The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 was an absolute gaming beast when it was released in June 2016. Despite its age, its popularity hasn’t waned, and it was actually making a comeback before all those crazy GPU prices started. . You used to be able to find one of these graphics cards under $200, which is amazing considering I paid $329 in 2019 for the card I have here. But with the crypto boom, supply issues and the ridiculous prices they brought with them, you are now looking for a price tag more around $300 – 500 on a good day… A once the bubble bursts again, prices will come back down, and in preparation for that, let’s take a look at the GTX 1070 in 2022.
In typical Proceu Tech style, let’s start with the card’s hardware specs, and discuss the various requirements you’ll need to run the card in your system. The onboard power connectors are for a single 8-pin PCIe connector on the Founders Edition, but this may vary depending on where you purchase the card. Regarding the silicon of this card, we are dealing with a reduced GP-104 die. That means we’re getting an overall skeleton similar to the high-end GTX 1080, with a set of memory specs more in line with the GTX 1060. You’re also getting the aesthetics of the 1080, which with this model specific, is certainly a good thing!
This also brings us to the power requirements, which for this board are a TDP of 150W and a recommended PSU of 450W. To be on the safe side, I’d go for at least a 500W unit, especially if you plan on overclocking the board past the stock clocks, but to get the board running, a 450W unit is all you need. you need. A 600W unit is probably what I’d recommend if you’re interested in serious overclocking, or need the most stability. The board’s power connectors are also relatively basic and a testament to the relative efficiency of the board compared to its Turing and Ampere successors. Requiring only one 8-pin PCIe power connector, this card draws most of its power from the PSU cables, rather than the PCIe slot on the motherboard, which promotes compatibility with older cards. It should be noted, however, that this specification may change from supplier to supplier, and even depending on the model.
Some require an 8+6 pin connector, while others may require up to two 8 pin connectors, so it’s important to check the listing for the board you’re considering to ensure compatibility. Overclocking on this particular model is also not recommended, as it is the reference model, which means that heat dissipation is not this card’s strong suit. As for the clock frequencies, this card has a base clock of 1506 MHz and a peak clock of 1683 MHz. In-game clock speeds typically hover around 1800 MHz, with 1792 MHz occurring quite frequently.
However, over time the clocks started to drop down to the nominal peak clock due to thermal limitations. Nothing to worry about, but it does call into question the value of a hybrid mod or buying a model with a larger heatsink. This is the reference design after all, and it’s important to keep in mind that the heatsink is only the size of a soda can. Cosmetically, I also modified my board and painted the metal parts of the shroud an opaque gold color, which looks a bit tacky but doesn’t affect thermal performance. I was bored one weekend and decided to paint it. That’s really the only explanation I can give, but it was a fun little edit.
As far as this card’s specs go, the GTX 1070 has most of the modern expansions, but it lacks Ray Tracing and Tensor Cores. For strict DXR-free gaming, that’s not a big deal, but if you’re looking to get into DLSS, then this card isn’t the best choice. In today’s rising price environment, if you need DXR for a specific workload, the RTX 2060 is probably the card to go for now, even if it’s a bit pricey. While yes, this card is technically capable of ray tracing, it does so in software, which means it’s beyond slow even for a basic recursive implementation. When it comes to rasterization performance, the GTX 1070 has 1,920 CUDA cores, each capable of performing one 32-bit floating point or 32-bit integer calculation per clock cycle. This is a quirk in the 10-series design, and if you know my review of the GTX 1080, this card works exactly the same.
All Pascal cards have this feature, which ultimately limits the amount of mixed-data type calculations that can be performed. In terms of performance, this does not cause significant issues in games, but it is limited in terms of FP16 and FP64 calculations, both of which are common in scientific applications and workstations. If you intend to run protein-folding simulations or do high-precision math, the GTX 1070 is best left to gamers, as this card simply doesn’t have the horsepower. Hell, even the big card brothers of this generation are struggling with these workloads.
