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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 benchmarks: a well-balanced card for 1440p gaming

And good for high refresh rate monitors too.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is a popular upper mid-range graphics card, around 35 per cent faster than the number-one GTX 1060 but about 20 per cent slower than the enthusiast GTX 1080. Despite its status in the Nvidia stack, the 1070 somewhat incredibly outperforms the previous-gen Titan X Maxwell and GTX 980 Ti, demonstrating just how much of a leap in GPU power that Nvidia's 10-series cards represent.

Since the release of the faster RTX 2060 at a similar price, the GTX 1070 becomes a less obvious choice - but it's still worth considering if you can find it at the right price, particularly on the used market.

The GTX 1070 is best suited for gamers that want to exceed the usual 1080p60 standard, whether that's by raising resolution (to 1440p) or refresh rate (to 144Hz). The GTX 1070 can also be a good choice for other scenarios that require just a little bit of extra graphical grunt, such as VR gaming or monitors with an ultra-wide resolution. This card is overkill for pure 1080p60 gaming in most games, but the most demanding - or simply poorly optimised - titles at maximum settings may still require this level of horsepower.

Which GPUs are worth buying? We've made our picks for the best graphics cards available, updated with the latest graphics cards as they're released. As well as an overall performance champ, we name the best value graphics card and best cheap graphics card to guide your next upgrade.

Different people will have different ideas about what represents a playable or ideal frame-rate, so the best option is just to show you exactly what level of performance you can expect from the GTX 1070 to see if it will meet your needs. That's why you'll find comprehensive benchmark results for nine different games below, showing how the card performs against its closest rivals when paired with a suitable processor with high, very high or ultra settings selected.

This time, we're looking at four competing cards. That includes two from Nvidia - the GTX 1070 Ti and RTX 2060 - and two from AMD, the Vega 56 and Vega 64. We'll also examine the card's performance against a wider range of Nvidia cards, showing you exactly how much progress has been made from from generation to generation, and how the 1070 sits in the last-gen Pascal stack.

The Founders Edition of the GTX 1070 is tested here, but third party coolers facilitate factory overclocked editions that can add a few per cent to our scores.
GPU cores Boost clock TFLOPS Memory Memory Bandwidth
GTX 1070 1920 1683MHz 6.4 8GB 192GB/s
GTX 1070 Ti 2432 1683MHz 8.9 8GB 256GB/s
RTX 2060 1920 1680MHz 6.5 6GB 336GB/s
Vega 56 3584 1471MHz 10.5 8GB 410GB/s
Vega 64 4096 1546MHz 12.7 8GB 484GB/s

Unless you're viewing this page on a mobile device, each benchmark can be played through in real-time, allowing you to see how the GTX 1070 and the other cards handle the scene as it unfolds. Start the video, then use the controls to the right to add or remove cards until you've got the ones you're most interested in. You can also opt to see just results from 1440p or 4K. Below the live results, there is a static chart showing the average results from the entire benchmark for each of the cards listed. Click on the bar chart to swap between fps measurements and relative performance metrics, expressed as percentages.

If you want to get more information on the system and how it was developed, you can learn about how the Digital Foundry benchmarking system works right here. For now, let's get into the benchmark results themselves.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

The 2018 release of Assassin's Creed, Odyssey, provides a stern test for old and modern PC hardware alike. It's not surprising that none of the cards we're testing manages to average over 60fps at 1080p, with the GTX 1070, Vega 56 and Vega 64 all in the same ballpark of 50fps. The new later GeForce cards, the GTX 1070 Ti and RTX 2060, turn in results just a few frames shy of our 60fps target. The GTX 1070 falls behind its AMD competition as resolution increases; approximately 10 per cent behind at 1440p and 12 per cent behind at 4K.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA

Assassin's Creed Unity

Our second test for the GTX 1070 is Assassin's Creed Unity, a vintage 2014 game that we employ as one example of legacy title benchmarking. The French Revolution was a challenging time in many ways, and so too is this particular benchmark which stress-tests both compute power and VRAM allocation. The GTX 1070 manages to hit 60 frames per second at 1440p during most of the benchmark, but some dips move the average down to around 53fps. That's about 15 per cent behind the GTX 1070 Ti and the RTX 2060. Meanwhile in AMD land, the Vega 56 turns in a near identical average result as the GTX 1070, but with much greater variation - it seems that AMD's graphics cards really don't like the depth of field effect employed in this test scene.

