Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti review

The Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti stands tall among the rest of the Lovelace crowd, but it's still not the midrange graphics card the gaming PC scene needs

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: graphics card on stand with Wookiee plush in backdrop

Our Verdict

Nvidia's latest GeForce graphics card provides cheaper access to DLSS 3 bells and whistles, but it'll still set you back more than previous 70-class GPUs.

The Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti is a graphics card I never expected to actually see arrive this early. Yet, here it is, whirling away within my gaming PC, pumping out high frame rates at 4K with ultra settings enabled. Sounds great, right? Well, not quite, as while it packs a respectable next-gen punch for a lot less than the RTX 4080, price still prevents it from being the midrange GPU gladiator I want it to be.

Like a phoenix, the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti rises from the ashes of the RTX 4080 12GB – a launch day graphics card that was swiftly shelved following enthusiast backlash. Like its Lovelace siblings, the latest edition to the green team’s lineup wields a great big bag of GPU tricks, like DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, but comes in at a price point that’s usually occupied by premium cards.

For our Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review, we’ll be checking out a Gigabyte Eagle OC variant, as a Founder’s Edition model isn’t a thing this time around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as perks like a factory overclock will no doubt give the AD104 GPU an edge. However, extreme performance always comes at a price, and the 4070 Ti’s lower MSRP only applies to non-overclocked cards.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: graphics card next to RTX 4080 with plush Wookiee in the middle

Specs

On paper, the RTX 4070 Ti boasts the same specs as its cancelled counterpart. Armed with 7,680 CUDA cores, 60 RT cores, and 12GB GDDR6X VRAM, it sits nicely below the card featured in our Nvidia RTX 4080 review, but is designed to trade blows with previous Nvidia frontrunners.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Nvidia RTX 4080 FE Zotac Gaming RTX 3090 TI
GPU AD104 AD103 GA102
Cores  7,680 9,728  10,752
RT cores  60 76 84
Tensor cores  240 304  336
VRAM 12GB GDDR6X 16GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X
Memory bus 192-bit 256-bit  384-bit
Memory bandwidth 504.2GB/s 716.8GB/s 936.2GB/s
Base clock 2310MHz 2,205MHz 1,395MHz
Boost clock 2610MHz 2,505MHz 1,890MHz
TDP 285W 320W 450W
MSRP $799 USD / £799 GBP $1,199 USD / £1,269 GBP $999 USD / £1,090 GBP

Unlike the RTX 3090, the 4070 Ti isn’t a GPU glutton, as you’ll be able to satiate its 285W TDP with a 700W PSU. Picking up the best power supply with PCIe 5 support will help you ditch the card’s required dual 8-pin adapter, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to upgrade unless you absolutely have to.

Ignoring VRAM, The 4070 Ti specs place it in the same ring as both the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX, even if the latter gives the RTX 4080 a run for its money. Look, I know it’s weird pitting something with a 70-series badge against the red team’s top GPUs of the moment, but until Nvidia stops slapping silly model names on its RTX 4000 graphics cards, this is how it has to be.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: vertical graphics card on white surface with Wookiee plush in backdrop

Design

Someone ought to tell the RTX 4070 Ti to pick on someone its own size, as it’s much chonkier than its RTX 3000 predecessor. That sort of makes sense, especially since it’s not really a 70-class graphics card when you delve beneath the surface. Still, if you’re used to picking up mid-range graphics cards with a Ti oomph, you’ll be taken back by this Lovelace card’s stature and sheer girth. It’s slightly smaller than the RTX 4090 and 4080, but that’s hardly a boon when you consider the monstrous size of both.

Nvidia isn’t giving the RTX 4070 Ti the Founder’s Edition treatment this time around, so you’ll need to make do with custom models, like Eagle OC. Sadly, my hopes of an elegant Lovelace GPU have been dashed yet again, as Gigabyte’s custom shroud is unapologetically brutalist. Admittedly, it isn’t quite as ugly as the Asus TUF Gaming card featured in our RTX 4090 review, but it’s still just a bulky hunk of metal.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: graphics card on white surface with Wookiee plush in backdrop

Of course, all junk inside the RTX 4070 Ti’s trunk serves a purpose, and Gigabyte’s thicc shroud helps sap up a lot of heat. Its triple fan setup also contributes to frosty temps under load, but I can’t help but feel the arrangement is borderline overkill. Under load, the card barely creeps above 80 °C,  which leads me to believe the setup could have been slimline a little.

