The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is arguably the perfect mix of performance, price, and advanced features that most gamers are going to want — and can actually afford — to buy. It's hard to find fault with this card other than its price, but kudos to Nvidia for keeping it under $600; it could have gone higher and we'd still have recommended it.
Can handle 4K gaming with DLSS
The ultimate 1440p gaming card
Small enough to not need support
Increase in price over RTX 3070
Native 4K performance is lacking
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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070: Two-minute review
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The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is here at long last, and for gamers who've been starved for an upgrade, go ahead and pick this one up. It can do just about everything.
It's hard to follow up the RTX 3070, one of the best graphics cards of all time, and in our Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review, we praised that card for being an outstanding performer at 1080p and 1440p — which is where the overwhelming number of PC gamers game at — while also being a much more affordable option over the other two launch cards for Nvidia's Ampere lineup. We especially noted how the RTX 3070 offered comparable performance to the RTX 2080 Ti for half the price.
Everything we said about the RTX 3070 applies just as easily to the RTX 4070, only now it doesn't just dabble in 4K; it can competently game at every resolution, making it a graphics card that everybody can fall in love with without spending a fortune.
A lot has changed since the RTX 3070 launched towards the end of 2020, and unfortunately, not everything changed for the better. Things are more expensive pretty much everywhere you look, and the Nvidia RTX 4070 isn't immune. At $599 (about £510 / AU$870), the RTX 4070 is fully 20% more expensive than the RTX 3070 was at launch.
I'm not happy about this at all, and you shouldn't be either, but all you have to do is look at the scores the RTX 4070 puts up on the board and you'll be as hard pressed as I am to dock it any points for this. It consistently puts out RTX 3080-level performance more or less across the board and even manages to bloddy the nose of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and while the RTX 3080 beats out the RTX 4070 at native 4K, turn on DLSS and the RTX 3080 simply gets blown out.
On the other side of the aisle, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is Team Red's nearest real competition, and it struggles to justify itself in the presence of the RTX 4070. While the RX 7900 XT solidly outperforms the 4070, it's also 50% more expensive, and the benefits of the RX 7900 XT get quickly drowned out by the power of DLSS, especially in titles with DLSS 3.
Moreover, the RTX 4070 makes for a pretty competent creator GPU, offering indie developers and artists who don't have the funding to get themselves an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 a handy option for getting some work done within a more limited budget. It's not going to power a major movie studio or anything, but if you're dabbling in 3D modeling or video editing, this card is great compromise between price and performance.
Finally, wrap this all into a package that feels like a downright normal graphics card from ye olden days, back before you needed to include support brackets and balast to keep your gaming PC from tipping over, and you end up with a graphics card that can easily power some of the best gaming PCs that can actually fit into your PC case and your budget.
This graphics card has its issues, which is inevitable, but given what's on offer here, it's easy enough to look past its shortcomings and enjoy some truly outstanding performance at at a reasonable enough price.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review: Price & availability
- How much is it? $599 (about £510 / AU$870)
- When is it out? April 13, 2023
- Third-party cards retail prices will match or exceed Nvidia's MSRP
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is available starting April 13, 2023, with an MSRP of $599 (about £510 / AU$870). Third-party partners will have their own versions of the RTX 4070 that will vary in price, but they will always have a matching or higher regular retail price than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition.
Notably, the RTX 4070 is getting a 20% price increase over the card it's replacing, the RTX 3070, which had a launch price of $499 in the US (about £425 / AU$725). While we'd have loved to see the price stay the same gen-over-gen, this should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching GPU price inflation recently.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, for example, has a ludicrously high MSRP of $1,199 (a roughly 72% jump over the RTX 3080), while the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 also increased its price over the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to $1,599 from the 3090's $1,499.
Meanwhile, we haven't seen AMD's direct RTX 4070 competitor yet, the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT, but the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is the closest AMD has this generation with an $899 / £799 (around AU$1,350) MSRP, putting it 50% more expensive than the RTX 4070.
This card is also the same price as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, for what it's worth, and considering that the RTX 4070 punches well above the 3070 Ti's performance, you do at least get a better sense of value out of this card than anything from the last generation.
- Price score: 4 / 5
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review: Features & chipset
- DLSS 3 with full Frame Generation
- Third-gen Ray Tracing Cores and fourth-gen Tensor Cores
- Lower TGP than RTX 3070
|Component||Nvidia RTX 4070||Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti||Nvidia RTX 3070|
|Price||$599 (about £510 / AU$870)||$799 / £799 / AU$1,479||$499 (about £425 / AU$725)|
|Transistor count||35.8 billion||35.8 billion||17.4 billion|
|VRAM||12GB GDDR6X||12GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||504.2 GB/s||504.2 GB/s||448.0 GB/s|
The Nvidia RTX 4070 doesn't change too much on paper over its last-gen predecessor, featuring the same number of streaming multiprocessors, therefore the same number of CUDA cores (5,888), ray-tracing cores (46), and tensor cores (184).