If you’re really into heavy computing, I’d suggest a Turing card if integer workloads are a big part of your workflow, and Ampere if you’re looking for tons of FP32 and FP16 power. This card’s cache structure is also incredibly similar to the Maxwell 2.0 pipeline, with 48KB of L1 cache per SM and an overall shared L2 size of 2MB. Compared to more modern offerings, like the RTX 3070, this amount cache size is tiny, and limits the amount of data that can be processed at one time. Less cache means more data needs to be stored in the card’s VRAM, which means the 1070 is less efficient overall with its memory allocation. Combined with the lower bandwidth of GDDR5,
With 8GB of GDDR5 spread across eight 1GB chips, this card uses a 256-bit bus, with memory clocks allowing 8Gbps on the chips, and 256Gb/s on the GPU. For comparison, the memory configuration of this card was great for its time and allowed the card to fully saturate a nice wide pipeline. GDDR6 has since bumped the base bandwidth to 448GB/s, which puts the 1070’s memory 42% behind the RTX 2070 configuration. In-game, you’ll notice more frame drops on the 1070 when particle effects fill the screen, but the GP104 chip itself is ultimately held back by the memory configuration.
I wish there was a way to see how this card would perform with GDDR5X, because the specs of the chip itself are still impressive and quite capable. With the 15 SMs on board, we have 120 texture mapping units and 64 rasterization operation pipelines. TMUs are definitely held back here by the lack of on-chip cache and slower memory, meaning they can’t do their job as efficiently as they could. You could say that of most graphics cards, but the overall age of the 1070’s G5 configuration prevents it from being an obvious recommendation. Sure, it has 8GB, which is enough for 1440p gaming, but in newer games where particle effects are used heavily,
This board also lacks the memory compression algorithms found in Ampere, although delta color compression is used here, which really helps keep the 1070 and its Pascal brethren more in line with the modern maps. Overall, the feature set is Nvidia’s Gold Standard, minus the ray tracing. For some of us, that’s not a big deal, because while it’s technically impressive and graphically stunning, it’s so expensive that some of us would just prefer to use traditional dithering to get the job done. The memory configuration is what theoretically drags the cores the most, but the techniques introduced by Nvidia can help alleviate this problem, along with a slight memory overclock!
This brings us to the specs of our test system, and our methodology for capturing the numbers we’re about to talk about! For our processor, we use the huge Intel Core i9-9900k, an 8-core 16-thread chip, installed on my MSI Z390-a Pro motherboard. Alongside our CPU, we paired the card with 32GB of DDR4 clocked at 2933MHz. This is an unusual clock speed, but I’m running them undervolted to reduce heat. It’s also an overclock anyway, as our 9900k comes stock with a 2.666MHz controller. I replaced my GTX 1080 with the GTX 1070, but I will only test it with the stock cooler.
In any case, we’ve isolated GPU performance to give us an idea of where the 1070 sits in the power ladder, and whether it’s worth buying. In order to test our card, we also ran all of our games at 1440p for 10 minutes, with the graphics values set to High. This stresses the GPU more than the CPU, while 1440p is also a middle ground between 1080p and 2160p. It’s also important to keep in mind that performance will be even better if you plan to play at 1080p, but for benchmarks all games will be shown at 1440p! Once the specifications and the progress of the tests are finished, place to the benchmarks!
Starting off as a rather popular battle royale title, Apex Legends performed exceptionally well, and left plenty of room to play this game in 4K. This game features dynamic resolution scaling, so if you want locked framerates then this is definitely the way to go rather than playing at your native resolution all the time! An average of 89 FPS kept the game running smoothly, and the minimums show that performance never dropped to unplayable levels, but lowering the settings and resolution is a quick way to get those numbers! VRAM usage can also be adjusted via the texture quality slider in the menu, but with this card’s 8GB, the highest buffer allocation worked well enough that I recommend enabling this setting! For being almost 5 years old, the 1070 holds up incredibly well, especially at 1440p and at these settings. This board, paired with a cheaper hexa-core chip, would make an amazing setup to dominate the battlefield in this rather fun game!
