The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 was awarded five stars in our hands-on review, cementing its place on our list of the best graphics cards and ensuring that AMDs latest release, the Radeon RX 6700 XT, is going to have some hard competition to beat.
The GPU market is understandably volatile right now, with gamers scrambling to buy the limited stock before bots and cryptominers sweep them off the shelves (digitally speaking), so getting your hands on either of these products is going to be difficult. But when the dust settles and we eventually see some normality being restored, what GPU is best for you?
As the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT has yet to be released, we won't know its real-world performance until we can get our hands on one to put it through its paces. Regardless, we can still get a good insight into where the strength of each card will be on paper until our review for the latest Radeon family member is published.
GeForce RTX 3070 vs Radeon RX 6700 XT : Price
It should be straightforward to compare the RTX 3070 and RX 6700 XT on their cost, with the recommended retail price for the RTX 3070 set at $499 (£469, about AU$700), and the RX 6700 XT sneaking in a little cheaper at $479 (about £340, AU$610).
Given the current market for GPU's however, you might as well throw those prices out of the window – we're seeing cards listed for alarmingly inflated prices right now, so getting your hands on one at the actual GPU market value will be nothing short of a miracle. We can't tell you what to do, but we heavily advise not buying either of these cards for the crazy inflated prices we've been seeing other GPUs listed for online.
We do expect prices to stabilize if stock numbers are replenished and the current cryptocurrency boom ends though, so given patience, you might be seeing these list prices next to available inventory eventually.
GeForce RTX 3070 vs Radeon RX 6700 XT: Specs
The RTX 3070 is already proving itself as a capable card for gamers. Here are the specifications its packing:
- CUDA Cores: 5,888
- Boost Clock: 1.73GHz
- Base Clock: 1.5GHz
- VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- TDP: 220W
So how will this compare to the Radeon RX 6700 XT? Here are the specs:
- CUDA Cores: 2,560
- Boost Clock: 2.58GHz
- Base Clock: 2.3GHz
- VRAM: 12GB GDDR6
- Memory Interface: 192-bit
- TDP: 230W
The RX 6700 XT is wielding 12GB of VRAM to market itself at gamers looking to play at 1440p, with AMD claiming this will future-proof the card as it's starting to see more AAA games exceeding 9GB of VRAM usage. The RTX 3070 on the other hand, has 8 GB GDDR6 VRAM which still gives it ample memory to run 4K games.
There's very much a mirror effect happening with these two GPUs. The RX 6700 XT has fast clock speeds, but it completely falls flat on CUDA cores, with the RTX 3070 have over twice that of its rival.
GeForce RTX 3070 vs Radeon RX 6700 XT: Performance
Pitting these cards against each other in terms of performance will be tricky given the RX 6700 XT hasn't even hit the shelves yet, but watch this space for updates after we've managed to officially run some benchmarks.
On paper though, this is looking to be a close call. We saw during AMD's official benchmark presentations that 1440p max settings show very comparable numbers to the RTX 3070, with both cards seemingly on a level playing field. Suspiciously though, these benchmarks didn't appear to include ray tracing performance, and early leaks suggest that this is where the Nvidia RTX 3070 will start pulling some serious punches.
This isn't surprising given we've forced hard-to-run titles onto the RTX 3070 and it's taken everything we threw at it like a champ. Both Horizon Zero Dawn and Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to run at a consistent 75fps at 1080p with all settings but the MSAA maxed out, so Nvidia's contender has already proven itself more than capable, even at 4K in some games.
You shouldn't judge the currently unreleased GPU too harshly yet though, as several of these leaks also show the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT could be faster than the RTX 3070 in several titles, especially game benchmarks that are optimized for the RDNA 2 architecture.
GeForce RTX 3070 vs Radeon RX 6700 XT: Which should you buy?
This should probably read 'Which can you buy' given the current shortage of GPUs on the market, but if you're lucky enough to find yourself in a situation where both are available then we'd suggest the GeForce RTX 3070...for now.
In (albeit unconfirmed) leaked benchmarks for the RX 6700 XT we saw it might be slower than the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, which wouldn't make it worth the $20 saved against the beefier RTX 3070. We won't know for sure of course until we actually get our hands on one but this, on top of the current lack of DLSS rival in AMD's offerings means that the Nvidia graphics card is likely to be a better investment for the future when more games utilize the AI framerate booster.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that the Radeon RX 6700 XT can prove itself a worthy investment over the GeForce RTX 3070, but no matter which option you go for you'll be getting some solid performance in the latest AAA titles, especially if you're upgrading from older cards like the 1070 Ti or the RX Vega 56.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.