September 20, 2021

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Testing: Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC

Testing: Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC

It started out a little easier to get a video card here in Norway. The prices are so high that one shouldn’t really buy anything, but the shops have some cards in stock here and there.

At the same time, those who want to buy video cards now have to come up with everything from 20 to 150 percent more than Nvidia or AMD recommended as launch prices for their products.

However, we’ve chosen to write new card tests ourselves with low availability and high prices, and instead return scores for the entire series when prices drop a bit more.

Now that we’ve tested all of the Nvidia video cards, we thought of making a slightly different variant. At the beginning of June we are testing any Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti video cardAnd now we’ve brought in a third-party card to investigate what we’ve missed.

As far as we know, our Founder’s Edition cards are never available in this country, so we thought we’d compare them a bit. In this case, we borrowed a Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC video card.

This is a third party card with a specific clock speed of 1830MHz, which is roughly in the middle of the tree among the different 3070 Ti variants on the market. The price was around 10,000 – 11,000 kroner in Norwegian stores, which is a full 3,500 kr more than the cost of the 3070 Ti in Norway (theoretically). Gigabyte will not say anything about the size of the difference at regular prices, but one must quickly pay a thousand kroner or two more.

design

We’ve tested a number of video cards with this cooler from Gigabyte now, and there are very small differences between the different variants. They can read more details about this in our test of 6900 XT Deira Card.


Neat: The Gaming OC’s back panel is great, but the Founder’s Edition cooler looks a lot better. Photo: Mikkjell Lønning / Gamer.no

This version measures 33cm in length and 13cm in width, and requires a lot of space in your computer. The biggest difference to the Nvidia Founder’s Edition card is still the appearance, because here there are more plastic aesthetics and player personality. It does not have Nvidia cards.

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In terms of design, I think Nvidia has made by far the nicest cooler out of all the cards on the market today, but at the same time, cooling capacity will be more important to most people. Obviously, Gigabyte is winning there.

Yiting

In June, I discovered that the RTX 3070 Ti is practically very similar to the RTX 2080 Ti, the flagship of the previous generation from Nvidia. I wasn’t very impressed with the video card at all. It mostly seems like a way to make more money from people.

The question now is whether the Gigabyte version gives a high enough clock speed that one actually notices little difference right up to the RTX 3070 and the RTX 2080 Ti.

The answer is, well, well. As usual, there are big differences from game to game when you get a lot of higher clock speeds, but Founder’s Edition boosts up to 1950MHz at most out of the box, while the Gigabyte card manages 2010MHz.

The extra clock speed means the Gaming OC pulls in the 2080 Ti and 3070 Ti FE in some, but not all, of the games we test.

In our tests, the teams in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Metro Exodus, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt were practically so small that they could go both ways up to a 3070 Ti FE. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Far Cry 5 all saw, at certain resolutions, an increase of five to twelve percent.

So it depends a bit on the game you are playing.


Powerful: The RTX 3070 Ti is a video card that handles most images at 1080p and 1440p, but it might not be the first thing we’d recommend. Photo: Mikkjell Lønning / Gamer.no

The problem is that one can erase this difference by overclocking the Founder’s Edition card. You get a much greater effect from overclocking than that, because display units can theoretically reach the same clock speed if they have good enough cooling. Founder Edition has a factory minimum.

The same goes for the RTX 2080 Ti. All you have to do is turn on Afterburner a bit, and you’ll be on the same level as this. With the extra 3GB of video memory, I’m still holding a button on the RTX 2080 Ti to be more future-friendly than this too.

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But this is not unique to third-party cards. This has always been the case with third-party coolers against Nvidia’s proprietary cards, after all, lower noise levels and better cooling are what one pays for. That is why it is the core of this test.

Tests were conducted on a PC with an Intel Core i7-8700k clocked at 4.9GHz (we’ll be upgrading to the next generation), a fast, 16GB nVME SSD with 4.4GHz DDR4 memory. You will see the results on the next page.

Energy consumption, temperature and noise level

The Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC has a power supply recommendation of 750 watts, drawing 310 watts at most from my wall. 20 watts more than Founder’s Edition is not universal, but it ensures that the video card achieves a faster clock speed of 60 Hz.


Dual Connection: There are probably more people out there who think it’s OK to drop a three-way power connector on the video card. Photo: Mikkjell Lønning / Gamer.no

It’s the temperature level that really separates the different refrigerants. The Founder’s Edition averaged 80 degrees, a memory temp of 88 degrees, and the max on the Gaming OC card is just 66 degrees. Memory 74 degrees at most.

There is a big difference.

Unfortunately, the gaming OC cooler’s noise level is quite similar to the Founder’s Edition, so this card makes a lot more sound than the other Gigabyte cards we tested. It is, like the others, a “silent” mode that you can turn on to get a slightly lower clock speed, as the noise level crawls below 35 decibels. It might be worth it if you’re annoyed with sound, but it might be easy to buy another 3070 Ti variant, in this case. Silent mode causes the clock to slow down.

During a week of testing, fans ran at most until the 2013 rpm, which is also nearly identical to the Founder’s Edition.

Overclocking

With a little tweaking in MSI Afterburner, I was able to increase the clock speed by 60MHz, up to 2070MHz. The fan speed then crawled up to 2129 rpm at most, while the temperature rose by one degree. The noise level also does not increase significantly, which means that it is easy to overclock the card if you buy it first.

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It’s not particularly surprising that overclocking gives us a smaller increase in frame rate than the Founder’s Edition, as this has a higher clock speed in the first place.

Here is the overclocking result:

decomposition shadow of war Far Cry 5 Witcher 3 Horizon Zero Dawn
1080p 162 -> 162 137 -> 137 141 -> 142 125 -> 126
1440 p 129 -> 131 128 -> 128 124 -> 127 108 -> 110
2160 p 83 -> 85 80 -> 80 76 -> 77 67 -> 70

The selection of games we test for overclocking shows that one can squeeze an extra percentage of the card with overclocking. In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the scores are identical to Founder’s Edition, but the Gigabyte model leads by a few percent in the other three games.

conclusion

The RTX 3070 Ti is generally less attractive than the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. Nowadays, buying a video card is mostly about finding a reasonably priced product, but that still falls a bit between two chairs.

If you see 2019 prices come back, I’d rather save a little extra for the RTX 3080. In theory, there wouldn’t be much difference in price between the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC and the cheaper RTX 3080 variants at more normal prices. Unfortunately, the probability of the price level returning to what it was before 2020 is less and less, but that is another matter.

Alternatively, you can save a few krona and opt for the RTX 3070 card.

The radiator from the Gigabyte itself gives significantly lower temperatures than the Founder’s Edition, but with approximately the same noise level, a less attractive appearance and a higher price, which mostly depends on whether you want to overclock or not. Since we can’t buy Founder’s Edition here in the park, this will be first and foremost a thought experiment, but without the overclocking of the Founder’s Edition, the Gigabyte card is noticeably more powerful.

The temperature is so much higher on an Nvidia card that I’d choose a third-party product anyway, so the answer to our introductory question is no. Third-party cards will be a better option for those who don’t care much about aesthetics, and cheaper variants will likely approach Nvidia’s price after the quarter.

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