Gigabyte sent us its GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming OC, its affordable custom-design graphics card based on NVIDIA's third—and most important—GeForce RTX 30-series "Ampere" graphics card launch so far. Gigabyte carries forward its tradition of clean, understated custom designs focusing on low noise and compatibility. The card is targeted at everyone who just wants the RTX 3070 for its gaming performance, and who just installs the card and forgets about it. In that sense, the Gigabyte Gaming OC shares the same goals as the Zotac Twin Edge OC, but takes a different approach—putting on some lengths in the pursuit of making the card strictly full-height. You also get a decent factory overclock to boot.
NVIDIA's second silicon based on the GeForce "Ampere" graphics architecture, the "GA104," debuts with the GeForce RTX 3070. This chip is significantly smaller than the big "GA102" that's at the heart of both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. Despite that, the RTX 3070 is equipped with more (and faster) CUDA cores than even the previous-generation flagship RTX 2080 Ti, and NVIDIA extensively markets the RTX 3070 as being faster than the $1000 card, at half its price. This should mean that the RTX 3070 is capable of not just maxed-out 1440p gaming with RTX-on, but also 4K UHD gaming with fairly high settings, as the RTX 2080 Ti was built to do just this. The e-sports crowd has reason to rejoice with the RTX 3070 being capable of high refresh-rate 1440p and 1080p gaming, which required footing at least $800 for an RTX 2080S from the previous generation. For the full details on RTX 3070 technology and architecture, refer to our RTX 3070 Founders Edition article.
The Gigabyte RTX 3070 Gaming OC, as we explained, is a sincere custom-job on the RTX 3070 with a large triple-fan WindForce 3X cooling solution rated for much higher thermal loads than the 220 W (reference) the RTX 3070 can throw at it. The additional cooling headroom is traded in for lower noise. The card features three fans and a heatsink that has five copper heat-pipes which make direct contact with the GPU at the base. The heatsink is much longer than the PCB, which means airflow from the third fan goes right through a large cutout in the card's backplate—a concept not unlike NVIDIA's dual-axial flow-through. Using an interesting internal riser, Gigabyte even made sure the shorter PCB is no reason for the power connectors to be awkwardly located near the card's center, as both are still at the card's tail-end. The card pulls power from a unique 6+8 pin combination of standard PCIe power connectors. Gigabyte also gave the card a significant 1815 MHz factory OC, which is in the same league as the premium MSI Gaming X and EVGA FTW3 Ultra—all for $570. In this review, we put this card through its paces to show you if you really need to spend any more on the premium RTX 3070 offerings.