EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra Review 8

EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra Review

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Introduction

EVGA Logo

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra is the company's most premium custom-design graphics card based on the GeForce RTX 3070 "Ampere" GPU released to market earlier this week. The EVGA FTW3 Ultra features a gargantuan iCX3 cooling solution that's almost identical to the one taming its RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, which we also reviewed. It combines with a custom-design PCB that has a VRM solution fit for GPUs from a segment above, and an interesting series of cutouts that let airflow from the fans through. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 itself is arguably the most important of the three RTX 30-series GPUs launched by NVIDIA thus far as it puts 4K-capable premium gaming performance into the hands of a much larger segment of the market.

The GeForce RTX 3070 marks the introduction of the 8 nm "GA104," NVIDIA's second-largest piece of silicon based on the new GeForce "Ampere" architecture that brings NVIDIA's 2nd generation RTX technology to a larger segment of the gaming market. The company extensively markets the RTX 3070 as being "faster" than the RTX 2080 Ti, which means you should be able to max out games at 1440p with RTX-on, as well as play at 4K Ultra HD with fairly high settings since those are the things the RTX 2080 Ti is good at. The performance outlook of the RTX 3070 should also mean that high refresh-rate e-sports gaming at 1440p and 1080p is possible at a much lower price than what it took in the previous generation. For the full details on the RTX 3070 technology and architecture, refer to our RTX 3070 Founders Edition article.



The GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra from EVGA comes with an impressive 1815 MHz factory overclock (compared to the 1725 MHz reference) tamed by the large iCX3 cooler, which features a trio of thick copper heat pipes that pull heat through a copper base-plate, conveying it through two large aluminium fin-stacks that are ventilated by a trio of fans that have individual speed control. Another perk with the FTW3 Ultra is its gorgeous RGB LED embellishments covering the top of the card. You also get handy features, such as ARGB and PWM fan headers, so you can sync your rig's cooling and lighting to that of the card. The FTW3 Ultra draws power form a pair of standard 8-pin PCIe power inputs, which should give the RTX 3070 plenty of power headroom. The $610 pricing from EVGA for the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra is a tall ask and easily the highest price among the six RTX 3070 cards we reviewed so far. It remains to be seen if the card is more than the sum of its parts.

GeForce RTX 3070 Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
RX 5700$3302304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
GTX 1080$3302560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$3802176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$6503584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3702560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$3402304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$4502560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6803840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6002944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super$6903072641650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$5005888961500 MHz1725 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
EVGA RTX 3070
FTW3 Ultra
$6105888961500 MHz1815 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back


The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

EVGA has completely revamped their design language with the RTX 30 series. Instead of a transparent cooler shroud we now get classic black paired with silver metal highlights and a black trim. My sample came with a red trim on the sides. However, EVGA confirmed that all retail cards will use a black trim instead. On the back, you'll find a high-quality metal backplate.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 30 x 14 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one 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.


A dual-BIOS switch lets you activate an "OC" BIOS, which is identical to the default BIOS and just runs a more aggressive fan curve without idle fan stop.


Near the back of the card, you'll find two pin headers. The first header is to provide an RGB signal to other components, so they can be synced with the graphics card RGB. The second one lets you connect a case fan to the graphics card, making it spin at the same rate as the GPU fans. Since the graphics card is the highest heat output in most computers, this makes a lot of sense—idle fan stop during browsing and productivity and running fans when gaming.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

Unlike the NVIDIA Founders Edition card that uses the new 12-pin power input, EVGA 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.

Multi-GPU Area

The GeForce RTX 3070 does not support SLI. Only the RTX 3090 does, and it has very limited SLI support.

Teardown

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

EVGA's thermal solution uses a large copper baseplate paired with five heatpipes to move heat away from the GPU quickly. This part of the heatsink also provides cooling for the memory and VRM circuitry.


The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back


High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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Jun 29th, 2022 09:56 EDT change timezone

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