Subjectively, this is the best-looking product to wear the TUF Gaming badge by ASUS. The brand has come a long way, and this particular card sheds much of the "cheapness" associated with older generations of TUF Gaming graphics cards. It easily matches up to some of their premium designs. There's close to no illuminated bling, and an airy metal cooler shroud exposes as much of the heatsink underneath as possible.
Dimensions of the card are 30 x 14.5 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and two HDMI 2.1. The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a, which lets you connect 4K displays at 120 Hz and 8K displays at 60 Hz. Ampere can drive two 8K displays at 60 Hz with just one cable per display.
Ampere is the first GPU to support HDMI 2.1, which increases bandwidth to 48 Gbps to support higher resolutions, like 4K144 and 8K30, with a single cable. With DSC, this goes up to 4K240 and 8K120. NVIDIA's new NVENC/NVDEC video engine is optimized to handle video tasks with minimal CPU load. The highlight here is added support for AV1 decode. Just like on Turing, you may also decode MPEG-2, VC1, VP8, VP9, H.264, and H.265 natively, at up to 8K@12-bit.
The encoder is identical to Turing. It supports H.264, H.265 and lossless at up to 8K@10-bit.
ASUS includes a dual-BIOS feature with the TUF. The default BIOS is "performance", and the "quiet" BIOS is supposed to run a more relaxed fan curve with lower noise levels. On our card, both BIOSes are almost identical, though.
Unlike the NVIDIA Founders Edition card that uses the new 12-pin power input, ASUS sticks to industry standard PCIe power inputs. Together with the PCIe slot, this 8+8 power configuration is specified to supply up to 375 W of power.
The GeForce RTX 3070 does not support SLI. Only the RTX 3090 does, and it has very limit SLI support.
The ASUS heatsink uses five heatpipes to keep the GPU cool. This part of the cooler also provides cooling for the memory chips and some VRM components.
The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling.
An additional heatsink has been placed over the VRM components to the right of the GPU.