When NVIDIA first announced their Turing based GeForce RTX 20 series, they unveiled three GeForce RTX models: the 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070. As we’ve seen earlier, Turing and the GeForce RTX 20 series as a whole are designed on a hardware and software level to enable realtime raytracing for games, as well as other new specialized features, though all of these are yet to launch in games. Nevertheless, last month’s release of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 finally revealed their places on the traditional performance spectrum. As the ‘value’ oriented enthusiast offering, the RTX 2070 is arguably the more important card for most prospective buyers. And so, ahead of tomorrow’s launch, today we take a look at the GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition.

Even as the value option, which is historically the case for the x70 part, the RTX 2070 Founders Edition comes in at $599, with standard MSRP at $499. For all intents and purposes, the lower $499 price won’t be seen in the near-future as AIBs will be aligned with NVIDIA to avoid cannibalization and lower ASPs. Either way, the $500 mark makes it clear that ‘value’ and ‘cheap’ don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

NVIDIA GeForce Specification Comparison
  RTX 2070
Founder's Edition
RTX 2070 GTX 1070 RTX 2080
CUDA Cores 2304 2304 1920 2944
ROPs 64 64 64 64
Core Clock 1410MHz 1410MHz 1506MHz 1515MHz
Boost Clock 1710MHz 1620MHz 1683MHz 1710MHz
FE: 1800MHz
Memory Clock 14Gbps GDDR6 14Gbps GDDR6 8Gbps GDDR5 14Gbps GDDR6
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Single Precision Perf. 7.9 TFLOPs 7.5 TFLOPs 6.5 TFLOPs 10.1 TFLOPs
"RTX-OPS" 45T 45T N/A 60T
SLI Support No No Yes Yes
TDP 185W 175W 150W 215W
FE: 225W
GPU TU106 TU106 GP104 TU104
Transistor Count 10.8B 10.8B 7.2B 13.6B
Architecture Turing Turing Pascal Turing
Manufacturing Process TSMC 12nm "FFN" TSMC 12nm "FFN" TSMC 16nm TSMC 12nm "FFN"
Launch Date 10/17/2018 N/A 06/10/2016 09/20/2018
Launch Price $599 $499 MSRP: $379
Founders $449
MSRP: $699
Founders $799

For the RTX 2070, its value would be measured by both traditional rasterization performance, and hybrid rendering performance. For the former, the GeForce GTX 1080 sits at the $500 price point, so that is very much the card to beat, with the AMD Radeon Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1070 Ti also offering similar levels of performance. Beating the GTX 1080 by a significant margin will in turn offer more to those still on older generation cards like the GTX 970 & 980. But trading blows with the GTX 1080 would leave the RTX 2070 in a situation where it is priced higher with less availability for equivalent traditional performance. As an aside, HDR presents a wrinkle where the RTX 20 series incurs less of a performance hit, but the difference varies per game and only a selection of games support HDR in the first place.

Unfortunately, accurate hybrid rendering performance remains somewhat of a mystery. Games have yet to bring support for RTX platform features, and additionally DXR itself is only just starting to rollout as part of Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809), itself delayed due to data-loss issues. RTX platform features like realtime ray tracing and DLSS come at a steep cost; currently, the RTX 2080 Ti stands at $1200 and the RTX 2080 at $800, and now with the $600 RTX 2070 as the entry card for those features. So for gamers interested in using realtime ray tracing, it's still unclear what we should expect as far as real-world hybrid rendering performance is concerned; in any case, the RTX 2070 does not support SLI, which precludes a future mGPU drop-in upgrade. That is to say, if the RTX 2070’s real time ray tracing performance target for resolution/framerate is significantly lower than the RTX 2080 Ti or 2080, there won’t be an easy solution in the form of doubling up 2070s.

