Putting It All Together, 20 Games Tested
The GeForce RTX 2070 is slightly more efficient than the GTX 1080, pushing total system consumption to 319 watts. This meant total system consumption was reduced by 16% when compared to the RTX 2080 and 5% compared to the 1080.
Now for temperatures we saw a peak of 65 degrees with the MSI RTX 2070 Armor model with an ambient room temp of 21 degrees, so a very respectable given the dual fans were only spinning at 1300 RPM, so a very nice cool and quiet entry level model here from MSI. I should note that south of 60 degrees the fans on this model don’t spin at all, so for normal operation it’s completely silent.
With a few mixed results as shown below, for the most part the GeForce RTX 2070 delivers GTX 1080-like performance, which is pretty much what we were expecting to find. That said, let’s see how the 2070 compared to not just the 1080 but also the 2080, 1070 and Vega 64 across a 20-game sample.
Below is the RTX 2070 vs. GTX 1080 comparison at 1440p and as expected it’s a close battle with the 2070 winning by a 7% margin on average. The only big wins for the 2070 came in Wolfenstein II and DiRT 4 while it fell behind in Project Cars 2, Forza Horizon 4 and For Honor. Up to 20% gains are nice to see but sadly at this stage these are outlier results and as the 7% average figure suggests, single digit gains are what you can typically expect to find.
When compared to the more expensive RTX 2080, the new 2070 model was on average 18% slower at 1440p which is about what you’d expect from a GPU with 33% fewer CUDA cores, especially with a few CPU limited results added to the equation, like what we see in War Thunder and Prey.
We did see up to a 28% performance deficit in For Honor and 25% in Forza Horizon 4 but as you can see for the most part the 2070 was around 16 - 22% slower.
For GTX 1070 owners, the jump up in performance is decent but nothing new, if you’d been holding out on getting a GTX 1080 for the past 2 years, well you’ll still be holding out. On average the RTX 2070 was 27% faster but again for GTX 1070 owners that margin will fail to impress given the price tag.
Then we have the Vega 64 comparison and here the RTX 2070 was 10% faster on average, not much more to say here really.
In terms of raw performance, the GeForce RTX 2070 is nothing out of the ordinary given the price point. After what we saw with the RTX 2080, we predicted that the 2070 would be around 10% faster than the GTX 1080 at best, and it turns out that was right as we saw a 7% improvement in our 20 game sample.
Had the MSRP been $400 we’d be a lot more excited by the numbers we just saw, claiming the RTX 2070 as the new value king. But at $500 it’s basically a GTX 1080 refresh with a few extra bells and whistles that at least for now don’t amount to much. Right now you can walk out and pick up a GTX 1080 for as little as $450 and getting one for just under $500 isn’t difficult. I’m also seeing GTX 1070 Ti models for as low as $400 with plenty of models selling for $430, and we know if you overclock them you’re looking at GTX 1080-like performance.
But right now it's hard to predict what the RTX 2070 graphics cards will retail for when they hit shelves this week. What we do know is you can pre-order the Founders Edition from Nvidia for $600 and there is a single AIB model from Gigabyte listed on Newegg, also for $600. So, will we see any $500 models, and when?
Before pondering that one for too long let’s look at a few cost per frame graphs...
Looking at the MSRP figures, and yes we know these aren’t totally realistic prices anymore because Nvidia is abusing the hell out of the MSRP, but let’s look at them anyway, just in case we see some pricing justice over the next few months.
At the suggested retail prices we see that the AIB price for the RTX 2070 sees it offer ~6% more value than the GTX 1080. When compared to Vega 56 and the GTX 1070 it’s slightly worse in terms of value, despite being outright faster. It’s also around 13% more cost effective than the RTX 2080.
That said, pay attention to the FE MSRP as that sees the RTX 2070 come in at a cost of $6.12 per frame and that makes it 13% more expensive than the GTX 1080. Keep that in mind as we move on.
Here are the truer-to-life numbers and we're going to ignore Founders Edition pricing because the reality is that once Nvidia sets that premium above most other cards, there's an undesired market effect where FE and AIB pricing end up being the same, in other words, you end up paying more.
Here we see that in reality the RTX 2070 is likely going to cost around $6 per frame based on our data and that makes it worse value than the GTX 1080 Ti and even Vega 64. This is why we’ve been less than excited about the new GeForce RTX 20 series. At the AIB MSRP they are okay, at the real MSRP they are a hard pass in terms of value.
With no tangible benefits to be seen from ray tracing capabilities on these cards, no way we can test how feasible it is to run ray traced games on the entry-level RTX 2070, and no way to take advantage of DLSS, we have to look at this new release the same way we did at previous Turing-based RTX releases. If these are plain and simple high-end GPUs to play games, then RTX, GTX or Vega, they are all comparable and it all comes down to which offer the best value. At $600 the RTX 2070 is an average release, even with a lack of real competition from AMD.
Those of you coming from GTX 10 series cards have no reason to upgrade unless budget has no meaning and you're spending the big bucks on today's alpha GPU, the RTX 2080 Ti. If you are using an older generation GPU and have been waiting for this moment, it's hard to predict where pricing will go in the coming months.
Some retailers have suggested they’re starting to see price increases on Pascal graphics cards, slowly pulling them in line with competing Turing products, that would be a worse case scenario. On a more positive note, current market prices while slightly inflated are nothing compared to the insanity we lived when mining was a factor in early 2018 and we hope that doesn't happen again in the nearby future.
Bottom line, we're not particularly impressed with the GeForce RTX 2070 although MSI and other AIBs have put together some great looking graphics cards. But let us know what you think, are we being too harsh on the RTX 2070, or not harsh enough? Let us know in the comments section.