Assassin's Creed Unity: Ultra High, FXAA

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 remains a favourite, thanks to its frantic implementation of Great War combat precisely one century after the fact. This 2016 title doesn't come with a built-in benchmark, so we're using a section of the game's single-player campaign for testing purposes. That means you can ignore the frame-time spikes, which come due to randomised close-range explosions during the level. The 1070 is able to handle 1440p well here, just 12 per cent behind the GTX 1070 Ti, but AMD's Vega cards are the overall winners at nearer 100fps. When it comes to 4K, only the Vega 64 is able to eclipse our standard of 60fps average.

Battlefield 1: Ultra, TAA

Crysis 3

But can it run Crysis 3? In the case of the GTX 1070, the answer is a resounding yes! Our train-bound benchmark from the 2013 game shows a comfortable 68 frames per second at 1440p, dropping to a cinematic 32.7 frames per second at 4K. That 1440p result is a healthy 27 per cent faster than the GTX 1060, but 12 per cent behind the GTX 1070 Ti and 10 per cent behind the RTX 2060. Meanwhile, the Vega 56 is near level with the GTX 1070 at all three resolutions.

Crysis 3: very high, SMAA T2X

Far Cry 5

2018 release Far Cry 5 is one of the most calming game benchmarks in our suite, thanks to a tranquil lake scene and chill soundtrack only occasionally interrupted by gunfire. All five cards are outstanding at 1080p, with all but the GTX 1070 above 100 frames per second average, so let's look at the 1440p results. The GTX 1070 manages a solid 68fps on average here, which is only 13 per cent behind the GTX 1070 Ti and 15 per cent behind the RTX 2060. It's also possible to play at 4K if you're willing to accept a console-style 30fps average or turn down some detail settings.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon Wildlands is the most demanding test in our benchmarks to date, particularly at the ultra preset and higher resolutions we're looking at here. At 1440p, the GTX 1070 sits 11 per cent behind the GTX 1070 Ti, but only seven per cent behind the Vega 56. Ghost Recon Wildlands will be playable at the 40 frames per second we're getting, but it might be an idea to use a G-Sync display to ensure it is smooth too. Meanwhile, the 24fps average at 4K isn't advised; we'd recommend choosing a more reasonable preset like high instead of the ultra we're using here.

Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ultra, TAA

Rise of the Tomb Raider

2016's Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (tested here under DX12 rather than DX11) contains three scenes: a snowy mountain pass, a mystical tomb and a verdant forest. The GTX 1070 scrapes 73 frames per second on average across the test at 1440p, with the GTX 1070 Ti boasting a 16 per cent better result and the Vega 56 ahead by 12 per cent. The game is even somewhat playable at 4K, though the benchmark flatters to deceive - careful settings tweaks should still keep you above 30fps, however.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Very High, SMAA

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

In the more recent 2018 Tomb Raider title, the GTX 1070 is somewhat outclassed by its AMD competition. The Vega 56 manages a 12 per cent lead at 1080p over the GTX 1070, rising to 14 and then 17 per cent at 1440p and 4K. However, it's the Vega 64 that leads the pack with nearly a 10 percent lead over its little brother.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Highest, TAA

The Witcher 3

2015's multiple game of the year winner, The Witcher 3, is our final standard benchmark test. The GTX 1070 comfortably handles 1440p here at 69 frames per second on average, dropping to 37 frames per second at 4K. The GTX 1070 Ti carves out a 12 per cent lead over the GTX 1070 at this resolution, while the Vega 64 manages a 14 per cent lead.

The Witcher 3: Ultra, POST-AA, No Hairworks

Cross-generational comparison

In this special cross-generational match-up, we'll use Assassin's Creed Unity to show how the GTX 1070 compares to older Nvidia cards, all the way back to the GTX 700 series. Use the Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal buttons to see just how the Nvidia cards of the same generation compared to one another, or you can keep things as they are to see the generational leap. The jump offered by Pascal is pretty big, right?

Assassin's Creed Unity: 1080p, Ultra High, FXAA

Generational comparison

Finally, we'll look at how the GTX 1070 compares to other cards in the Nvidia 10-series lineup. The gap between the cards tends to expand with higher resolutions. We're using 1080p here as it's the most popular display type in use right now.

Assassin's Creed Unity: 1080p, Ultra High, FXAA

OK, that brings our benchmarks to a close! For more on the GTX 1070 and other strong video cards, why not read the Digital Foundry GTX 1070 review?

Now that you've seen the benchmarks for one card, why not check out see which PC hardware we recommend to our friends and family? Here are the DF picks for the overall best graphics cards and for the best gaming monitors on the market.

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