When NVIDIA unleashed the new Turing based video cards a few weeks ago, they released the flagship RTX 2080 Ti and its little brother the RTX 2080. At that time, they promised we would see an RTX 2070 in the stack as well but a bit later down the line. The 2070 was released as expected on October 17th and we recently received ours a short time ago from GIGABYTE in their RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G.
This particular card in their stack sits towards the bottom and does without of a lot of the cool bling some new GIGABYTE cards have to offer (you should see their fans on the higher end cards… amazing! We hope to get one for review soon). However, it does contain their Windforce 3x cooling using three smaller fans tasked with helping keep the card’s temperatures under control while not being loud. The GIGABYTE card is shipped with reference speeds but uses a beefy custom power delivery section as well as superior cooling compared to the reference and FE RTX 2070s.
The mid-range RTX 2070 offers users a lower price point into Turing (around $500 for FE models) and is said to offer high refresh rate 1080p performance and should be plenty capable (60 FPS+) at 2560 x 1440 resolution. We’ll dig into details on the card below as well as test its performance in our GPU testing suite and confirm those claims.
The RTX 2070, like its two big brothers, comes equipped with the new hardware which makes the Turing cards unique in the Tensor and RT cores. As the latter tells us, the card is capable of real-time ray tracing with its 36 RT cores and 5 Gigarays per second, but how well it performs in gaming, only time will tell considering there are no titles currently out which utilize this feature. We should see that change soon with updates to Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well as the impending release of Battlefield 5 and its update for ray tracing technology.
The RTX 2070 sports 2944 CUDA cores, 64 ROPs, and 144 TMUs which amounts to a 248.4 Gigatexels per second rate with this card’s boost clock speed. The clock speeds come in at 1410 MHz on the core with a base boost clock of 1725 MHz (1815 MHz actual) in Gaming mode. The OC mode (accessed via AORUS Engine software) gives the core a slight bump to 1425 MHz base and 1725 MHz boost clocks. On the memory side of things, RTX 2070s include 8 GB of GDDR6 rated at 14 Gbps or 1750 MHz which runs on a 256-bit bus. No changes there for this particular card. In fact, I haven’t seen the memory overclocked yet on any card partner samples.
|GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC Specifications|
|GPU Base Clock||1410 MHz|
|GPU Boost Clock||1725 MHz (1815 MHz actual)|
|Frame Buffer||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Clock (Data Rate)||14 Gbps (1750 MHz)|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GB/s|
|Texture Fillrate (Gigatexels /sec)||248.4|
|GigaRays /sec||6 GR/s|
|L2 Cache Size||4 MB|
|Price||$549.99 (Newegg), $549.99 (Amazon)|
Below is our always gratuitous image of GPUz which confirms the clock speeds. In the weeks since we last reviewed a GPU, a new version of GPUz was released in 2.14 which now accurately displays the texture fillrate and other details that did not match the Turing cards (GPUz calculated things off the base clock whereas NVIDIA themselves go off the base boost clock). This is certainly a welcome change and was a curious intentional discrepancy by the author which thankfully has been remedied. The only things missing now are the RT and Tensor core counts on the main page.
Below is a list of features from the card’s webpage.
It tells us the RTX Gaming OC uses GIGABYTE’s Windforce 3x cooling system with three 80 mm fans spinning in alternate directions for better airflow, four composite heat pipes along with heat-pipe direct touch where on the core it makes contact directly with the heat pipes for improved heat dissipation. The heat pipe extends past the GPU core and also covers the VRAM though unlike the core, a large metal plate contacts the heatsink for proper cooling. The fans themselves are designed to split the airflow using the triangular fan edge along a 3D stripe curve on the fan surface which they say enhances airflow.
The 8+2 power phase design should allow the MOSFETs to run at lower temperatures and has load balancing. The Ultra Durable designation certifies the chokes and capacitors to “provide excellent performance and longer system life”. Along those lines, the card includes smart power LED indicators at the PCIe power plug which alerts users if any of the PCIe power coming into the card is abnormal. If the lights are off, the power is stable, on – power cable is disconnected while a blinking indicator denotes an abnormal power situation. These are good “dummy light” indicators and will be helpful in the event of a power issue with the card. To summarize, this is more than just a better cooler on a reference/FE part.
