Back in September, NVIDIA launched its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card family with two high-end SKUs: the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. Close to a month later, the company is launching its third-fastest card in the family, the GeForce RTX 2070. This is an important product for NVIDIA because even at a relatively steep price of $500, it is the most affordable one offering real-time ray-tracing in games, or at least a semblance of it. The RTX 2070 is being offered to the vast bulk of gamers that play at 1440p resolution or lower.
NVIDIA has had a less than stellar track record in making sure its products are actually available at the MSRP prices announced. $500 is the baseline price for the RTX 2070. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition card, which we have with us for review today, is priced at $599. With the lack of a reference-design card in the market at the baseline price, NVIDIA's board partners have often had a free hand at pricing even their cheapest custom-design offerings above the baseline. With the RTX 2070, however, NVIDIA reportedly cracked the whip on this practice. All partners are required to have at least one RTX 2070 product priced at $500.
NVIDIA needs more RTX 2070 cards to be sold at $500 than consumers need RTX at that price, because higher-end previous-generation GPU models are readily available around this price, and people opting for those instead of the RTX 2070 cuts down the captive audience size for RTX-varnished content, which is already not available on the console platform.
NVIDIA has also made certain interesting design choices for the RTX 2070. Predecessors of this card, such as the GTX 1070 and GTX 970, have historically been based on the same chips as the SKU just above them, such as the GTX 1080 and GTX 980. NVIDIA is basing the RTX 2070 on its third-largest "Turing" chip, the TU106, instead of the TU104.
It's important to mention here, though, that the TU106 isn't exactly a successor of chips such as the GP106 or GM206. While those two have exactly half the muscle of the GP104 or GM204 respectively, the TU106 has half the muscle of the top-dog TU102 instead of the TU104. This chip also gets the same 256-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, which is unchanged from the TU104. The philosophy behind the TU106 may have been to design a lean chip that is cheaper to build for the simple fact that it has a smaller die than the TU104, minimizing wastage while giving NVIDIA the ability to carve out lesser SKUs from it. It can now better synchronize production of the larger TU104 to demand of the $800 RTX 2080.
At $599, NVIDIA's value addition to the supposedly-$500 RTX 2070 in its Founders Edition card comes in the form of an elegantly designed dual-fan cooler, besides factory-overclocked speeds.
|RX Vega 56||$400||3584||64||1156 MHz||1471 MHz||800 MHz||Vega 10||12500M||8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit|
|GTX 1070 Ti||$400||2432||64||1607 MHz||1683 MHz||2000 MHz||GP104||7200M||8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit|
|GTX 1080||$470||2560||64||1607 MHz||1733 MHz||1251 MHz||GP104||7200M||8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit|
|RX Vega 64||$570||4096||64||1247 MHz||1546 MHz||953 MHz||Vega 10||12500M||8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit|
|GTX 1080 Ti||$675||3584||88||1481 MHz||1582 MHz||1376 MHz||GP102||12000M||11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit|
|RTX 2070||$499||2304||64||1410 MHz||1620 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070 FE||$599||2304||64||1410 MHz||1710 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080||$699||2944||64||1515 MHz||1710 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 FE||$799||2944||64||1515 MHz||1800 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 Ti||$999||4352||64||1350 MHz||1545 MHz||1750 MHz||TU102||18600M||11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit|
|RTX 2080 Ti FE||$1199||4352||64||1350 MHz||1635 MHz||1750 MHz||TU102||18600M||11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit|