The Nvidia RTX 2070 has now launched offering the us our first taste of a mainstream Turing GPU. I guess you could have made do with the monstrous RTX 2080 Ti… y’know, with your BIG pockets and oversized wallets, but right now this is as affordable as Turing gets.
And if you want to harness ray tracing to augment your gaming, such as shadows and lighting, but don’t have a bathtub full of money lying around to spend on a graphics card, the RTX 2070 is likely the minimum requirement for real-time ray tracing in this generation.
It seems unlikely at this point that Nvidia will fit the 2060, 2050 Ti, or 2050 GPUs with ray tracing RT Cores. The minimum performance for solid ray tracing in games is roughly 5-6 Giga Rays per second, with the Nvidia Turing-powered RTX 2070 just hitting the 6 Giga Rays per second mark, if a cheaper GPU were to release with fewer RT cores than the RTX 2070, the performance just wouldn’t be worthwhile. Equally, the volume mainstream segment is incredibly price sensitive, and might not be able to stomach the premium of extra RT Core silicon.
That leaves the RTX 2070 as the king of entry-level RTX, and our first independent test, the reference-clocked Palit RTX 2070 Dual review, is up now. But, if ray tracing isn’t your thing, there’s still a whole heap of performance available in traditional graphical workloads to look forward to. Early reviews are now out in the wild, and the RTX 2070 is looking to topple the GTX 1080 even in regular rendering.
Nvidia RTX 2070 release date
The RTX 2070 launched on October 17. The RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti both essentially launched on September 20, though with general Ti availability a week later.
Nvidia RTX 2070 specs
The straight RTX 2070 houses 2,304 CUDA cores alongside 8GB GDDR6. That’s just 22% shy of CUDA count of the RTX 2080.
Nvidia RTX 2070 price
The pricing for the RTX 2070 is $499 (£469), although the Nvidia Founder’s Edition starts at $599 (£569).
Nvidia RTX 2070 performance
The RTX 2070 offers 6 Giga Rays/s of real-time ray tracing performance, and reviews show it to top the GTX 1070 in 4K and 1440p gaming by roughly 35%.
Nvidia confirmed at the Gamescom RTX Editor’s Day event that the RTX 2070 was going to release in October. That day has now passed, with early reviews just out the door and the card launching October 17. That’s a little less than a month after the green team’s RTX 2080.
Beautiful any way you look at it.
The GeForce RTX 2070 will be available on October 17th. #GraphicsReinvented
— NVIDIA GeForce (@NVIDIAGeForce) September 25, 2018
The RTX 2070 features a more modest CUDA core count of 2,304 compared with the 2,944 cores packed into the TU104 silicon of the RTX 2080. That means the SM count has been cut from the RTX 2080’s 23 down to 18.
That’s slightly less of a cut than when Nvidia took the knife to the GP104 GPU shared by both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. The upcoming RTX 2070 has less than 22% fewer cores inside it than the RTX 2080 while the chip inside the GTX 1070 was a full 25% weaker than its larger GTX 1080 sibling.
But each of Nvidia’s Turing graphics cards is rocking an entirely bespoke GPU design. The Turing TU106 chip, which recently appeared on the HWiNFO patch notes, has been designed for the RTX 2070, rather than a potential mid-range 2060.
In terms of its memory layout, the RTX 2070 has arrived with the same 8GB GDDR6 VRAM as the RTX 2080, running along an aggregated 256-bit memory bus. With the memory running at 14Gbps, it has some serious bandwidth to play with.
|VRAM||11GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||11GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5|
The RTX 2070 costs a rather eye-watering $499 (£469) as a minimum. In other words, the same price as the GTX 1080 was adjusted to once the GTX 1080 Ti launched.
Nvidia’s factory overclocked Founder’s Edition, once again, comes at a premium over the reference cards. The Founder’s Edition RTX 2070 costs $599 (£569).
The first few reviews are now live for Nvidia’s RTX 2070 and it looks like the RTX 2070 sits somewhere between the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti relative to the last generation of graphics cards from the green team. Across a wide range of titles and various first-hand accounts, the entry-level Turing GPU manages to lead the GTX 1080 by anything from a few percentage points all the way up to 20%.
There are a few titles, however, that the RTX 2070 performs notably worse. Specifically, Far Cry 5 looks to be a tough title for Nvidia’s latest, with stock-clocked RTX 2070 performance occasionally even falling behind the GTX 1080 by a small margin.
The entry-level Turing GPU manages to lead the GTX 1080 by anything from a few percentage points all the way up to 20%
Overall, however, the extra oomph in the Turing architecture – and a healthy dose of CUDA cores – amounts to a 7-10% average performance increase over the last gen GTX 1080. The factory overclocked cards, such as the Founders Edition, look to account for a few extra percentage points on average, too.
The RTX 2070 is reportedly around 20-30% off the pace of its bigger sibling, the RTX 2080. But, rather unsurprisingly, it does manage to easily walk all over the GTX 1070, offering performance increases anywhere between 20-40% of what the Pascal card can manage.
While this is a pretty impressive performance boost by generation, the price tag of the GTX 1080 has not only been met, but surpassed by the RTX 2070 Founders Edition at $599, so it’s not exactly a clear win for gamers in terms of raw performance.
If reference cards rocking stock clocks do make it out to the market at the base price of $499, however, the price difference won’t be quite so difficult to parse. Let’s hope third-party stock clocked reference cards aren’t hard to come by.
It’s a very different Nvidia launch than we’ve previously seen, with the ultra-enthusiast cards coming out at the very beginning of a generation. And maybe that’s because Nvidia doesn’t really see a lot of challenge in the high-end space, with the AMD Navi GPU generation only likely to try and compete at the mainstream level, and Intel around two years away from getting anything that will even function as a discrete graphics card.