NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 1080 just a few weeks ago, featuring the company's new Pascal architecture, a brand-new 16 nanometer production process, and GDDR5X memory. Back then, in our review, we were truly impressed by how well NVIDIA claimed the performance throne with the 1080, but it did so at a serious price point. A successor to the best-selling GTX 970, this card is positioned to offer high-end performance at an attractive, sub-$400 price-point. As with the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 is, on average, 10 percent pricier than its predecessor, starting at $379. The reference-design card, however, is sold at a $70 premium as the GTX 1070 Founders Edition, at $449. Since this SKU is also the only reference-design card there is, we got our hands on it.
At the same time, the GeForce GTX 1070 was announced, coming in cheaper, but with fewer shaders and only GDDR5 memory. So nobody knew how well the GTX 1070 would perform when we reviewed the GTX 1080, which changes with our GeForce GTX 1070 review today. NVIDIA carved the GTX 1070 out of the GTX 1080 using more than just disabled on-chip components. It lacks the swanky 10 Gbps GDDR5X memory, but features the same 8 GB of the fastest GDDR5 memory there is, running at 8 Gbps.
The GTX 1070 also features 25% less shaders than the GTX 1080 (the GTX 970 features 18.75% less shaders than the GTX 980). The company still claims that this SKU achieves its design goals of being faster than the previous-generation flagship. It's claimed to be faster than the GTX Titan X, much in the same way the GTX 970 was faster than the GTX Titan Black. It does this with a surreal TDP of just 150W, the biggest dividend of the new 16 nm process and NVIDIA's obsession for efficiency it picked up after the "Fermi" debacle.
The GTX 1070 uses the same Pascal GP104 graphics processor as the GTX 1080, with just 1920 enabled shaders instead of 2560, which also affects the number of texture units that are down to 120 from 160. With 64, the number of ROPs is the same, and so is the memory capacity with 8 GB. However, today's review subject, the GTX 1070, uses GDDR5 memory, which is unlike the GTX 1080, that comes with GDDR5X. GDDR5X offers twice the bandwidth at the same operating frequency, so NVIDIA is running the GeForce GTX 1070's memory at a frequency of 2 GHz in order to make up for that.
With the exception of the "GTX 1070" name on the card, the GTX 1070 is identical to the GTX 1080 visually. It's still a reasonably compact dual-slot design that comes with a backplate and NVIDIA's new thermal solution.
In this review, we are testing a GeForce GTX 1070 reference-design graphics card, which NVIDIA is marketing as the "Founders Edition" at $449. This will be the price we will use in our primary price-to-performance calculation, although we did add a $379 price-to-performance data point as a reference.
GTX 780 Ti
|Radeon R9 |
|Radeon R9 |
GTX 980 Ti
GTX Titan X
|Shader Units||1664||2816||2816||2880||2048||3584||4096||2816||3072||1920||2x 2816||2560|
|Graphics Processor||GM204||Hawaii||Hawaii||GK110||GM204||Fiji||Fiji||GM200||GM200||GP104||2x Hawaii||GP104|
|Memory Size||4 GB||4 GB||8 GB||3 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||6 GB||12 GB||8 GB||2x 4 GB||8 GB|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||512 bit||512 bit||384 bit||256 bit||4096 bit||4096 bit||384 bit||384 bit||256 bit||2x 512 bit||256 bit|
|Core Clock||1051 MHz+||1000 MHz||1050 MHz||876 MHz+||1126 MHz+||1000 MHz||1050 MHz||1000 MHz+||1000 MHz+||1506 MHz+||1018 MHz||1607 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1750 MHz||1250 MHz||1500 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz||500 MHz||500 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz||2002 MHz||1250 MHz||1251 MHz|
|Price||$285||$280||$380||$390||$400||$470||$620||$550||$1150||$379 / $449||$620||$599 / $699|