GIGABYTE uses an intuitive application named AORUS Engine which allows users to adjust clock speed, voltage, fan speeds, and power target. Controlling RGB LEDs on the card is also possible through the software (though it installs their RGB software as a part of it).
Retail Packaging and Accessories
GIGABYTE’s retail packaging for the RTX 2070 Gaming OC is fairly tame with them using the more traditional (and likely cheaper) typical packaging. This is a bit of a departure from the newer style boxes we have seen from NVIDIA and some other board partners. The front lists the model and some features while the back of the packaging goes into more details and some specifications. Inside the box is another box where the GPU and accessories are held. The GPU rests in form fitting foam protecting it from any shipping damage.
As far as the accessories go, there isn’t much here outside of the driver disk, quick guide, and a warranty card which extends the product warranty to fours years (from three).
Meet the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC
Our first look at the GIGABYTE card shows us the Windforce 3 fans spread out across the face. The mostly black chassis surrounding the fans uses sharp angles and grey accents to give it a fairly aggressive look while not being gaudy. Those who prefer a more understated system will likely enjoy this card as its only RGB LED lighting is on the top of the card, in the GIGABYTE name. The RTX 2070 Gaming OC with this heatsink and fan combination is a dual slot where we have seen some others go 2.5 slots. Since the RTX 2070 cannot SLI due to a lack of NVLink bridge, this should leave plenty of space for other PCIe based extras. Additionally, the card includes a full cover backplate for protection as well as passively cooling the GPU, VRM, and Memory since it has heat pads between it and the PCB.
Below are a few different images of the card from different angles.
A Closer Look
Here we take a closer look at the card from inputs and power plug requirements to checking out the heatsink as well as the memory type and power delivery bits.
The first image above shows the outputs on the card. As is typical for the Turing based cards, we see three DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and a USB Type-C port. Gone from most (in fact, all that we’ve seen so far) of these cards are DVI outputs and VGA. Times, they are a changing!
As far as power is concerned, the RTX 2070 is a 175 W card (TDP). In the case of the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC we are testing, it includes a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power plugs to get the card working. In combination with the slot, which supplies 75 W, this gives the card a total of 300 W input power between all connections. This is plenty for a 175 W card with integrated power limits.
When taking off the heatsink, we are able to see the PCB hidden below. Clearly, we have some changes from the reference/FE boards considering the sheer size (the reference/FE RTX 2070 uses a smaller PCB than this). The power delivery bits have also changed from the FE edition to a higher phase count (8+2) and higher quality parts.
On the memory side of things the RTX 2070, like its big brothers, includes Micron GDDR6 using the D9WCW ICs. These are rated for 14 Gbps just like all other Micron GDDR6 we have seen on the Turing based video cards. We have seen a lot of overclocking headroom out of the memory on Turing cards and hope the song remains the same with this card.
Power delivery on the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC comes in an 8+2 phase setup versus the 6+2 setup found in the reference/FE RTX 2070s. The power is controlled via UPI’s uP9512 controller which is capable of eight phase operation. There are two of these controllers in fact with the other controlling the memory. It uses Texas Instruments NexFet power stage which integrates the driver IC and power MOSFETs. This setup shouldn’t be holding anything back as far as overclocking goes.
Test System and Benchmark Methods
Our test system is based on the latest mainstream Intel platform, Z370, and uses the i7-8700K 6c/12t CPU. The CPU is overclocked to 4.7 GHz on all cores/threads with cache set to 4.3 GHz. The clock speeds used provides a good base to minimize any limitations the CPU may have on our titles, particularly when using the lower resolutions, and should be attainable with a good air cooler or better. DRAM is in a 2×8 GB configuration at 3200 MHz with CL15-15-15-35-2T timings which is a middle of the road option that balances performance and cost.
|GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC Specifications|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z370 Taichi|
|CPU||Intel i7 8700K (4.7 GHz)|
|CPU Cooler||EVGA CLC 240|
|Memory||2×8 GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz CL15-15-15-35|
|SSD||Toshiba OCZ TR200 480 GB (OS + Applications)|
|Power Supply||EVGA 750W G3|
|Video Card||GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC (411.63 drivers)|
Thanks go out to EVGA for providing the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Power Supply to cool and power the system, G.Skill for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSDs storage running the OS, benchmarks, and games. With our partners helping out, we are able to build matching test systems to mitigate any differences found between using different hardware. This allows for multiple reviewers in different locations to use the same test system and compare results without additional variables.
