Now that both Nvidia and AMD have made a beachhead on next-generation process technology with next-generation architectures throughout their product stacks, the fight for high-end graphics card supremacy seems ready to settle down into guerilla skirmishes. Witness the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti that Nvidia just launched. Although the chips aren’t quite as big and the stakes aren’t quite as high as they were among the Radeon R9 290X, the GeForce GTX 780, and the GeForce GTX 780 Ti during the 28-nm era, history echoes. AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 basically tied a hot-clocked GeForce GTX 1070 in our inital review of AMD’s latest, and had I tested those cards reference-for-reference, it’s quite likely the GTX 1070 would have fallen behind. For a company that’s on top of its GPU game like Nvidia is right now, that kind of rebeliousness won’t stand. Time to Ti it up.
As we discussed prior to today’s launch, Nvidia is taking one simple step to power up the GTX 1070 non-Ti: bring the world’s tiniest chainsaw to bear on one of the GP104 GPU’s 20 SMs while holding over the GTX 1070’s 8 GT/s GDDR5 memory subsystem. Nvidia clocks the GTX 1070 Ti at the same 1607 MHz base clock as the GTX 1080 Founders Edition, but it slightly throttled back this card’s boost clock to 1683 MHz, compared to 1733 MHz on the GTX 1080. (The green team’s GPU Boost 3.0 dynamic frequency mojo remains in effect, though, so that 50-MHz haircut is unlikely to matter much in practice.)
|RX 580||1257||1340||32||144||2304||256||256 GB/s||8 GB||185 W|
|GTX 1060 6GB||1506||1708||48||80||1152||192||192 GB/s||6 GB||120 W|
|GTX 1070||1506||1683||64||120||1920||256||256 GB/s||8 GB||150 W|
|RX Vega 56||1156||1471||64||224||3584||2048||410 GB/s||8 GB||210 W|
|GTX 1070 Ti||1607||1683||64||152||2432||256||256 GB/s||8 GB||180 W|
|RX Vega 64||1274||1546||64||256||4096||2048||484 GB/s||8 GB||295 W|
|GTX 1080||1607||1733||64||160||2560||256||320 GB/s||8 GB||180 W|
|GTX 1080 Ti||1480||1582||64||224||3584||352||484 GB/s||11 GB||250 W|
|Titan Xp||1405||1585||96||240||3840||384||547 GB/s||12 GB||250 W|
Going by Nvidia’s official numbers, this dial-a-yield strategy gives us the following theoretical peak measures of graphical throughput, going by the card’s official boost clock:
|Radeon RX 580||43||193/96||5.4||6.2|
|GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||82||137/137||3.4||4.4|
|GeForce GTX 1070||108||202/202||5||7|
|Radeon RX Vega 56||94||330/165||5.9||10.2|
|GeForce GTX 1070 Ti||108||256/256||6.7||8.2|
|Radeon RX Vega 64||99||396/198||6.2||12.7|
|GeForce GTX 1080||111||277/277||6.9||8.9|
|GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||139||354/354||9.5||11.3|
|Nvidia Titan Xp||152||380/380||9.5||11.3|
Since both the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 already enjoyed the full complement of 64 ROPs from the GP104 GPU, the GTX 1070 Ti doesn’t gain anything in raw pixel fill rate over its forebear. What it does get is 54 GTex/s more texturing horsepower, a lot more theoretical rasterization potential, and a teraflop and change more compute capacity, at least going by Nvidia’s stated boost clock. Those bolstered specs get us most of the way to a fully-enabled GTX 1080, and they should give the GTX 1070 Ti more than a fighting chance against the Radeon rebellion at its $450 suggested price.
In another tip-off to the fact that this card is closer to a GTX 1080 than not, Nvidia suited up the GTX 1070 Ti with the fancy heatsink and circuit board from the fully-enabled GP104 card. That move means a five-phase power-delivery subsystem feeds the GPU instead of a four-phase design, and a vapor-chamber heatsink sits atop the GPU instead of the copper-and-aluminum deal that cooled the GTX 1070 FE. If you’d like to know more, you can check out our dismantling of the GTX 1080 in our original review of that card.
A wide array of custom GTX 1070 Tis will be available today from Nvidia’s board partners with even fancier coolers on board, but the Founders Edition card no longer carries a premium compared to third-party options. If you only want to spend $450 on a GTX 1070 Ti, the Founders Edition will probably be nicer than similarly-priced partner cards. Its all-aluminum shroud and verdantly-illuminated GeForce logo remain just as classy as when they bore the GTX 1080 name, and the axial-blower design will push all of this card’s waste heat out of a case.
