Nvidia has put ahead a robust trio of recent graphics playing cards this fall: the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090. Polygon’s personal Chris Plante tried out the RTX 3080 in September, which prices $699 and might play trendy video games on a 4K monitor at 60 frames per second (or at the next body charge than that, the place attainable). I’ve been testing the $499 card, the RTX 3070, this previous week by myself PC. I’ve bought a 1440p monitor, so I can’t take a look at out how these video games would run at 4K, however I’ve nonetheless seen a marked enchancment in how my video games look.
For me, the RTX 3070 truly represents an much more important leap due to how price-conscious I’ve been over the course of constructing my final two PCs. I constructed my present pc in mid-2017, proper after Nvidia launched the GTX 1080 Ti. At the moment, I opted for the common GTX 1080 moderately than the 1080 Ti, figuring I didn’t have to spend more cash on a barely larger improve.
As I stated, there’s additionally the matter of my monitor. It’s a 1440p show with a 144 Hz refresh charge. I purchased it in 2019, and with my mid-2017 PC construct (together with the ol’ GTX 1080), it felt like an enormous improve. Instantly, I might see a visible distinction in my video games.
That’s how I really feel in regards to the RTX 3070, however extra so. I skipped a technology of playing cards, having caught with the GTX 1080 since 2017. Like many individuals, together with some right here at Polygon, I didn’t suppose I wanted to make one other costly improve to the RTX 20-series line (and it was weirdly costly, particularly in comparison with these 30-series playing cards). This all means I now get to benefit from the big uptick in uncooked energy supplied by the RTX 3070, and now that extra video games have launched ray tracing results, I get to take pleasure in them on a card that’s been tuned to show them properly, with out being as costly because the 20s have been.
One of many extra attention-grabbing comparisons to make for the RTX 3070 is definitely the GTX 2080 Ti. Nvidia made the comparability instantly in a put up in regards to the RTX 3070, saying it “delivers related or sooner efficiency than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (which offered for twice the value)”. I don’t have an RTX 2080 Ti to permit me to match them instantly, however that card’s capabilities sound corresponding to the measurements I took of the RTX 3070 — and, in fact, this GPU doesn’t value $1,199 at launch.
Mainly, players like me who waited out the 20-series line, assuming the tech would get cheaper ultimately, have been rewarded finally. The one hitch on this plan is that the RTX 3080 and 3090 have already skilled provide shortages. It appears possible that the RTX 3070 might be in even larger demand, given its extra inexpensive price ticket.
As a GTX 1080 proprietor, I’d grown very conversant in the dance between boosting the visible settings inside a recreation, however less than the purpose of compromising on body charge. It’s turn out to be a fragile choice, notably in demanding video games like Management, which by no means fairly appeared pretty much as good as I assumed it ought to. The GTX 1080 had supplied me some perks, in fact, which I bought to take pleasure in after I upgraded my monitor in 2019. It let me downsample from 4K decision utilizing Nvidia’s Dynamic Tremendous Decision software, though I don’t have a 4K monitor, and it nonetheless supplied me some restricted ray tracing.
As of this week, I now see how a lot better Management can look, because of the RTX 3070. I can take pleasure in the entire in-game settings pumped to the utmost, together with a extra complete ray tracing implementation and the DLSS characteristic that was new to the Nvidia 20-series line I’d skipped out on. With each graphical slider turned up and my 1440p monitor displaying a shrunken-down 4K show through DSR, the body charge hovers at 60-70 frames per second, at the same time as I direct Jesse Faden to fling projectiles and trigger huge explosions of particles, laying waste to her enemies whereas her reflection seems on each mirrored floor. Her facial options and the unfastened tendrils of hair escaping her ponytail look all of the extra detailed all through, and even far-off objects keep crisp and clear. If I alter the rendering decision to 1440p moderately than DSR’s model of 4K, I can get a straightforward body charge increase as much as 144 as Jesse’s simply strolling across the Bureau, with that charge dipping all the way down to 120-130 when she will get into any sort of supernatural bother. In brief, Management appears rattling good now.
Future 2, a recreation that’s entered my common rotation in the course of the pandemic, additionally appears considerably higher now. Instantly, I noticed my Guardian’s armor sharpen and glisten in methods it by no means had with my outdated GTX 1080. Extra vital than my Guardian slicing a spiffier determine, although, was the brand new card’s influence on the general visible noise of battles. Even throughout huge firefights, my body charge might simply climb to 90 and keep there, with my monitor nonetheless rendering tons of colourful assaults and permitting distant enemies to remain crisp.
For the gamer who’s been upgrading all alongside, in search of incremental variations and energy boosts wherever they will discover them, the RTX 3080 and even the RTX 3090 might be your card of selection this fall. You’re in all probability not even studying this evaluate. If you’re studying this, you’re somebody like me — any individual who upgrades their setup each few years, not each time a brand new card hits the market. Perhaps you’re any individual who has to save lots of up for an improve and nonetheless thinks $499 is form of steep, however finally price it for one thing that’s going to make the oncoming technology of video games look attractive. It might be framed by most reviewers because the price-conscious selection, notably in comparison with the opposite playing cards on provide, but it surely’s nonetheless an opulent reward to provide to your self, and one that may presumably pay dividends at any time when your future self manages to save lots of up for a 4K monitor. And by “you” I additionally imply “me.”
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 might be launched Oct. 29. The GPU was examined on the reviewer’s private PC with an Intel i7-7700Ok CPU, 32 GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD. The reviewer used a Founders Version RTX 3070 offered by Nvidia. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media could earn commissions for merchandise bought through affiliate hyperlinks. You will discover further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.