NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Review: Pascal For The Masses

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Introducing The GeForce GTX 1070

The powerful GeForce GTX 1080 got the lion’s share of media attention immediately following NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang’s official unveiling at an event in Austin, Texas a couple of weeks back. But its little brother, the GeForce GTX 1070, was also mentioned along with its expected price point, which just happened to be far more attainable for most PC enthusiasts. Better yet, the GeForce GTX 1070 would reportedly offer “Titan X class performance”, which is particularly impressive, given the 1070’s sub-$400 asking price of partner-built boards. Like the 1080, the GTX 1070 Founder's Edition is a bit pricier.

The GeForce GTX 1070’s official reference specifications were revealed a few days after NVIDIA's event, but we’re now able to give you the full scoop. We’ve put a GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition through its paces and have all of the juicy details laid out on the pages ahead. First up though, we’ve got some specs to get out of the way...
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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founder's Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Specifications & Features

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Graphics Processing Clusters3
Streaming Multiprocessors15
CUDA Cores (single precision)1920
Texture Units120
ROP Units64
Base Clock1506MHz
Boost Clock1683MHz
Memory Clock (Data rate)4006MHz (Effective Speed - ~8Gbps)
L2 Cache Size2048KB 
Total Video Memory8192 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface256-Bit
Total Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)180.7 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process16 nm
Transistor Count7.2 Billion
Connectors3 x Display Port
1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
Form FactorDual Slot
Power ConnectorsOne 8-Pin
Recommended Power Supply500 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP)150 Watts
Thermal Threshold94°C
Price$379 - $449 MSRP - Find Them At Amazon

The GeForce GTX 1070 is based on the same GP104 GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1080, and as such, the GeForce GTX 1070 supports all of the new features that NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture enables, including Simultaneous Multi­-Projection, more advanced memory compression, GPU Boost 3.0, and others. For more detailed information regarding Pascal, and the changes / enhancements NVIDIA introduced with the architecture, we strongly suggested checking out our GeForce GTX 1080 launch article. We covered Pascal’s new technologies in that piece and won’t be doing so again here.

The GP104 GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1070, however, is scaled down somewhat. Specifically, one of its GPCs (Graphics Processing Clusters) has been disabled, which results in a total of 1920 active CUDA cores, versus the 1080’s 2560, and 120 texture units – the GTX 1080 has 160. The GeForce GTX 1070 also has slightly lower clocks – 1607MHz base and 1733MHz boost, and the 1070 employs standard GDDR5 memory, whereas the 1080 employs more advanced GDDR5X. It's still got a 256-bit interface, though.
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GeForce GTX 1070 Founder's Edition

All told, the GeForce GTX 1070 ends up with a lower peak fillrate and less available memory bandwidth, but the Pascal architecture and its relatively high clocks still give the card plenty of oomph, as you’ll see in a just a bit. On the plus side, the 1070’s TDP is down to only 150 watts and the card requires only a single supplemental 8-pin power feed.
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The GeForce GTX 1070 Backplate
 
The GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition looks virtually identical to the 1080 – it’s only the model number branding that’s changed on the outsie. Like the 1080, the GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition has a faceted fan-shroud with black and silver elements, a thin, sleek modular back-plate, and an aggressive overall design language. Should you use GeForce GTX 1070 cards in SLI, in adjacent slots, the rear portion of the backplate is removable to allow for better airflow between the cards.
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Underneath the shroud there are some changes, however.  The cooler on the GTX 1070 features a radial fan and a relatively large dense array of aluminum heatsink fins, linked together via heat-pipes -- not the vapor chamber used on the 1080. The fan pulls air in, blows it across the heatsink, and then vents the heated air outside the chassis. At the rear of the card, a second, small heatsink helps wick heat away from the VRM.

geforce gtx 1080 badge

The GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition also features a die cast aluminum body which is machine finished and heat treated for additional strength and rigidity. The top edge of the card has NVIDIA’s signature, lighted "GeForce GTX" logo that's adorned cards from the last few generations as well.

Here's another change versus the 1080.  The GeForce GTX 1070 features a 4-­phase dual-­FET power supply, optimized for low impedance, not a 5-phase unit. All told, these elements result in increased power efficiency and cleaner power delivery than the previous-gen GeForce GTX 970, but it's a notch below the 1080.
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The outputs on the GeForce GTX 1070 are identical to the 1080’s, however. They consist of a trio of DisplayPorts, an HDMI 2.0b output, and a dual-link DVI output. The DisplayPorts are 1.2 certified and DP 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz (using two cables and multi-stream transport). Up to four display outputs can be used simultaneously for multi-monitor or VR setups.

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