I could tire your eyes with more words about the GTX 1070 Ti, but GP104-powered graphics cards are a well-known quantity at this point. Let’s see whether this card’s performance is as straightforward as my spitballing would suggest.
Our testing methods
Most of the numbers you’ll see on the following pages were captured with OCAT, a software utility that uses data from the Event Timers for Windows API to tell us when critical events happen in the graphics pipeline. We run each test run at least three times and take the median of those runs where applicable to arrive at a final result.
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Our test systems were configured like so:
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7|
|Memory size||16GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||G.Skill Trident Z
|Memory timings||16-16-16-36 2T|
|Hard drive||Samsung 960 Pro 500GB
Kingston HyperX 480GB
2x Corsair Neutron XT 480GB
|Power supply||Seasonic Prime Platinum 1000W|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro with Fall Creators Update|
|Driver revision||GPU base
|Radeon RX 580||Radeon Software 17.10.3||—||1411||2000||8192|
|Radeon RX Vega 56||1156||1471||1600||8192|
|Radeon RX Vega 64||1274||1546||1890||8192|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC2||GeForce 388.13||1594||1784||2002||4096|
|GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition||1607||1733||2500||8192|
|GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition||1481||1582||2750||11264|
|GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition||1607||1683||2000||8192|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SC||1607||1835||2000||6144|
Thanks to Intel, Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, and Gigabyte for helping to outfit our test rigs with some of the finest hardware available. AMD, Nvidia, and EVGA supplied the graphics cards for testing, as well. Behold our fine Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 motherboard before it got buried beneath seven graphics cards and a CPU cooler:
Unless otherwise specified, image quality settings for the graphics cards were left at the control panel defaults. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests. We tested each graphics card at a resolution of 2560×1440 and 144 Hz, unless otherwise noted.
The tests and methods we employ are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.
Forza Motorsport 7
Let’s kick things off with a new addition to our test suite. Forza Motorsport 7 is the latest big-budget racer from Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios, and it offers gorgeous renderings of a variety of exotic auto fauna. Even better, the Xbox Play Anywhere-ready Forza uses the DirectX 12 API to do its thing, so it gives us a look at cutting-edge API performance. To that end, I cued up max settings at a 4K internal resolution.
Forza generally runs swiftly on our test subjects, though all of the GP104-powered cards in this bunch exhibit some minor hitching. Folks hoping for some console magic to transfer from the Xbox One to our Radeons are left wanting, though, as both RX Vega cards finish midpack (albeit in a tight field).
These “time spent beyond X” graphs are meant to show “badness,” those instances where animation may be less than fluid—or at least less than perfect. The formulas behind these graphs add up the amount of time our graphics card spends beyond certain frame-time thresholds, each with an important implication for gaming smoothness. Recall that our graphics-card tests all consist of one-minute test runs and that 1000 ms equals one second to fully appreciate this data.
The 50-ms threshold is the most notable one, since it corresponds to a 20-FPS average. We figure if you’re not rendering any faster than 20 FPS, even for a moment, then the user is likely to perceive a slowdown. 33 ms correlates to 30 FPS, or a 30-Hz refresh rate. Go lower than that with vsync on, and you’re into the bad voodoo of quantization slowdowns. 16.7 ms correlates to 60 FPS, that golden mark that we’d like to achieve (or surpass) for each and every frame For powerful graphics card like the GTX 1080 Ti, it’s useful to look at the 8.3 ms threshold. That corresponds to 120 FPS, the lower end of what we’d consider a high-refresh-rate monitor.
Thanks to one big hitch near the beginning of our test run, the GTX 1080 makes a brief appearance in our 50-ms and 33-ms baskets. Even so, the spikiness exhibited by GP104 cards doesn’t translate to more than a second spent past 16.7 ms for any of this bunch. The RX 580, on the other hand, runs into enough trouble to spend eight seconds of our one-minute test run working on tough frames that drop its instananeous frame rate below 60 FPS. We have to click over to the 8.3 ms mark to really tease out any differences between our high-end contenders. There, the GTX 1070 Ti narrowly leads the RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56, while the GTX 1080 turns in the best performance of anything save its GP102-powered cousin.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Here’s another game that’s hot off the presses. Wolfenstein II uses the Vulkan API as its sole rendering path, and it boasts support for RX Vega cards’ Rapid Packed Math instructions, so it promises to be a showcase for the capabilities of AMD’s latest. I used the “Mein Lieben!” preset across all of the cards and left async compute enabled wherever it was available. The only AMD-specific tweak I had to make was to turn on GPU culling on Radeons. GeForces apparently run better with that feature off (as is its default), so I followed the game’s guidance and left it that way for the green team’s cards.
