GeForce GTX 1080, the GeForce GTX 1060, the Radeon R9 390, and the GeForce GTX 970. So, we can have an idea of the performance of the GTX 1070 against the upper and lower cards from the same series, and also against the model it is replacing. Keep in mind, however, that the cards included in this comparison are not direct competitors to the GTX 1070.
In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video cards we included in this review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com for this article.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

GeForce GTX 1070 FE

1,506 MHz

1,683 MHz

8.0 GHz

256 bit

256 GB/s

8 GiB GDDR5

1,920

150 W

12.1

USD 380

GeForce GTX 1080 FE

1,607 MHz

1,733 MHz

10.0 GHz

256 bit

320 GB/s

8 GiB GDDR5X

2,560

180 W

12.1

USD 580

GeForce GTX 1060 FE 6 GB

1,506 MHz

1,708 MHz

8.0 GHz

192 bit

192 GB/s

6 GiB GDDR5

1,280

120 W

12.1

USD 240

GeForce GTX 970

1,076 MHz

1,216 MHz

7.0 GHz

256 bit

224 GB/s

4 GiB GDDR5

1,664

145 W

12

USD 290

Radeon R9 390

1,020 MHz

6.0 GHz

512 bit

384 GB/s

8 GiB GDDR5

2,560

275 W

12

USD 230

Now let’s take a closer look to the tested video card.
[nextpage title=”The GeForce GTX 1070″]
The GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” is 10.6 inches (268 mm) long and uses two slots. It uses a centrifugal fan, which is a good choice because it pushed the hot air outside the case, and allow you to use the contiguous slot to the video card.
Figure 2 shows the video connectors of the GeForce GTX 1070 FE. It brings three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b and one DVI-D connectors.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 2: video connectors

In Figure 3, you see the top of the card, where there is an eight-pin PCI Express power connector. The “GEFORCE GTX” logo lits in green when the card is powered on.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 3: top view

Figure 4 shows the bottom of the card.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 4: rear view

Figure 5 shows the solder side of the GTX 1070, which is covered by a backplate.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 5: backplate

In Figure 6 you see the GeForce GTX 1070 with the backplate removed, unveiling the solder side of the PCB. There are no memory chips on this side.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 6: solder side

Figure 7 shows the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition with its cooler removed. It is a two-part cooler, with a heatsink with copper base for the GPU and a metal plat that touches the memory chips and the voltage regulator circuit transistors. Notice that there are eight memory chips.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 7: cooler removed

Figure 8 unveils the GP104 chip, which is manufactured under 16 nm process.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 8: the GP104 chip

Figure 9 shows one of the memory chips present on the GeForce GTX 1070. It is a GDDR5 Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25 memory chip.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 9: memory chip

Figure 11 shows the voltage regulator of the GeForce GTX 1070. It uses four phases for the GPU and one phase for the memory chips.

GeForce GTX 1070Figure 10: voltage regulator

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between the tests, the only variable component was the video card being tested.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Driver Versions

  • AMD driver version: Crimson 16.12.1
  • NVIDIA driver version: 376.33

Software Used

Error Margin
We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. We ran the Time Spy, Fire Strike Extreme and Sky Diver benchmarks.

GeForce GTX 1070

The Time Spy benchmark measures DirectX 12 native performance, running at 2560 x 1440 resolution. In this benchmark, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 18% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 37% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 68% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 53% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
The Fire Strike Extreme benchmark measures DirectX 11 performance and is aimed at high-end gaming computers. It runs at 2560 x 1440. In this test, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 18% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 20% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 60% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 60% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
The 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark is aimed at mainstream PCs with DirecX 11 simulations. It runs at 1920 x 1070. In this test, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 11% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 22% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 33% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 35% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance – Part 1″]

 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, graphic options “very high” and MSAA 4x.
The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.
GeForce GTX 1070
On Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 21% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 32% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 57% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 18% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
On 4K, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 23% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 43% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, and 44% faster thank the Radeon R9 390. At this resolution, the benchmark ran below 1 fps on the GTX 970.

Doom

Doom is an FPS/horror/sci-fi game launched in May 2016, that used the id Tech 6 engine. We tested the performance in this game, with the API OpenGL with quality options “high” and FXAA on, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
GeForce GTX 1070
On the Doom test with Full HD, there was clearly some bottleneck or incompatibility that we couldn’t identify, resulting in inconsistent results. We choose to present the data anyway, but they obviously do not represent the performance of the video cards.
GeForce GTX 1070
On 4K resolution, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 12% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 51% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 66% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 89% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.

Dying Light

Dying Light is an open-world horror game launched in January 2015, using the Chrome Engine 6. We tested the performance at this game with all quality options at the maximum, measuring three times the frame rate using FRAPS.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
GeForce GTX 1070
On the Full HD benchmark, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 8% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 53% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 67% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 95% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
On 4K, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 15% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 42% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 69% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 52% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is a open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015 and uses the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game (the plane portion), measuring the frame rate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V with image quality set as “very high” and MSAA as 2x.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

GeForce GTX 1070

On GTA V, with Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” performed similarly to the GeForce GTX 1080, was 56% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 49% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 87% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
With 4K resolution, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” also performed the same way as the GeForce GTX 1080, being 69% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 63% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 91% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance – Part 2″]

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “high” and SMAA on.
The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.
GeForce GTX 1070
On Hitman, in Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 20% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 36% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 75% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 30% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
With 4K resolution, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 24% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 37% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 95% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 28% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set as “very high”.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

GeForce GTX 1070

On Mad Max, in Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 23% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 34% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 60% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 45% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
On 4K, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 22% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 39% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 67% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 43% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using graphics quality “high” and DirectX 12 enabled.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
GeForce GTX 1070
On Rise of the Tomb Rider, in Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 19% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 35% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, and 52% faster than both the GeForce GTX 970 and the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
On 4K resolution, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 18% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 41% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 67% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 45% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we walked around at the first scene of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set to “ultra.”

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

GeForce GTX 1070

In this game, in Full HD, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 26% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 32% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 49% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 59% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
GeForce GTX 1070
With 4K resolution, the GeForce GTX 1070 “Founders Edition” was 21% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080, 35% faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 63% faster than the GeForce GTX 970, and 41% faster thank the Radeon R9 390.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
The GeForce GTX 1070 benchmarks bring no surprise: it performed between the GeForce GTX 1060 and the GeForce GTX 1080, as well as substantially better than its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 970.
The GeForce GTX 1070 was, on average, 64% faster than its predecessor GTX 970, which is an impressive gain from one generation to the next one. NVIDIA deserves congratulations.
But the main question on the analisys of this video card is to check if is it a better deal than its sisters form the same family. Compared to the GeForce GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 was, on average, 17% slower in games. Considering the GTX 1070 costs about 33% less than the GTX 1080, we may say it has a better cost/benefit ratio than the high-end model.
When compared to the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, we saw that the GTX 1070 was, on average, 42% faster on games. Considering the GTX 1070 is about 50% more expensive than the GTX 1060 6GB, we concluded both video cards present a similar (and great) cost/benefit ratio.
This means the decision must be taken based on your pocket: if the GeForce GTX 1070 fits your budget, it is a great choice for high performance gaming, allowing you to play at Full HD with maximum graphics quality with high framerates, or even at 4K resolution, if you don’t mind to reduce the quality settings a little on some “heavy” games.