Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming OC Review 8

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming OC Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The Gigabyte RTX 3070 Gaming OC will retail for $570.
  • Excellent price/performance ratio
  • Faster than RTX 2080 Ti
  • Perfect for 1440p with raytracing
  • Capable of 4K in many games
  • Idle fan-stop
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Large power limit increase
  • Energy efficiency improved over RTX 3080/3090
  • Dual BIOS
  • Adjustable RGB lighting
  • 2nd generation hardware-accelerated raytracing
  • Support for HDMI 2.1, AV1 decode
  • DLSS improved
  • PCI-Express 4.0
  • New GeForce Features: Reflex, Broadcast, G-SYNC 360, and RTX-IO
  • 8 nanometer production process
  • Too expensive
  • No additional, manual, power limit increase possible
  • Could be quieter
  • Runs into power limit all the time
  • Overclocking more complicated due to power limit
Today, we have five RTX 3070 custom design reviews for you: ASUS RTX 3070 TUF Gaming OC, EVGA RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra, Gigabyte RTX 3070 Gaming OC, MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio, Zotac RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC, and of course the RTX 3070 Founders Edition review from two days ago, which has additional technical details on NVIDIA's latest card.

The GeForce RTX 3070 offers uncompromising performance for 1440p gaming and even lets you run 4K in many titles, especially if you are willing to reduce details settings a bit. What also made waves during the initial launch is the competitive $500 MSRP, which is also the price point for NVIDIA's Founders Edition. It not only impresses with looks, but also runs very quietly and introduces the highly sought after fan-stop capability, which sets the bar high for custom designs.

The Gigabyte RTX 3070 Gaming OC ticks at a rated boost frequency of 1815 MHz, a 90 MHz increase over the Founders Edition, or 5.2%. Actual clock rates are 1951 MHz, or 3.6% over the Founders Edition's 1882 MHz. This turns into a 2–3 % performance increase over the RTX 3070 FE, also because of the generous power limit increase by Gigabyte, more on that later. Compared to other cards, at 1440p resolution, the RTX 3070 Gaming OC is 3% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, or 54% faster than the RTX 2070, which is pretty nice. The RTX 3080 is 20% faster, at 30% higher pricing.

With those performance numbers, RTX 3070 is the perfect choice for the huge 1440p gamer crowd, but the card also has enough muscle to run many titles at 4K 60 FPS, especially if you are willing to dial down settings a little bit. The RTX 3070 is also a great choice for 1080p Full HD if you want to drive a high-refresh-rate monitor with 120 or 144 Hz. For just 1080p 60 Hz, it's overkill unless next-gen titles go overboard with their hardware requirements, which is highly unlikely.

While Gigabyte's Gaming OC card is a triple-slot design like the other premium RTX 3070 variants, it doesn't go overboard in height and fits within the standard ATX height profile, which could be important for some cases. The triple-fan cooler looks great and has cooling performance similar to that of the RTX 3080 FE heatsink. Temperatures are good, too, reaching around 70°C with the default "silent" BIOS and 68°C with the OC BIOS. Noise levels are a little bit higher though, with 32 dBA and 35 dBA. While not loud by any means, other RTX 3070 cards we tested today do better here. I wish Gigabyte would have made the silent BIOS truly silent with higher temperatures of maybe 75°C, which would let fan speed go low enough to be truly silent. NVIDIA has introduced fan stop on their Founders Edition with Ampere, which means all board partners are expected to adopt this crucial feature, too. Outside of gaming, the fans on the Gigabyte card will shut off completely for the perfect noise-free experience.

Gigabyte has increased their card's power limit to 270 W, which is the highest increase of all the RTX 3070 cards tested today. This helps unlock additional performance as NVIDIA's Boost algorithm has additional headroom to boost to higher frequencies. Usually, the power limit can be manually adjusted to a higher value, but Gigabyte unfortunately disabled that option because the card's 6+8 power input configuration is only specified for up to 275 W of power draw. Gigabyte is using a modular power plug board, so the cost for a 8+8 design with higher power limits would have been minimal. I'm sure the VRM could handle another 25 W. EVGA offers up to 300 W on their FTW3 Ultra, which will make that card more attractive to overclockers.

GPU overclocking worked a little bit better than on other RTX 3070s because of the increased power limit headroom, but the differences between all our cards are relatively small anyway. Memory OC is highly impressive, reaching over 2100 MHz, up over 20% from the default of 1750 MHz. Just like on all other recent NVIDIA cards, the power limiter will complicate overclocking because you can no longer dial in a specific maximum frequency and have to do additional testing to really ensure proper stability. Memory OC is a bit simpler, as memory stability issues show immediately and not only as lowered performance, like on GDDR6X.

Gigabyte hasn't provided us with pricing yet. On Newegg, as of today, the price is listed as $570, which is simply too high. Below that price are several other RTX 3070 custom designs the Gaming OC trades blows with. I would say a reasonable price for this card is around $525 or $530. The NVIDIA Founders Edition is a really good card, with a great cooler, and it's just $500. On the other hand, supply of the FE might be limited, and it could sell out very quickly, forcing gamers to look at more expensive SKUs—it happened with the 3080 and 3090 just weeks ago. AMD has just announced the Radeon RX 6800 at a $580 price point and promised performance that looks very impressive, similar to what the RTX 3070 offers, so I'm expecting considerable changes on pricing in this segment very soon.
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