(Ignore that 1920×1080 resolution; I had to use it to get this screenshot)
Although it’s not really a surprise given the amount of Radeon-friendly tech baked in, Wolfenstein proves a big win for the red team’s cards across the board. The RX Vega duo beats out the GTX 1070 Ti and the GTX 1080. Going from 56 to 64 compute units has basically no effect on performance for AMD’s latest, though.
The high-end graphics cards in this bunch spend no perceptible time past 16.7 ms at all. Flip over to the 8.3 ms mark, and it’s clear how the RX Vega cards earn their victories. Both Vegas spend about five fewer seconds under an instantaneous 120 FPS over the course of our test run compared to the GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080. None of these cards are providing unsatisfying gameplay experiences, to be clear, but the Vegas are simply in a class of their own. The GTX 1080 Ti is the stopper here, though.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is another DirectX 12 title that’s become a staple for modern GPU testing. Thanks to the guiding hand of Microsoft and The Coalition, this title offers an GPU-vendor-neutral DirectX 12 environment from which to draw performance results. To judge its performance, I took a one-minute stroll through a convenient section of “The Raid” at the beginning of the game. I used the Ultra preset at 2560×1440 to make our cards sweat.
For all our talk of next-gen APIs, Gears of War 4 generally likes GeForces best. That remains the case today. The GTX 1070 Ti handily outperforms the RX Vega 56 and shadows the RX Vega 64 in both performance potential (as measured by average FPS) and in delivered smoothness (as measured by 99th-percentile frame times). Perhaps thanks to its faster memory subsystem, however, the GTX 1080 still holds a decent lead over the GTX 1070 Ti here.
As is becoming a trend for this article, it’s most informative to start our analysis of these high-end graphics cards at the 8.3-ms mark in our time-spent-beyond-X data. The GTX 1070 Ti spends five fewer seconds of our one-minute test run chewing on tough frames that drop its instantaneous rate of delivery below 120 FPS compared to the RX Vega 56, and it only trails the RX Vega 64 by a little under two seconds of accumulated time. The GTX 1080 cuts almost another three seconds off the RX Vega 64’s result here to claim its overall superiority, though.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided remains one of the more geometry- and lighting-rich games out there. I fired it up with a blend of very high and ultra settings to see how these cards handle it.
DXMD puts the GTX 1070 Ti neck-and-neck with the RX Vega 56 in our average-FPS measure of performance potential, and the RX Vega 64 just noses out the GTX 1080. Our 99th-percentile frame-time metric shows that the GTX 1070 Ti still has a slight edge in smoothness versus the RX Vega 56, though. Really, you’d be hard-pressed to take issue with any of our high-end contenders’ frame rates or smoothness in this title. These are minor differences, pound-for-pound.
Diving deeper into our test data, the RX Vega 56 and GTX 1070 Ti land within a third of a second of time spent past 16.7 ms, and an even slimmer (and even more imperceptible) margin separates the RX Vega 64 and GTX 1080. Flip over to the 8.3-ms threshold, and the GTX 1070 Ti and RX Vega 56 come out dead even. The RX Vega 64 spends about a second and a half less time working on tough frames past this threshold compared to the GTX 1080. Still, fine performances for our high-end graphics cards all around, as exhibited by the generally flat and uniform percentile curves in the graph above.
Hitman‘s DirectX 12 renderer can stress every part of a system, so we cranked the game’s graphics settings at 2560×1440 and got to testing.
Hitman is another title that tends to showcase the virtues of Radeons, though comparable Nvidia cards remain in the mix at every head-to-head comparison we can make in this bunch. The RX Vega 56 and the GTX 1070 Ti finish in a dead heat in both performance potential and delivered smoothness, while the RX Vega 64 ekes out a slight edge over the GTX 1080. Given the gap in performance between the GTX 1070 Ti and the GTX 1080 in Hitman, I have to wonder whether this is another title that benefits from the full-fat card’s GDDR5X memory subsystem.
As we should expect by now, the GTX 1070’s relatively high 99th-percentile frame time is tempered by the fact that it spends barely a fifth of a second past 16.7 ms on tough frames in our one-minute run. Clicking over to the 8.3-ms mark reveals a virtual dead heat for the GTX 1070 Ti and RX Vega 56, while the RX Vega 64 spends a whole three seconds less time past 8.3 ms than the GTX 1080 does. That’s a nice little boost from our initial testing, where the Vega 64 and GTX 1080 were dead-even.
Watch Dogs 2
WD2‘s DirectX 12 renderer can stress every part of a system, so we cranked the game’s graphics settings at 1920×1080 and got to testing.
