NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition Preview

The second video card in the NVIDIA next generation Pascal GPU architecture is finally here, we will explore the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition video card. In this limited preview today we will look at performance in comparison to GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X as well as some preview overclocking.

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GPU Boost 3.0 Clock Speed Consistency

Similar to the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition also benefits from GPU Boost 3.0. To learn about GPU Boost 3.0 please read here. We are going to perform a similar test as we did in our GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition evaluation to find out if the Founders Edition version of this video card can maintain its boost clock.

The base clock for the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition is 1506MHz. Therefore, our red line will be at 1506MHz. What we don't want to see is the clock frequency ever fall below 1506MHz, if it did this, it would be throttling.

The boost clock is set at 1683MHz for this video card. Therefore, what we ultimately want to see is if the actual in-game clock speed can maintain this 1683MHz, or if it turns out to be lower or higher. If its lower, that isn't too much of a concern unless it sustains that lower clock speed for a long period of time. If however it is faster than 1683MHz then you will be getting better performance than the stated clock speed, and ultimately this is what we all want out of a default configuration. A good cooler can allow this, a poor one cannot. Our green line is set at 1683MHz.

In order to get a thorough evaluation of this we have to play a game for an extended amount of time and record clock speed over time with GPUz. We chose a 30 minute multiplayer playthrough in Battlefield 4 which has proven to be a good test for this, the game scales well and utilizes the GPU quite well. We took clock speed readings as well as temperature readings.


Clock Speed

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For the most part, this graph looks good in terms of consistent clock speed. There is an area of concern middle way into the run where there are some indications of clock speed dropping well below the boost clock, down to 1582MHz. This isn't a long consistent line, it is instead spikes of clock speed for brief periods, so we aren't that concerned about it hampering your performance. If it was a long consistent line of performance below the green line, then that would show the cooler wasn't up to par.

What we see here is the down spikes lasting a second or two, then going back up, and then back down, and back up. Even at 1582MHz the clock speed is still well above 1506MHz, which is the base clock. We never see the clock speed ever drop below the base clock level, which is good. For the most part performance is mostly above the green line.

The clock speed did start out at 1860MHz, but it could not maintain that for long and quickly drops off over time. In the first few minutes it settles down to around 1796MHz. The average number here is 1756MHz, which is above the quoted GPU Boost speed of 1683MHz.

You could say the cooler and fan profile isn't 100% efficient since it does allow some clock speed to fall below the quoted GPU Boost clock at times. On the overclocking page we will show you what happens when you set just the fan and power target up. You will see that the GPU Boost clock is able to maintain a higher clock speed never falling below the green line when the fan profile is turned up.

In summary GPU Boost is boosting above the quoted GPU Boost clock, and thus providing the best performance it can. GPU clock speed is not being throttled on the Founders Edition cooling, but there is room for improvement that may increase clock speed further on a more robust cooling setup.

Temperature

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We found that the hottest this GPU got was around 80-81c while gaming. It is capped at a set level of temperature which can be adjusted by an overclocking program. Note that it takes about 3-4 minutes for the GPU to heat up to its top temperature. There isn't anything shocking here, this behavior matches the GTX 1080 Founders Edition.