Below are the tests we run with a brief description of the settings. We have made some significant changes since the last update adding a few new titles and dropping some of the older games. More details can be found in the GPU Testing Procedure article which we have updated with our latest benchmarks.
- UL 3DMark Time Spy – Default settings
- UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset (will add RTX when it has been patched)
- The Division – DX12, Ultra preset, VSync Off
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Crazy preset, GPU focused
- Far Cry 5 – Ultra defaults
- F1 2018 – Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia track, show FPS counter
- World of Tanks: Encore Benchmark – Ultra defaults
- Final Fantasy XV Benchmark – High defaults
Our first set of benchmarks hail from Underwriters Laboratories who acquired Futuremark back in 2014. Earlier in 2018, a rebrand occurred and since that time, Futuremark is now UL. The benchmarks have not changed, just the name. We chose to stick with 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy as these tests give users a good idea of performance on modern titles.
3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) is a DX11-based test which UL says the graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DX11 benchmarks and games. This benchmark runs at 1920 x 1080. 3DMark Time Spy is a DX12 benchmark designed for Windows 10 PCs. It supports new API features such as asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, multi-threading, and runs at 2560 x 1440 resolution.
In our first set of benchmarks, the 3DMark Fire Strike result has the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC scoring 10674 points. This result places it about 2% faster than an also overclocked from the factory EVGA FTX 1080 FTW2. In 3DMark Time Spy, this card scored 8994 which puts it nearly 15% faster in this specific test. I don’t imagine that difference will be found in gaming, more like what we saw in the Fire Strike testing is what the difference will actually be.
Moving on to the gaming benchmarks, we have updated our testing suite to bring more modern titles into the mix. Gone are GTA V, Crysis 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which were replaced with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, World of Tanks: enCore benchmark, F1 2018, Final Fantasy XV benchmark, and Far Cry 5. We kept The Division and Ashes of the Singularity (though we updated to AOTS: Escalation). The games should provide a good view of the overall performance as many of these are DX12 games.
Sadly, we will not be able to test some of the DLSS features as we are having issues with downloading the file (working with NVIDIA to get it sorted). Ray Tracing will also not be tested here as none of the titles out that we have, currently support the technology. In the future, SoTR will have it along with many other titles so we will circle back when appropriate. As of the time of this writing, Windows now supports Ray Tracing API, and we are waiting for games to be patched and released at this point.
In our first game test, WoT:e, the GIGABYTE card reached 197 FPS which was around 4 FPS faster (around 2%) than an also factory overclocked EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2. In F1 2018, The GIGA RTX 2070 ran at 134 FPS while the GTX 1080 was at 120 FPS, a difference of around 12% in this title and setting.
Our Far Cry 5 results show 124 FPS with our tested card and its previous generation GTX 1080 just a few FPS behind. In The Division, curiously, the GTX 1080 has a 4 FPS lead over the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC we have which managed nearly 107 FPS at 1080p.
In one of our new titles, SoTR, the 2070 pumped out an average of 103 FPS, 5 FPS ahead of the GTX 1080. In the Final Fantasy XV benchmark, the RTX 2070 hit 95 FPS average which is almost 10 FPS faster than the 1080. A good showing here, indeed.
In our last gaming test, AOTSe, the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC managed 67.4 FPS here, about 1 FPS behind the 1080.
Overall, it is clear at 1080p this is a solid gaming card. Every title we tested was over the 60 FPS magic number everyone strives to hit. This could even be a high Hz 1080p card if some settings are turned down. In the end, it manages to just barely beat out the also overclocked EVGA GTX 1080 FTW 2 by a couple of percents on average.