In a change of pace, the geometry-rich environments of Watch Dogs 2 tend to favor GeForce cards, though AMD’s recent driver updates have closed the large performance gaps that plagued the RX Vega duo in our initial review somewhat. Still, the green team has the advantage in Watch Dogs 2‘s San Francisco, and the GTX 1070 Ti lands about dead-even with the RX Vega 64. The plain old GTX 1070 slightly outperforms the RX Vega 56, as well.
At the time-spent-beyond-16.7-ms mark, Nvidia’s advantage is most in evidence in the case of the RX Vega 56 and the GTX 1070. The Vega 56 spends twice as much time past this mark as the GTX 1070 does. Unfortunately, the time-spent-beyond-8.3-ms bucket is too aggressive a threshold for this title, so we end up showing that all of the cards save the GTX 1080 Ti are winded pretty hard. No biggie, though: just make an 11.1-ms chart to correspond to time spent past 90 FPS. Using this one-shot chart, we see that the RX Vega 64 and GTX 1070 Ti are dead-even, while the GTX 1080 spends almost three seconds less time past the mark compared to its ostensible competitor. The RX Vega 56 spends almost five seconds more of our one-minute run behind the GTX 1070 Ti here, even if the match is pretty close between the Vega 56 and the GTX 1070. Hopefully AMD’s driver team can find yet more performance from the Vega duo in future updates.
Rise of the Tomb Raider (DirectX 12)
Rise of the Tomb Raider remains a gorgeous game today, and its DirectX 12 renderer means it remains useful for assessing our graphics cards’ performance, too.
Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s DX12 mode produces some nice, clean head-to-heads for every pair of competitors in this bunch. Both the RX Vega 56 and GTX 1070 Ti end up in a dead heat in our average-FPS measure of performance potential, and the RX Vega 64 and GTX 1080 tie, as well. Our 99th-percentile frame-time metric gives a slight edge to the GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080 in delivered smoothness, though.
Our time-spent-beyond-X charts confirm this basic impression. Although it does hold a slight edge on the RX Vega 64, both the Radeon and the GTX 1080 spend less than a second of our one-minute run on tough frames that drop the instantaneous frame rate under 60 FPS. Although it’s not quite on the same level as those cards, the GTX 1070 Ti spends about a second less past 16.7 ms than the RX Vega 56 does. Overall, this is an exceptionally close match-up, and both Radeons and GeForces deliver smooth gameplay in this title with little fuss.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V tends not to play well with RX Vega cards, and even AMD’s most recent driver update doesn’t much change that picture. In fact, both Vega are dead-even, suggesting some kind of bottleneck somewhere is limiting performance for both these cards. Weird. In any case, the GTX 1070 Ti speeds well past the AMD competition, but once again, the superior memory bandwidth of the GTX 1080 seems to give it an edge.
Our frame-time plots show low, smooth curves, so it’s no shock that none of our high-end contenders post meaningful time past 16.7 ms in this analysis. Flip over to the 8.3-ms mark, however, and the GTX 1070 Ti shows just how much further ahead of the Vega cards it can run. It spends just about half the time the RX Vegas do past 8.3 ms, and that simply translates to a smoother and more consistent experience overall. Hopefully AMD’s driver team can break whatever bottleneck seems to be choking Vega performance in this title.
For our second-to-last round of performance tests, it’s time to go to Hell. Doom‘s Vulkan renderer is one of the fastest-running FPS experiences available, and we’ll put it to good use here to tease out the performance of our high-end contenders.
Although I wouldn’t have expected as much given RX Vega cards’ already-high performance in Doom, it seems that AMD found even more oomph in reserve somewhere. The RX Vega 64 runs 16 FPS faster on average than it did at launch, and the RX Vega 56 enjoys a smaller 8-FPS gain on average, as well. That’s enough for the RX Vega 56 to handily outpace the GTX 1070 Ti, while the RX Vega 64 rockets past the GTX 1080. Our 99th-percentile measure of delivered smoothness favors the Radeon cards, as well.
Only the GTX 1060 6GB even begins to register any perceptible time spent past 16.7 ms in Doom. Click over to the 8.3-ms and 6.94-ms marks, though, and it becomes clear just how scaldingly fast the Radeon RX Vega duo is compared to the Pascal competition in this title.
The Witcher 3
I hadn’t initially planned to test The Witcher 3 given the wealth of fresh titles available to me for benching, but the performance boosts I observed in some games with the Radeon RX Vega duo led me to fire it up. As usual, we’re using ultra settings at 2560×1440 with Nvidia’s HairWorks turned off.
