The wait is over. The review embargo for NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition is up today, and when the dust settles from reviews around the web (and the ‘Tube) we will know how close to an RTX 2080 Ti this $499 graphic card can get. (Spoiler: this will vary depending on the game and use of RTX features.)
The second entry in the consumer Ampere GPU lineup after the GeForce RTX 3080, the new GeForce RTX 3070 was originally planned for an October 15 launch, but NVIDIA pushed this back a couple of weeks to October 29.
It could be speculated that this intentionally precedes AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 event by one day, but it could also allow for significantly better availability for the new GPU (we don’t really have to mention RTX 3080 availability woes, do we?).
So what is the RTX 3070, anyhow? Is it a cut-down version of the 3080? No, it is new silicon. Based on the new GA104 GPU, the chip at the heart of the RTX 3070 is about 38% smaller than the RTX 3080’s GA102 GPU (392 mm^2 vs. 628 mm^2), and it should consume significantly less power with a TGP rating of 220W – a full 100W below the RTX 3080’s 320W rating.
As a smaller GPU manufactured on the same custom 8nm Samsung process, there will naturally be fewer Streaming Multiprocessors (SM), and therefore fewer CUDA Cores. The RTX 3080 has an SM count of 68, while the RTX 3070 is equipped with 46.