Today we have our day-one GeForce RTX 2070 review for you and I suspect like most other publications, we were seriously under the pump for this one. For whatever reason Nvidia thought it best not to send out samples until a few days before the release, thus we're not expecting our RTX 2070 Founders Edition sample until later this week. Thankfully MSI came through for us and saved the day at the last minute. In total we only had around 30 hours for testing and we’ve used every last minute to create this content.
MSI also sent along an Armor model which is expected to come in at a lower price, somewhere around the MSRP, but we’ll believe that when we see it. That’s not a dig at MSI but rather Nvidia’s mythical suggested retail prices.
On paper, the GeForce RTX 2070 claims a $500 MSRP for board partner cards such as the MSI Armor and a less attractive $600 for the Nvidia FE model. So for the AIB models we’re expecting around a 30% decrease in price when compared to RTX 2080 models for a 33% decrease in CUDA core count.
Nvidia’s own review guide shows the RTX 2070 easily beating the GTX 1070 and then the 970 before it, though that’s a little misleading as it’s priced to compete with the GTX 1080 and Vega 64, so those are the models we'll focus our attention on when comparing performance.
For all the testing we're using the MSI RTX 2070 Armor and it will be compared to the FE versions of the 2080 Ti and 2080 along with MSI Gaming X versions of the 1080, 1070 Ti and 1070 as well as the Gaming X Trio 1080 Ti. Then we have the Asus Strix Vega 56 and 64 models along with AMD’s Vega 64 Liquid.
Our test system consists of a Core i7-8700K clocked at 5GHz and 32GB of Vengeance DDR4-3400 memory. For the AMD GPUs we've used Radeon Adrenalin Edition 18.10.1 drivers and for Nvidia the GeForce 411.63 drivers. The new RTX 2070 GPU is using driver version 416.33.
We have results for 20 games but due to the limited time we had we're going to discuss the results from just six of them and then break down the data for all the games at the end of the article.
First up we have Far Cry 5 and let’s start with the 1080p testing, here the RTX 2070 was a wisker slower than the GTX 1080, but just 9% slower than the RTX 2080 when comparing the average frame rate. That said we are mostly CPU bound at this resolution.
At 1440p the GTX 1080 and RTX 2070 can be seen delivering basically the same performance. This means the 2070 is now 21% slower than the RTX 2080. Then at 4K we see the 2070 and 1080 delivering identical frame rates making them 23% slower than the 2080.
When testing with Assassin's Creed: Odyssey we do see the RTX 2070 providing a reasonable performance advantage over the 1080 at 1080p, it was 8% faster on average. Not exactly mind blowing stuff given the price but we’ll discuss that more towards the end.
The margin is extended out to 13% at 1440p and now the 2070 is found in the middle of the 1080 and 1080 Ti, making it just 14% slower than the RTX 2080.
Again at 4K the 2070 finds itself between the 1080 and 1080 Ti which means it was just 13% slower than the 2080, so an impressive result.
Moving on to Forza Horizon 4 and here the 2070 is only just able to keep pace with the 1080 and overall performance seems quite lackluster despite pushing rather high frame rates at 1080p. Much the same is seen at 1440p, the 2070 comes in a few frames behind the GTX 1080 for a pretty disappointing result.
The RTX 2070 isn’t able to do any better at 4K either as it’s only able to match the 1080 here and that meant it was 25% slower than the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080.