It does bump up its memory to the faster GDDR6X and adds an additional 50% VRAM for a total of 12GB. With a 192-bit bus and a memory clock of 1,313MHz, the RTX 4070 has an effective memory speed of 21 Gbps, equal to that of the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti, for a memory bandwidth of 504.2 GB/s.
It has a lower base and boost frequency than the 4070 Ti, clocking in at 1,920MHz base and 2,475MHz boost (compared to 2,310MHz base and 2,610MHz boost for the 4070 Ti), but this is a substantial bump up from the 1,500MHz base and 1,725MHz boost frequency of the RTX 3070.
This is owing to the 5nm TSMC process used to fab the AD104 GPU, compared to the Samsung 8nm process for the RTX 3070's GA104. Those faster clocks also power next-gen ray tracing and tensor cores, so even though there are the same number of cores in both the RTX 4070 and the RTX 3070, the RTX 4070's are both much faster and more sophisticated.
Also factor in Nvidia Lovelace's DLSS 3 with Frame Generation capacity, something that Nvidia Ampere and Turing cards don't have access to, and what looks like two very similar cards on paper turns out to be anything but in practice.
Finally, thanks to the 5nm process, Nvidia is able to squeeze more performance out of less power, so the TGP for the RTX 4070 is just 200W, making it a fantastic card for a lower-power, sub-600W build.
- Features & chipset: 5 / 5
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review: Design
- Same size as the RTX 3070
- 16-pin power connector
- Same design as RTX 4090 and RTX 4080
|Header Cell - Column 0||Nvidia RTX 4070||Nvidia RTX 3070||Nvidia RTX 4080|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||9.5 x 4.4 x 1.5 ins | 242 x 112 x 38 mm||9.5 x 4.4 x 1.4 ins | 242 x 112 x 36 mm||12 x 5.5 x 2.5 ins | 310 x 140 x 39 mm|
|Weight||2.25 lbs | 1.02 kg||2.25 lbs | 1.02 kg||4.66 lbs | 2.11 kg|
|Power||1 x 16-pin||1 x 12-pin||1 x 16-pin|
|Outputs||3 x DisplayPort 1.4b, 1 x HDMI 2.1||3 x DisplayPort 1.4b, 1 x HDMI 2.1||3 x DisplayPort 1.4b, 1 x HDMI 2.1|
With the RTX 4070 Founders Edition, Nvidia finally delivers a next-gen graphics card that can actually fit in your case without requiring a construction winch to hold it in place.
OK, the previous cards weren't that bad, and even at the reduced form factor and weight, you'll still want to toss a GPU bracket into your case for good measure (there's no harm in protecting your investment, after all).
But holding the RTX 4070 in my hand, this is the first card of this generation that doesn't feel like a piece of machinery. Even the more modestly-sized AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT feel substantial, while the RTX 4070 feels like an old school GeForce graphics card from a couple years back.
The RTX 4070 Founders Edition keeps the same fan design as the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 that preceeded it (a fan on the front and back), but it shrinks everything down to a dual-slot card about two-thirds the size of those monsters. The RTX 4070 also features the same outputs as previous RTX Lovelace cards (so no USB-C out), and a 16-pin power connector with an included adapter for two 8-pin leads to power the card.
With a TGP of 200W, Nvidia could theoretically have just gone with a single 8-pin connector, but Team Green seems absolutely committed to the 12VHPWR cable, it seems. I'll never stop complaining about this, but it is what it is. If you have an ATX 3.0 power supply, you won't need to worry about that, but the rest of us will have to deal with additional cable management.
- Design score: 4.5 / 5
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review: Performance
- Phenomenal gaming performance
- Can easily push 60 fps in 4K gaming with DLSS
- RTX 3080 performance at 60% of the power
Right out the gate, let's just say that the Nvidia RTX 4070 is the best 1440p graphics card on the market right now, and it's likely to remain at the top of that list for a good long while.
Its performance prowess isn't limited to just 1440p, mind you, and when I get into the gaming performance, you'll see that its 4K gaming potential is exciting (with caveats), but for starters, we can dig into its synthetic performance in tests like 3DMark to see how the fundamentals stack up.
|Header Cell - Column 0||3DMark Firestrike||3DMark Nightraid||3DMark Speedway|
|RTX 4070 Ti||54,882||184,183||5,457|
|RX 7900 XT||67,645||211,916||5,182|
|RTX 3080 Ti||48,057||178,883||5,249|
|RTX 3070 Ti||37,217||163,120||3,728|
|Header Cell - Column 0||3DMark Port Royal||3DMark Time Spy||3DMark Firestrike Extreme|
|RTX 4070 Ti||14,256||23,018||27,223|
|RX 7900 XT||14,047||26,260||34,356|
|RTX 3080 Ti||12,927||19,215||23,576|
|RTX 3070 Ti||8,754||14,687||18,308|
|Header Cell - Column 0||3DMark Time Spy Extreme||3DMark Firestrike Ultra||3DMark Wildlife Extreme|
|RTX 4070 Ti||11,091||13,568||46,251|
|RX 7900 XT||12,811||17,370||45,772|
|RTX 3080 Ti||23,576||9,789||12,148|
|RTX 3070 Ti||7,254||9,286||31,230|
|Header Cell - Column 0||3DMark Wildlife Extreme Unlimited||Passmark 3D DirectX||Average Performance|
|RTX 4070 Ti||45,991||40,610||42,411|
|RX 7900 XT||47,500||33,328||46,926|
|RTX 3080 Ti||41,027||36,628||39,057|
|RTX 3070 Ti||31,117||31,606||32,391|
As you can see, the RTX 4070 outperforms the RTX 3070 by about 21% overall, while underperforming the RTX 3080 by about 1.37%, which is close enough to effectively tie the last-gen 4K powerhouse, and underperforms the RTX 3080 Ti by about 6%. Considering that the RTX 3080 Ti's MSRP is nearly twice that of the RTX 4070, this is an astounding result.
