NVIDIA RTX 3070 review: A hot rod GPU for the practical gamer

NVIDIA claims the RTX 3070 is capable of performing 20.3 shader teraflops and 39.7 ray tracing teraflops, both of which are a measurement of its overall computing capability. In comparison, it says the 2070 can hit 7.9 shader TFLOPs and 23.8 RT TFLOPs. Those numbers sound like an impressive leap for NVIDIA’s new GPU, but as we explained when NVIDIA launched its 3000-series GPUs, TFLOP numbers are increasingly meaningless. Instead, the big takeaway is that NVIDIA has reworked how its GPUs handle integer and floating point math, which could lead to some genuine performance improvements. But don’t expect a card with twice as much TFLOP potential to be twice as fast overall.

All games tested in 4K/HDR with the highest graphics quality settings and ray tracing (where available), on a rig powered by an Intel Core i7-8700K and 32GB of RAM.

While I expected the RTX 3070 to be comparable to the 2080 Ti, I was surprised to find that it practically mirrored the older card in our benchmarks. Their results in 3DMark TimeSpy Extreme, Hitman 2, Destiny 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are so close I’d just call them identical. The 3070 did leap ahead in some cases, which aren’t in our benchmark table. It scored 107 FPS in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, compared to 79 FPS on the 2080 Ti. The new card also scored significantly higher in the Luxmark HDR benchmark, which uses OpenCL to test its GPU computing potential. That’ll make the 3070 even more tempting to media producers who need some encoding help.

The RTX 3070 also stayed in step with the 2080 Ti when it came to ray tracing performance. Minecraft RTX reached the same 70 to 75 FPS in 4K with all of the graphical flourishes turned on. And the 3DMark Port Royal demo scores were only a few hundred points apart (with the 2080 Ti keeping a slight edge). If ray tracing is the most important thing for your next upgrade, it may be worth saving up for the 3080, which offered dramatically better performance across the board.

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