Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

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.

Introduction

Today's paper launch date may seem strange for our American audience, being launched on a Sunday, in the evening time, on Memorial weekend. However, this timing is to line up with Computex happening this week in Taiwan. This launch date is actually lining up with Taiwan morning time where it is already May 30th, Monday. We call this a paper launch because at its heart, it really is.

Let's not mince words here, hardware is not going to be available today for the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition video cards. Instead, the actual hardware launch date is slated for June 10th. This was also true for the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition which was paper launched on May 19th but availability of hardware wasn't until just this past Friday on May 27th. Therefore, those of you looking to jump out and buy your new shiny GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition will have to wait a couple of weeks.

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While hardware availability won't be till June 10th, today the wrapper comes off all the evaluation of performance we are able to provide you on GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition. We must preface with the fact that this is a "Preview" article from us today. It does not contain everything we would wish to compare to in a full review based on price. Why? Well, we literally had 4 testing days with this video card before the embargo lifted today. NVIDIA claims there was "an issue with an errant forklift" we kid you not, ouch. At any rate, we finally got our sample on Wednesday, and we've done as much as we can in the short time we had.


GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition

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What is the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition? This is NVIDIA's second video card in the Pascal lineup based on the new Pascal architecture. It comes in with a price of $449 for the Founders Edition and $379 as a starting place for add-in-board partner cards. We will very much be seeing custom cooling solutions on the GTX 1070 in the weeks to come. We will talk more about price positioning versus actual performance positioning in the conclusion, so read on for that.

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Let's get down to the gritty real quick on what makes the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition tick. If you haven't yet, read our GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review, the GTX 1070 is based on the same GPU from this video card, just scaled down. The same technology found in the GTX 1080, is in the GTX 1070 architecturally speaking. There is a difference with the memory chip type used we will explain.

Architecture

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The GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition uses the same GP104 GPU found in the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. GeForce GTX 1070 FE is based on 16nm FinFET manufacturing process and has a TDP of 150 watts with 7.2 billion transistors. The GeForce GTX 1070 FE is crafted to deliver over 1.6GHz clock frequency while gaming. NVIDIA claims a 70% performance lead over the GeForce GTX 970.

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The GeForce GTX 1070 FE ships with 15 streaming multiprocessors and 1920 CUDA cores. It has 120 texture units and 64 ROPs with a peak feature fill rate of nearly 202 Gigatexels/sec. The base clock is set at 1506MHz with a boost clock set at 1683MHz. We will of course test this and find out what the real consistent clock speed is by default while gaming.

The GeForce GTX 1070 FE differs from the GeForce GTX 1080 FE by using GDDR5 memory instead of GDDR5X memory. However, the GDDR5 memory is running at 8GHz, the highest frequency GDDR5 has ever ran on any video card to date. There is also a full 8GB of this memory on board, and this time no weird faster or slower pools of memory. The memory bus is a full traditional 256-bit memory interface. This provides 256GB/sec of memory bandwidth at 8GHz. The only downside really to GDDR5 versus GDDR5X is going to be potential for high frequencies like 10-11+GHz. GDDR5 may also potentially run at a higher voltage than GDDR5X creating slightly more heat.

On the topic of memory bandwidth it should also be remembered that Pascal GPUs have had memory compression improved from Maxwell GPUs. Reference our GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition review on the benefits and improvements of the newest form of delta color compression. This must be taken into consideration when thinking about memory bandwidth, as compression can greatly reduce the need for very high bandwidths.

Founders Edition Specifics

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The GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition video card is constructed out of die cast aluminum body and a low-profile backplate. The design is exactly the same as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. A radial fan design is used in conjunction with an aluminum heatsink. In the base of this heatsink are three copper heatpipes that carry away the heat. A metal baseplate is used on top of low profile components providing air channels and the best thermal performance and acoustics.

The power system is designed with a low impedance power delivery network using custom voltage regulators and a 4-phase dual-FET power supply. NVIDIA claims clock speed overclocks up to at least 1.9GHz capable out of this video card. You will find three DisplayPorts, one HDMI and one Dual-Link- DVI port. Only one 8-pin power connector is required. Recommended power supply is 500 watts. The video card measures the same length as GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition at 10.75" to the edge of the heat sink shroud.