The RTX 4070 does lag behind the RTX 4070 Ti and the RX 7900 XT by quite a bit, averaging about 22% worse performance than the RX 7900 XT and about 13.5% worse performance than the RTX 4070 Ti. These current-gen cards also have substantially better hardware, so this isn't unexpected.
When it comes to creative performance, well, we have a more limited dataset to work with since Blender Benchmark 3.5.0 decided it only wanted to test half the cards I tried to run it on (including failing to run on the RTX 4070), so we'll have to come back to that one at a later date once the benchmark is updated.
In the meantime, the tests I was able to run really showcased how well the RTX 4070 can handle creative workloads. On Adobe Premiere and Adobe Photoshop, the RTX 4070 performed noticeably better than the RTX 3080 across both apps and fell in very close behind the RTX 4070 Ti for an overall second place finish.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Adobe Premiere||Adobe Photoshop|
|RTX 4070 Ti||1,278||1,533|
|RX 7900 XT||1,109||1,519|
|RTX 3080 Ti||1,182||1,467|
|RTX 3070 Ti||1,054||1,486|
In lieu of Blender's Benchmark, V-Ray 5 is a fairly good stand-in, as well as an excellent benchmark in its own right. Here, the RX 7900 XT wouldn't run, since it doesn't use CUDA or Nvidia's RTX, but we can see the RTX 4070 coming in a respectable runner up to the RTX 4070 Ti.
|Header Cell - Column 0||CUDA||RTX|
|RTX 4070 Ti||2,351||3,131|
|RX 7900 XT||NA||NA|
|RTX 3080 Ti||2,082||2,867|
|RTX 3070 Ti||1,510||2,017|
One of my recent favorite workloads, Lumion 12.5, renders an architectural design into either a short movie clip at 1080p or 4K at 60 fps, making it one of the best benchmarks for creatives to see how a graphics card handles production level workloads rather than synthetic tests.
It requires the same kind of hardware as many of the best PC games in order to light a scene, create realistic water effects, and reproduce foliage on trees, and it's the kind of real-world benchmark that tells more about the card than a simple number devoid of context.
Considering that it can take a five-second, 60 fps movie clip an hour to render at production quality, I switched things up a bit and rather than calculate frames per second, like I do with Handbrake's encoding test, I use frames per hour to give a sense of how long a movie clip you can produce if you leave the clip to render overnight (a common practice).
|Header Cell - Column 0||1080p, 1-star quality||1080p, 4-star quality||4k, 4-star quality|
|RTX 4070 Ti||7,796 frames/hr||962 frames/hr||373 frames/hr|
|RX 7900 XT||5,826 frames/hr||772 frames/hr||312 frames/hr|
|RTX 3080 Ti||6,689 frames/hr||803 frames/hr||281 frames/hr|
|RTX 3080||6,337 frames/hr||724 frames/hr||179 frames/hr|
|RTX 4070||7,176 frames/hr||730 frames/hr||264 frames/hr|
|RTX 3070 Ti||5,473 frames/hr||593 frames/hr||112 frames/hr|
|RTX 3070||5,210 frames/hr||555 frames/hr||99 frames/hr|
In the case of the RTX 4070, it rendered a five-second movie clip at 60 fps at draft (1-star) quality 13% faster than the RTX 3080, about 7% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti, and nearly 23% faster than the RX 7900 XT.
It lagged behind the RTX 4070 Ti, though, by about 8%, a deficit that grew wider at 1080p production (4-star) quality, where the RTX 4070 rendered the movie 25% slower than the 4070 Ti and 6.78% slower than the RX 7900 XT.
|RTX 4070 Ti||167 frames/sec|
|RX 7900 XT||165 frames/sec|
|RTX 3080 Ti||166 frames/sec|
|RTX 3080||164 frames/sec|
|RTX 4070||170 frames/sec|
|RTX 3070 Ti||165 frames/sec|
|RTX 3070||167 frames/sec|
For Handbrake, the RTX 4070 manages to pull out its first clean win on the creative side, though not by a whole lot. Still, 170 frames per second encoding from 4K to 1080p is not bad at all.
Overall then, the RTX 4070 puts in a solid creative performance, besting the RTX 3080, the RX 7900 XT, the RTX 3070 Ti, and the RTX 3070, while barely losing out to the RTX 3080 Ti.