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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti review: the Digital Foundry verdict

A meagre upgrade over the RTX 3070.

Despite the potential to fall neatly between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 in terms of price and performance, the 3070 Ti doesn't hit the target and actually serves to emphasise how good its stablemates are. At its $600 recommended retail price, you're not getting a performance increase over the 3070 that justifies its 20 percent higher price. Even at 4K, where differences in graphics horsepower are maximised, you're still getting only four to 10 percent extra performance - with diminishing returns at 1080p and 1440p, where the power of your CPU also has an influence on results.

Clearly Nvidia has done all they can here to get the most out of the GA104 chip - using the fully-enabled design, grafting on faster GDDR6X memory, boosting core clocks and shunting about a third more power to it - but even with all these things combined, the Ti doesn't have enough raw compute power to offer meaningful differentiation against the vanilla 3070. Indeed, the 3070 Ti only really serves to make the 3070 look better, given how much that cheaper card accomplishes while drawing much less power and without fancy GDDR6X memory.

There was perhaps an opportunity here to offer something more special by doubling the VRAM allocation, giving the 3070 Ti a more future-proof design that might appeal to some GPU buyers, but for whatever reason Nvidia has opted against this for now - most likely due to cost constraints. Perhaps we'll see an RTX 3070 Super or similar in the fullness of time to fulfil this niche, but for now it remains unoccupied.

As well as being unconvincing against Nvidia's earlier RTX offerings, the 3070 Ti also doesn't make a particularly strong case against AMD's closest card, the $580 RX 6800. With the Radeon GPU notionally $20 cheaper (again, assuming MSRPs had any bearing on reality), there was potential for Nvidia to deliver a card that offered a big RT performance advantage, a more mature upscaling feature and better encoding performance at a very reasonable premium. That's only somewhat borne out with our testing, with the RX 6800 as often as not holding a decent lead over the 3070 Ti and only really losing out badly in RT titles. Plus, that card has double the amount of VRAM, 16GB, which may make it more appealing as a long-term investment for some buyers if the two GPUs are offered at similar prices.

So after a series of competitive Ampere releases, we've now had two on the trot that have unfortunately fallen short of expectations - the 3080 Ti for its higher-than-expected RRP, despite RTX 3090 levels of performance, and the RTX 3070 Ti, which simply isn't fast enough for the price premium it commands and doesn't have any other redeeming features.

As an RTX 3070 replacement that slots in at the same price point, perhaps in a year's time, the 3070 Ti would have been great - a nice performance bump without any downsides apart from increased power draw. As it stands though, we can't recommend the 3070 Ti while the 3060 Ti, 3070 and 3080 all offer considerably better value.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti analysis

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry  |  digitalfoundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

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