Superb performance that almost matches the GTX 1080
Nvidia’s Pascal generation of graphics cards have proven to be hit. Over the last 18 months we’ve seen the entire range bring great gaming performance, low power consumption and excellent thermal characteristics to their respective market segments. Here we are 18 months later with perhaps the last GTX 10 series card we’ll see in the form of the GTX 1070 Ti. It’s designed to sit between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 price and performance levels and is obviously a strategic release aimed at combatting the recently released AMD Radeon Vega 56.
PLUGGING A GAP
The GTX 1070 Ti is the third iteration of the venerable GP104 GPU. The GP104-300-A1 found in the 1070 Ti offers a bump in clock speeds and core count over the 1070 but does miss out on the 25% faster GDDR5X memory of the 1080. As you can see in the specification table, on paper the 1070 Ti should be closer in performance to the 1080 than it is to the 1070. In fact, other than the memory bandwidth it is quite surprising just how close in spec the 1070 Ti is to the 1080. Obviously Nvidia did not want to give the AMD Vega 56 a sniff of its market share and went down the path of releasing a new GPU rather than the other option of lowering the price of the GTX 1070. Business is business…
The GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition design and cooling is identical to its GP104-series siblings. The PCB design is similar to the GTX 1080 FE with a five-phase power design offering some OC headroom. Power comes via a single 8 pin power connector. The familiar copper vapour chamber cooler is capable of cooling the more powerful 250w Titan X and 1080 Ti cards, so it is easily capable of cooling the GTX 1070 Ti with its 180w power consumption. This directly leads to a quieter card, with our test sample barely able to be detected over the sound of our CPU cooling. You can expect partner cards produce even lower noise levels if other custom GP104 cards are any indicator.
The 1070 Ti carries all the key Nvidia features we’ve come to expect. Of course there’s G-Sync and SLI support in addition to well established software features including ShadowPlay and Ansel. We have three DisplayPort connectors that officially support the 1.2 standard, with DP 1.3 and 1.4 listed as ‘ready’. There’s also one HDMI 2.0b connector and one dual-link DVI connector. This means all the latest video standards are covered. You can even run an 8K display at 60Hz for a bit of future proofing.
DELIVERS EXACTLY WHAT WE EXPECT
With Pascal generation GPUs being well known and established for a year and a half, we don’t see any surprises when we look at the relative performance of the 1070 Ti. It’s bang on where we’d expect it to be, roughly mid-way between the 1070 and the 1080. As you can see in our benchmark results, the 1070 Ti is ideally suited to 2560x1440 screens where it generally sits around the key 60fps level in demanding games with high settings and AA levels. If you prefer to dial back the quality a bit in the quest for higher FPS with capable monitors, of course the 1070 Ti will easily run in the 100fps+ range on most games at 1440p.
Temperature analysis is particularly important with Pascal GPUs due to the GPU Boost auto OC feature that Nvidia implements. You need to keep the card relatively cool to maximise the boost clock, and keep performancew at its best. The highest temperature we saw was 80c. Beyond this temperature is where the cooler starts to ramp up. 80c gave us a mostly constant 1835 MHz GPU clock. Impressive!
The Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition delivers exactly what we expect from a card that’s similar to the established GTX 1070 and 1080. It sees off the newly released Vega 56 which is basically the sole reason for its existence. The 1070 Ti FE is a very good card, and cannot be seen as a bad purchase, but at this stage in the high end GPU lifecycle what we really want is a new generation GeForce series to blow our minds like the first products did back in May 2016. Until that time comes, the GTX 1070 Ti is a good buy if you are in the market for a performance GPU and is recommended.