Like most custom graphics cards, Gigabyte’s RTX 4070 Ti bears an RGB logo – something that adds a much-needed sprinkling of colour. I still think Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition approach is a winner when it comes to lighting, but the Eagle OC’s illumination is subtle enough to please minimalists while somewhat appeasing light show lovers.

Performance

As always, the proof is in the performance pudding when it comes to best graphics card contenders, and the RTX 4070 Ti isn’t a runt within the Lovelace litter. Sure, its boots are firmly on the ground while it watches the RTX 4090 soar through the frame rate sky, but benchmarks suggest it hovers somewhere between the RTX 3090 and 4080.

In Hitman 3, the RTX 4070 Ti pulls of 94fps at 4K with settings cranked up to ultra, with ray tracing chopping things down to 30fps. Those figures imply that the 4070 Ti can almost boop the 4080 on the benchmark nose, edging ever so slightly ahead of the 3090 with RT settings enabled.

Total War: Warhammer 3 is one of the best strategy games around, but it also helps make graphics cards sweat during benchmarking. While the RTX 4080 can boost fps beyond that ever-lucrative 60fps threshold, the 4070 Ti falls short when handling 4K ultra settings with a 55fps average.

Cyberpunk 2077 is somewhat of a problematic poster child for the benefits of DLSS 3, but let’s first talk about raw performance in the RPG. The 4070 Ti can maintain an 80fps average, around 16% fewer frames than the 4080, and just misses the 60fps mark with ray tracing shenanigans turned on. Not too shabby considering the MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X produces similar results, but Nvidia’s newcomer still has a way of leaving Ampere in the dust.

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DLSS 3

Adding a sprinkle of Nvidia DLSS 3 pixie dust into the mix makes one hell of a difference, and we’ve already witnessed its potential with the RTX 4090 and 4080. Frame Generation helps elevate the 4070 Ti’s abilities in the same fashion, with the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 receiving a 30fps boost.

In F1 2022, Frame Generation ramps up ray tracing frame rates from 44 to 145fps – up from the 114 provided by just Nvidia DLSS on its lonesome. If you’d rather ditch that latter feature altogether, you could use FG on its own and come out swinging with frame rates over 60fps, all while avoiding typical AI upscaling caveats.

The 4070 Ti can churn out around 60fps in A Plague Tale: Requiem without DLSS 3, but taking full advantage of Nvidia’s graphical witchcraft almost doubles frame rates. Again, using just Frame Generation is an option, and you’ll still end up with over 80fps on your screen.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: GPU on circut board with mirrored GeForce backdrop

RTX 4070 Ti 8K performance

Can the RTX 4070 Ti run games at 8K? The answer is yes, but you’ll have to trade away tracing and grab onto DLSS with both hands. As before with my RTX 4080 benchmarks, I decided to use Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) to simulate an 8K monitor setup, and managed to avoid slideshows.

During testing, I was able to get Hitman 3 running at 8K 60fps with ultra settings enabled, which feels like an incredible feat. Naturally, this was only possible thanks to DLSS, as the same benchmark runs below 30fps without it. You could swap all options to low and add in ray tracing instead, but opting for lesser-quality assets probably isn’t your jam, particularly if you’re the type to buy the best gaming monitor of tomorrow.

Admittedly, 8K gameplay probably isn’t the RTX 4070 Ti’s fight, and I probably wouldn’t suggest actively using the RTX 4080 for that purpose either. Shiny new RTX 5000 graphics cards will likely arrive on the scene by the time the resolution becomes a standard, even if AMD is actively using it as a Radeon RX 7900 XTX selling point. Still, it’s fun to mess around, and you can technically play recent games on Nvidia’s latest card at acceptable frame rates.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti review: graphics card on white surface

Verdict

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to arm the best gaming PC with a Lovelace GPU, the RTX 4070 Ti is probably your best bet. It pains me to describe it as affordable, as it still costs more than I’m personally comfortable with. That said, it’s still $400 less than the RTX 4080 while performing the same DLSS tricks, albeit on a lower scale.

In a perfect world, the Nvidia RTX 4070 would already exist, boasting similar specs and a much lower price tag. That might still end up happening, especially if an AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT rolls up to the midrange scene. Nevertheless, it feels like Nvidia is still dancing away at the premium performance party, and the RTX 4070 Ti is the cheapest way to get in on the action.