In any case, the RTX 2070 is built on its own GPU, TU106, rather than being a cut-down version of TU104, and by the numbers offers 75% of the RTX 2080’s shading/texturing/tensor resources with the same ROP count and 256-bit memory bus. Considering the SM-heavy nature of ray tracing workloads, it would be interesting to investigate once real time ray tracing and DXR is fully released to the public in production-ready in games.

But as a straight upgrade, the RTX 2070 is in a delicate situation. What we know already is where the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 lie in terms of conventional gaming performance; the RTX 2080 Ti is roundabouts the Titan V, while the RTX 2080 is comparable to the Titan Xp and GTX 1080 Ti. As the top two performing cards of the stack, there’s some natural leeway with premiums, but the RTX 2070 does not have that luxury as the x70 part, and will be right in the mix of Pascal with the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Ti in the $450 to $600 range, along with GTX 1080 Ti models at the $700 mark. The GTX 1080s priced at $490 could act as a significant spoiler if there are issues with launch inventory, which has already caused delays in the RTX 2080 Ti.

Beyond that, the biggest open questions are all about the RTX platform features like realtime ray tracing and DLSS. Gamers considering making the plunge will be looking at the RTX 2070 as the entry point, but right now there is no accurate and generalizable way to determine what that entry level performance would look like in the real world.

Fall 2018 GPU Pricing Comparison
  $1199 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  $799 GeForce RTX 2080
  $709 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  $599 GeForce RTX 2070
Radeon RX Vega 64 $569  
Radeon RX Vega 56 $489 GeForce GTX 1080
  $449 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  $399 GeForce GTX 1070
Radeon RX 580 (8GB) $269/$279 GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
(1280 cores)
Meet The GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition
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  • beisat - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Thanks for the review, nice as always.
    Was hoping to upgrade my 970 before Turing was announced, but I feel like I'm getting ripped of with these cards. The review did nothing to change that feeling, but that was to be expected.
  • Luke212 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Please investigate why Turing is slower than Volta for HGEMM. If it was using the tensor cores they should be not that slow.
  • SMOGZINN - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    On the "The Test" page you show that the "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition" is one of the cards being compared, but it does not show up in the benches.
  • Targon - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    From the information, seeing Vega 64 going up to a temp of 86C would put it into thermal throttle range, which would cripple performance. From my own experience, manually adjusting the fan settings in Global Wattman to go up to 4500rpm and with a temperature target of 75C will avoid the throttle issues in the first place and also improving performance significantly, even without tweaking clock speeds or voltages.

    So, if Vega 64 is getting throttled and still hitting the numbers reported, that implies that with the fan profile adjusted as I suggested, we would be seeing Vega 64 doing a bit better in terms of framerates.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Let's be honest: Vega isn't here for competition purposes, it's just included as a courtesy.
  • atl - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Would be good to have some SLI & Cryptocurrency benchmarks included
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    These RTX cards are going to be a fantastic value...
    ...next summer when they drop the prices.
  • eva02langley - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    Even there, I don`t know if Navi can really be a 250$ GPU with 1080 GTX performances.
  • sandman74 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    980 owner here gaming at 1440p. Really wanted to upgrade but when I cost everything up, PC gaming has suddenly become a very expensive hobby.

    Decided to completely abandon the PC as a future gaming platform mostly thanks to the pricing of the new gpu cards.

    2.5yrs since the 1080 for barely better performance. RTX isn’t viable on this card. My own view is the new line up sucks.

    Practically all my mates are on consoles these days which is a shame but it’s a sign of the times. Tried the BF5 beta on my xbox one S and was blown away at how decent it was. Had real fun playing with friends which is what matters.

    So I can only imagine it’s even better on the Xbox One X which you can buy for the price of just this GPU.

    Prices have gone insane, so I’m stepping out. Total respect for those that can justify the prices and carry on PC gaming. I can’t.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - link

    tl;dr rather get a heavily discounted 1080 Ti (which will probably be factory overclocked and have a beefier cooler).

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