Palit GeForce RTX 3070 JetStream OC Review 11

Palit GeForce RTX 3070 JetStream OC Review


Value and Conclusion

  • We're expecting the MSRP of the Palit RTX 3070 JetStream OC to be around $520.
  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Faster than RTX 2080 Ti
  • Perfect for 1440p with raytracing
  • Capable of 4K in many games
  • Idle fan-stop
  • Power limit increased, large manual adjustment range
  • Adjustable RGB lighting
  • ARGB header for external circuitry
  • Dual BIOS
  • 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
  • Actual market pricing and supply levels unknown
  • Power efficiency lost
  • Both noise and temperatures not as good as Founders Edition
  • Differences between BIOSes could be bigger
  • Runs in power limit all the time
  • Memory not overclocked
  • Overclocking more complicated due to power limit
NVIDIA released the GeForce RTX 3070 just six weeks ago, and today, we're reviewing the Palit RTX 3070 JetStream OC. I had the review mostly finished, but couldn't get the last bits done because of the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3060 Ti launches. Out of the box, Palit has overclocked their RX 3070 JetStream OC to a rated boost clock of 1815 MHz, which is a 90 MHz increase over the Founders Edition. This turns into a real-life performance gain of 2%—not a whole lot, but other custom designs are similar. On average, at 1440p, we found the JetStream OC to be 2% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, 15% ahead of the RTX 3060 Ti, and 53% faster than the RTX 2070, which is pretty nice. The RTX 3080 is 21% faster, at 30% higher pricing. AMD's Radeon RX 6800 is only 4% faster than the Palit JetStream, at higher MSRP.

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. NVIDIA launched the RTX 3060 Ti just recently, which is a decent alternative for these scenarios, too, but falls back a little bit in performance, especially when betting on RTX you should be tempted to consider the RTX 3070.

In our apples-to-apples heatsink testing, we found out that the Palit RTX 3070 JetStream heatsink is better than the NVIDIA 3070 FE heatsink, even slightly better than the RTX 3080 FE heatsink. This sounds very promising, but in our real-life testing, the cooler does fall short of the FE. Gaming temperatures match the Founders Edition—74°C vs. 75°C, but the Founders Edition is a lot quieter at those temperatures—30 dBA vs. 35 dBA. The underlying reason is that the Palit JetStream pumps out a lot more heat than the Founders Edition. While NVIDIA's card runs at 233 W with a typical gaming load, Palit's card goes to 275 W, which translates into almost 20% more heat for the cooler to handle. Obviously, in order not to run much warmer than the Founders Edition, Palit had to adjust their fan speeds accordingly. Other RTX 3070 custom designs do better here because they have much bigger, more powerful coolers and are a bit more power efficient.

Still, noise levels aren't that bad; 35 dBA is "well audible," but better than the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, which the Palit JetStream matches in performance. I could also see this being a non-issue for gamers who use headphones all the time; assuming the pricing makes up for it, undervolting could be an option, too. Just like other custom designs, Palit's JetStream has a dual-BIOS feature. The second BIOS runs a more relaxed fan curve with lower clocks, but I found the difference between both to be minimal. 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 Palit RTX 3070 JetStream OC will shut off completely for the perfect noise-free experience.

OC potential was roughly in the middle of our test group, mostly held back by the power limit, but the differences between all our cards are relatively small anyway. Compared to other RTX 3070 cards, the Palit JetStream stands out due to its higher manual power limit adjustment range. With 330 W, the limit is much higher than the EVGA FTW3 (300 W), Gigabyte Gaming OC (270 W), ASUS TUF (270 W), and MSI Gaming (250 W). For overclockers, who want to squeeze the last bit of performance out of the RTX 3070, this could be important. I did a test run at the 330 W power limit, at which point the Palit RTX 3070 became the best overclocker of all RTX 3070 cards we've tested so far.

Right now, it is hard to comment on pricing because all cards are out of stock. On eBay and other platforms, scalpers have put up listings at terrible prices that don't reflect a realistic price point either. For the Palit RTX 3070 JetStream OC, we're expecting an MSRP of around $520, which is a reasonable price point relative to the $500 for the FE. Even just $20 more isn't easy to justify—you're getting a better cooler, but it will end up running louder and a bit warmer than the Founders Edition. The factory overclock yields 2% in real-life performance, which is not that big of a difference, either. AMD has priced their Radeon RX 6800 at $580, which is a pretty big increase over $520 for 4% more gaming performance and worse raytracing performance. AMD does offer 16 GB on their RDNA 2 cards, but I'm not convinced it will make a significant difference in the future, and it certainly does not today. Let's hope that supply normalizes soon, so you can get you hands on these fantastic new graphics cards.
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