ARK: Survival Evolved
Our first Unreal Engine game, ARK: Survival Evolved, performed admirably on 1070, but the framerate left a lot to be desired. With an average of 56 FPS, this game is about to be playable at 1440p, but it unfortunately misses the mark by a very small amount. Even the GTX 1080 struggled a bit with this game, so I’m sure the game optimization has something to do with the poor performance we saw. However, you can always lower the resolution or enable the resolution scaler if you prefer framerate over resolution. Keep in mind that ARK’s performance is pretty poor regardless of your hardware, so if you’re looking to play this game at 1440p and console framerates, then the GTX 1070 is happy to do you a favor, and even delivers incredible high frame rate gaming at 1080p! Even if you want to stick with 1440p, just lower the settings to salvage frames and stabilize your overall experience. Either way, it’s worth considering lowering the settings for this game, regardless of your hardware configuration.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War performed well in our test session, giving us an average framerate of 69 FPS. The minimum tells a different story though, with the game frequently stuttering as explosions fill the screen. Related to the memory configuration we discussed earlier, this is likely due to the onboard memory, rather than the chip itself. While the game looks great at these high settings, the amount of alpha channel particle effects in this game bogs down the 1070. This can all be solved by decreasing the number of objects that are sorted by transparency, which can easily be done in the game settings. With this filter setting kept at its “high” value, the game performed well, and lowering the resolution is an easy way to get higher framerates with those higher settings! It was fun to run and shoot around Nuketown with the 1070, and it was even more fun killing zombies in the forests of Poland!
Our Cry Engine title, Crysis 3, averaged 74 FPS, with a low of 51 FPS. Crysis, like Doom Eternal, has a weird settings menu, where the ‘high’ graphics setting is equivalent to the medium settings of most other games. Overall, that puts the 1070 a good chunk behind the 1080. However, as with most games we test today, a ton of those performance issues can be solved by lowering the resolution to 1080p. It’s not optimal, but if you want the most fluidity, I’d stick with the max resolution of 1080p. It’s glorious to experience this game with all of the graphics options set to the highest possible values, and it’s much better to play at 1080p thanks to the less time-consuming rendering. The 1070 also had a weird issue in this game, explosions caused the frame rate to drop. It wasn’t catastrophic, but the drops were still there, and like with Black Ops – Cold War, I think it’s down to memory limitations, rather than the chip itself which isn’t able to handle the game!
Another Source Engine game, CS:GO, gave an impressive performance of 297 fps. Looking at the performance of the 1080, it seems that we are limited by the CPU. We didn’t see much gain in framerates with the upgrade to the -80 class card, which means the 1070 can max out an 8-core 16-thread Skylake chip with no problem! In fact, if you’re looking at the 1070 for a CS:GO-centric build, I’d lean more into your CPU choice, as even a GTX 1050ti can max out CS:GO and stay above 200 FPS. Although not a CPU test, I would recommend a chip like the i5-10400 if you’re looking to get on LGA 1200, or a Ryzen 5 3600, however the i5 is cheaper at the time of testing. writing! Going back to graphics performance, even at 4K.
The next game up is Cyberpunk 2077, and if you’ve seen my 1080 review, you know that game likes to give Pascal cards a hard time. The trend continues here, with the 1070 averaging 23 FPS. I want to mention that the minimum and maximum are actually grouped together relatively tight, however, showing some level of consistency with the chart. While it didn’t perform well at 1440p, dropping the resolution to 1080p or lowering some settings should get the game past 30 FPS, and move it into more playable territory. I wouldn’t necessarily rule out the 1070 for Cyberpunk, as all Pascal cards cause this game to run a bit poorly at higher settings. However, by reducing the settings to a medium level, an increase in performance is obtained, while maintaining the graphically pleasing look of Cyberpunk! It was fun exploring Night City, and it was fun hacking things and enjoying the weird NPC behavior that we’ve come to expect from this game!
Doom Eternal, the first Vulkan game in our test suite, ran smoothly at 1440p. Like Apex Legends, this game includes a dynamic resolution scaling option, which means performance can be locked at almost any time! However, with an average of 106 FPS and a minimum of 68, it’s hard to justify using this setting when the game runs so well in native mode. This game was a blast to play on the 1070, and it’s just a strong showing for Vulkan in general. Even the older OpenGL-based Doom 2016 performed well on this card, although it’s remarkable how much more efficient ID Tech 7 is than its predecessors! Anyway, Vulkan is displayed in full force in Doom Eternal, and the thrill of 1440p gaming was made all the more enjoyable thanks to high and relatively stable framerates, which never dipped below the 60FPS mark. It was a very stable and smooth experience, which makes me recommend the 1070 for Doom Eternal-centric builds!