2560 x 1440 and 4K UHD Results
Below are the higher resolution results starting with 2560 x 1440 and the gaining in popularity 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD). These resolutions are more fitting for the cards we are testing as the 1080p results with these cards can have a ceiling on them from the CPU (even at 4.7 GHz).
Stepping up to a more GPU constrained resolution, we also see that nearly every title averages well over 60 FPS making things plenty playable at this resolution with our Ultra settings. Here overall, the card is still a bit faster than last generation’s GTX 1080.
Moving on up to 4K UHD resolution, we finally see this ‘mid-range’ card struggle a bit not being able to support 60 FPS here. That is OK because this card is intended for playing at 1080p/1440p anyway. For 60 Hz/FPS 4K, you will want at least a 2080 or 2080 Ti would be preferred.
Overclocking on this card was the same as the others when talking process. I used the EVGA OC Scanner to find the limit on the core, which in this case was a +96 and backed it down a bit for stability sake. For this card, we ended up at +80, or 1490 base clock with 1805 MHz base boost clock. When running the card settled around 1965 MHz. The memory overclocking this time around happened to be a less than what we have seen on every other Turing card we reviewed, even though it uses the same brand and speed of memory IC (Micron). With other reviews, we could use a +1000 setting on the memory which yields a 2000 MHz clock speed, however, in this case, we were only able to get that to 1928 MHz without displaying artifacts and other signs instability. These overclock settings yielded a few percent increase over its stock clocks, what is now becoming a “typical” overclocking result on these cards.
In the “pushing the limits” result below we were able to push the core to 1506/1821 MHz with the clock settling a bit under 2000 MHz. Much past this point and we see the 11% power limit being hit and boost bins dropping. I think all of these cards have more in the tank but we are again hamstrung by the NVIDIA-imposed power limits.
Temperatures and Power Consumption
We test power consumption by running through the game benchmarks of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018 at both stock speeds, and while overclocked. We monitor temperatures throughout this testing with the peak temperature that is listed in the data below. In order to more accurately simulate real gaming conditions, the benchmarks are extended (time) to allow the card to settle.
Temperatures on this ~175 W card using their Windforce cooler were under control and quiet during our testing reaching a peak of 72 °C. The smaller fans I thought would be a bit more audible than some larger fans we reviewed, and while that was, at a high level, correct, the sound was pretty quiet overall. At 72 °C using the default fan curve the fan spun around 70% so there is still headroom for cooler temperatures for higher boost bins if needed.
Power use for our test system with the RTX 2070 in it peaked at 336 W using the stock speeds and 356 W when overclocked. A quality 550 W power supply would be plenty (remember our test system is overclocked) for running this combination and many others. The PSU needs to include a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power for the card.
Gigabyte’s FTX 2070 Gaming OC card turned out to be a solid performer overall. The performance was just a bit better than an overclocked GTX 1080 with power use being in that ballpark. The Windforce cooling solution used on this SKU kept the card cool during testing and quiet, even with the smaller fans used. Overclocking results were as expected on the core with the memory on this sample (others will vary) being lower than what we have seen. Again, all overclocking results will vary from card to card – the GIGA card we have uses the same memory so this particular sample just had some bad luck on that part of the silicon lottery.
Pricing on this specific card comes in at Newegg for $549.99 which places it towards the lower/middle ground of all the RTX 2070 cards listed. RTX 2070’s currently range from $499.99 (also a Gigabyte card) to $639.99 (a Zotac brand card). The major differences between the cards will be the cooling solution, factory clock speeds, as well the looks. Close to that price point is an EVGA RTX 2070 XC (we reviewed its big brother, the 2080 XC), but its clock speeds come in just a touch lower. For $20 more, there is an MSI RTX 2070 Armor 8G OC with slightly higher clocks available as well.
In the end, the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC mixes in with the crowd quite well with its price point, performance, aesthetics, and cooling ability. The card is a good choice for those who may not want a lot of bling (read RGB LEDs) and expect good cooling abilities without a lot of noise. The pricing is in line with what we expect of these cards so it is set on that front as well. With this in mind, the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC has earned the Overclockers.com approved award!
Joe Shields (Earthdog)