Colorful iGame GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X TOP 8 GB Review 19

Colorful iGame GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X TOP 8 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • According to Colorful, the iGame GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X TOP will retail for US$650.
  • Greatly improved cooler over the Founders Edition - no throttling
  • Fans turn off in idle
  • Beats the Radeon RX Vega 56
  • Quiet
  • Good performance gains over the GTX 1070
  • Great overclocking potential, easy to outperform GTX 1080
  • Voltage measurement points
  • Dual BIOS
  • Adjustable RGB lighting
  • Backplate included
  • HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4
  • Extremely high price
  • No factory-overclocked models allowed by NVIDIA
  • High idle power draw
  • Additional 8-pin power input is overkill
  • Triple-slot cooler might not fit all cases
  • Older GDDR5 memory
  • No analog (VGA) support
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is probably the final graphics card released on the 18-month old "Pascal" architecture. Just like the GTX 1080, it is based on the GP104 silicon, with a negligibly reduced shader count, but paired with slower GDDR5 memory instead of GDDR5X. The memory change makes sense as GDDR5X seems to be available in limited quantities only and NVIDIA surely wants to sell more cards. GTX 1070 performance is beat by AMD's Vega offerings, though, which is why they came up with the GTX 1070 Ti.

Colorful's iGame GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X TOP is a full custom design, though reference-clocked - just like all other GTX 1070 Tis out there, NVIDIA doesn't allow board partners to overclock their cards out of the box, probably to protect the GTX 1080. Small performance differences are still to be expected, due to slightly different boost ranges, power limits, and thermals. When looking at averages, we see a tiny lead, below 1%; although only of academic value, it is there. Compared to the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 Ti is 5% slower, which makes it 13% faster than the GTX 1070. AMD's Vega 56 is 6% behind and Vega 64 is 4% faster. The mighty GTX 1080 Ti takes the lead with 36% faster performance. These results make the GTX 1070 Ti an excellent choice for maximum-detail 1440p gaming, or 1080p when using a high-refresh-rate monitor.

Colorful is using a large triple-slot cooler on their card, which provides plenty of cooling to keep the card at low temperatures and avoid throttling. Temperatures are among the lowest we've seen from a GTX 1070 Ti, but the differences are not huge (with the exception of the Founders Edition, which does throttle). Fan noise is good too, with only 32 dBA, but other custom designs reach better noise levels. What's interesting is that MSI's GTX 1070 Ti Gaming can achieve similar temperatures and noise levels with just two slots for cooling, while the Colorful card needs three. Like most other custom designs, Colorful included the crucial idle-fan-off feature, which turns off the fans completely during idle, Internet browsing, and light gaming. Excellent!

Power efficiency of Pascal is amazing, and the GTX 1070 Ti is no exception. Performance per watt is similar to the GTX 1080 Ti, a bit lower than the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, by roughly 10%. It's still heaps more efficient than AMD Vega. Colorful made big changes to the VRM circuitry, which is now 12+2 phase, and added an additional 8-pin power input, which has significantly reduced non-gaming power efficiency. The additional power input seems barely necessary. With the primary BIOS, the maximum TDP adjustment limit (after manually dragging the slider to the max) is 217 W (like on the FE). If you use the second BIOS, the adjustment limit is 242 W. Two 8-pins and the PCIe slot can provide 375 W of power, which is much higher than the 242 W you'll see at max - a single 6-pin would have been sufficient for that. Colorful's more powerful VRM slightly justifies the 8-pin for hardcore overclockers who will volt-mod their card.

Early reports claimed that overclocking is locked on the GTX 1070 Ti. This is absolutely not true. All our samples overclock very well and reach clocks above 2 GHz after boost, easily beating GTX 1080 performance. As mentioned before, board partners are not allowed to include out of the box overclocks with their cards, which makes things difficult for less experienced people, or people who just don't want to waste time overclocking. Overclocking has become quite easy these days, so don't worry and give it a try.

We haven't seen any store prices for the Colorful iGame GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X TOP - the company has quoted us $650, which seems completely unrealistic given you can find excellent custom-design GTX 1080s at that price point, and those come with an overclock out of the box and a free game. I think a more realistic price point for the card would be in the $500 range if we factor in some extra cost for the RGB lighting, big cooler, and more expensive VRM.
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