Far Cry 5
With our first open-world role-playing game, Far Cry 5 performed relatively well and, like Doom Eternal, never dropped below 60 FPS. It’s pretty impressive that this game holds up so well graphically, but I think what’s even more impressive is how it runs on this hardware! It’s a 5 year old graphics card that runs a newer game at 1440p at 60 FPS and above. It really shows how far we’ve come in a few years, but I’m glad the 1070 is still holding up well with this game 3 years after release. This begs the question of the resolution drop, and as I’ve shown in previous reviews, this card is able to hold up to this game and deliver monstrous performance at 1080p. In terms of framerates, lowering the resolution would give you about 50% more frames, which makes the game even smoother. It was fun to experience Hope County in 1440p at 60 FPS, and it’s even better when it’s in 1080p at 120Hz!
Our next Unreal Engine game is honestly an amazing graphics showcase for the 4th iteration, as Gears 5 performed very well, and at 1440p we averaged 81 FPS. It’s Xbox One X performance levels, and the smooth gameplay was a real treat, especially since my first experience with the game was on the original Xbox One. Despite the praise, there were still some issues, especially with clock speeds. I started noticing that over time the overall clock speed of the card started to drop. This is normal, and usually done to keep the card within operational specifications, but the cooler used on this model was insufficient to the point that I simply maintained the base clock rather than the backup clock. It makes me curious how much a hybrid mod could help this map, especially in this incredibly demanding game. It might be worth picking up a model other than the Founders Edition if you’re looking to get the most out of your card. However, even limited to an extremely restrictive heatsink, the 1070 soared through Gears 5. It was fun blasting and hacking through enemies at 60FPS+, which is even better thanks to our 1440p resolution! It might be worth picking up a model other than the Founders Edition if you’re looking to get the most out of your card. However, even limited to an extremely restrictive heatsink, the 1070 soared through Gears 5. It was fun blasting and hacking through enemies at 60FPS+, which is even better thanks to our 1440p resolution! It might be worth picking up a model other than the Founders Edition if you’re looking to get the most out of your card. However, even limited to an extremely restrictive heatsink, the 1070 soared through Gears 5. It was fun blasting and hacking through enemies at 60FPS+, which is even better thanks to our 1440p resolution!
Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 5, a now older game built on Rockstar’s proprietary RAGE engine, ran like an absolute champion, and even beat our GTX 1080 by a measurable margin. This is likely due to a random in-game event like an explosion that we didn’t see, but regardless, the map proves to be very capable when it comes to GTA 5. You’ll probably be able to hit 60 FPS in 4K if you’re willing to take some settings down a notch. The game looks great for being 8 years old, and the high settings really help sell Los Santos as a living, breathing world. Although some effects can sometimes be a little wonky, such as ragdolls, the resolution we tested at and high frame rates make this card an easy recommendation if you’re looking to get into Grand Theft Auto. The game has been a real treat experimenting with these settings, and I can’t wait to see what Rockstar has in store for us next!
so the 1070 provided an enjoyable experience, although it was marred by frame drops when particle effects took up a good chunk of screen real estate, especially those cobwebs. This brings us back to memory configuration, and I suspect we’ve loaded too much for the memory buses to handle. It’s a beautiful game, but it’s probably worth dropping the resolution to 1080p and stopping there!
Our third Unreal Engine title, PUBG, achieved an average frame rate of 93 FPS. The minimum might seem a bit harsh, however this only happened during drop-in and was not present in gunfights. It doesn’t look great, but it was ultimately an aberration in the grand scheme of things. Overall, playing at 1440p allowed us to keep our sights on enemies at longer ranges, which can be an advantage for you if you’re sniping or trying to shoot another player. The performance and look of the game are excellent, and it’s a real pleasure to play! Dropping the resolution to 1080p would also yield incredible performance, at the cost of some image clarity. Decreasing parameters is another way to save processing time, which for PUBG could be beneficial thanks to the way it renders vegetation. So far, the 1070 has proven to be very capable when it comes to gaming, and PUBG is just another feather in the card’s hat!
Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege, our second Vulkan-enabled title, gave us an average of 107 FPS at our 1440p test settings. I tested this game under DirectX, as I didn’t have time to sit down and compare the Vulkan version of the game, but the general discussion online seems to be pretty neutral on which API you’re using. Even so, with DirectX, our 1070 crushed this game, and the overall esports-like graphics design really worked in our card’s favor. It’s a simplistic yet effective art style, which combined with performance-saving techniques – like the MSAA pseudo-checkerboard trick – helps our 1070 retain its competitive edge. Although not ultra high frame rates, just drop the resolution to 1080p to get an easy 144Hz lock. And if you want to keep the resolution high, lowering the settings isn’t a bad idea either! It was fully playable at 1440p, so if you’re content with 60FPS, this game is a treat to experience on the GTX 1070!
Call of Duty: Warzone
Our latest game, Call of Duty: Warzone, performed well, but not exceptionally well. With an average of 57 FPS, we’re not hitting what I consider the minimum for competitive FPS online, but that’s an easy problem to fix. Simply lowering the game’s resolution or enabling dynamic resolution scaling will lock in performance at 60 FPS, and lowering the settings wouldn’t hurt either! Warzone did, however, have a problem with particle effects that caused explosions to fill the screen, but with the speed at which things explode in Call of Duty, that gets a little distracting. To remedy this, it was necessary to reduce the quality of the lighting of the particles as well as the quality of the shadows, which made it possible to smooth the performance a little more, although the stuttering persists. This is what ultimately dragged our average down, but it once again raises the issue of memory configuration.
That’s probably what’s holding us back here, with clock speed being the main issue rather than capacity. Even with a memory overclock – which isn’t possible without thermal issues on this card – Warzone doesn’t perform as well as at lower resolutions. For maximum stability and frame rates you probably need to lower the settings if you plan to stick with 1440p, but 1080p at maximum settings would also be a great experience!
Overall, the GTX 1070 remains a very capable graphics card that packs a lot of computing power into a penny-sized silicon chip. While the GPU cores are powerful and can tackle most modern AAA games with ease, it’s the memory configuration that holds us back. Even though this memory configuration was standard when this card was released, remember that it was released 5 years ago. Most older cards will struggle to handle a large number of modern sprites, and this is more down to memory clock speed than bus width. On a more modern GDDR6 setup, we now see memory chips that run at a minimum of 14Gbps. On this GDDR5 configuration, we only have 8Gbps.
As we move forward, GDDR6 is going to become the standard for video cards, which while that’s a good thing overall, also means hardware is being left behind. For 1080p gaming, this card has more than enough bandwidth to shred any modern title, but as soon as the resolution starts to increase, that’s where we start to struggle. 1440p resolution, while quite doable on most of our test games, also crippled our card in two of our games (Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro Exodus), which leaves me more comfortable for recommend this card for 1080p gaming and light workstation use. Speaking from my personal experience,
If we want to make a comparison, imagine trying to run a game from 2015 on a board released in 2010; it would work, but it would be incredibly slow. The 1070 thankfully doesn’t suffer from this, and with its lower hash rates, it’s also not targeted by cryptocurrency miners as frequently. All of which brings us to the next question: is the GTX 1070 worth buying in 2022? Well, for now, with the inflated prices, not really. But as prices go down, so will the price of this card, which will eventually return to pre-2020 levels. Once that happens, then it will be worth it. pull the trigger for one of these cards, despite the negatives I’ve discussed in detail.
With six and a half teraflops of FP32 compute, this card can hold its own against the Xbox Series S and Xbox One X, despite its much older architecture and higher power consumption. If you are able to find a 1070 at or around the $200 mark then this is a steal and is definitely worth checking out! It’s an amazing board that offers powerful FP32 computing, high memory capacity, and a sweet spot in terms of efficiency. Keep an eye out for the 1070 if you’re in the market for a graphics card, because it might be lurking nearby!