Unfortunately, The Witcher 3 doesn’t seem to have been an optimization target in AMD’s most recent rounds of drivers. The game’s performance on Vega cards is about the same as it was at launch, so the GTX 1070 Ti butts heads with the RX Vega 56. The Radeon manages a slight edge in delivered smoothness, however. Meanwhile, the GTX 1080 delivers a smoother and more fluid experience than the RX Vega 64.
Like we did for Watch Dogs 2, it’s helpful to add an 11.1-ms graph to our time-spent-beyond-X mix in order to tease out performance differences between these cards. Joke’s on us, though, because even with this graph, the GTX 1070 Ti and the RX Vega 56 end up about dead-even. These graphs do emphasize just how slight the difference in performance between the Vega 56 and GTX 1070 Ti is, though. The really interesting result is that the RX Vega 64 spends twice as long past 11.1 ms as the GTX 1080 does. Given the tight race between the Vega 56 and GTX 1070 Ti, I expected better from the Vega 64. With luck, this could be another polish job for AMD’s driver team.
System power consumption
To test system power consumption, I stood in the entry hall of the chateau in Hitman‘s Paris level.
Under this load, the GTX 1070 Ti only needs moderately more power to run than the custom EVGA GTX 1070 we tapped to represent that card, and it uses a whopping 70W less than the RX Vega 56. Meanwhile, the RX Vega 64 still requires 148W more power than the GTX 1080 to offer roughly equivalent performance. Let’s see how those extra watts translate into dBAs on my noise meter.
At idle, AMD’s blower cooler and the semi-passive coolers on everything but the three Founders Edition cards are indistinguishable from the noise floor in my testing environment. The GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti all spin their fans at idle, but their noise levels are still hardly noticeable.
Load noise levels put the Founders Edition trio solidly in the middle of this grouping. Surprisingly, the GTX 1080 Ti FE doesn’t get all that much louder than the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Ti FEs despite being asked to dissipate about 100W more heat. Despite its relatively high noise levels compared to the large dual-fan custom cards on the GTX 1070 and RX 580 I tested, the Founders Edition cooler is hardly unpleasant to listen to as blowers go. The noise it produces is a moderately high-pitched but broad-spectrum hiss.
Meanwhile, AMD’s RX Vega blower cooler lands at the back of the pack in absolute noise levels. Like the Founders Edition blower, though, the RX Vegas’ axial fan is a high-quality one, and it produces a fairly broad-spectrum noise. I was honestly surprised that both cards registered as high as they did on my sound meter. Still, there’s no denying that the RX Vega 56 will be slightly louder than even the Founders Edition cards in use, and the RX Vega 64 will unquestionably make itself known without a closed and well-damped case.
It feels like it’s been much longer, but Nvidia’s Pascal architecture has been with us for just about a year and a half. In that time, Pascal has been implemented in everything from tiny chips for thin-and-light notebooks to 250W, bar-raising beasts and everything in between. Nvidia really has nothing left to prove for this generation of GPUs; the breadth and success of its execution with the Pascal architecture may be the best of any chipmaker’s in recent memory.
The GTX 1070 Ti is an excellent victory lap. It usually holds a lead over the RX Vega 56 in our tests, and it even kicks sand in the RX Vega 64’s face from time to time. It comes within 10% of a GTX 1080 Founders Edition in our average-FPS measure of performance potential for 10% less money, at least going by suggested prices. The GTX 1070 Ti’s 99th-percentile frame-time gap versus the GTX 1080 is even smaller—just 7% or so. I’m all in favor of linear or better-than-linear price-to-performance improvements like that. Although I didn’t have time to try it, overclocking the GTX 1070 Ti could close the gap even further (and yes, you can do it).
Despite its best efforts, the GTX 1070 Ti doesn’t completely shut out the RX Vega 56. AMD’s recent driver updates for its Vega duo have delivered a solid performance boost over those cards’ launch numbers. There’s work yet to be done, but in both performance potential and in delivered smoothness, the RX Vega 56 is now superior to a hot-clocked GTX 1070. It only trails the GTX 1070 Ti by about 3% in our average-FPS index, too. That same polish has helped the RX Vega 64 close the smoothness gap that troubled it at launch, and it now delivers performance potential within 4% of the GTX 1080’s. The Vega 64’s 99th-percentile frame times are now about 4% behind those of the GTX 1080’s, as well. That’s a much-needed step forward for the red team, even if it doesn’t cure the full-fat Vega’s eyebrow-raising power draw and noise output.
Given today’s e-tail pricing trends, Nvidia may have sliced the high-end graphics-card pie just a bit too thin at $449 and up for a GTX 1070 Ti. Custom GTX 1080s have been readily available on sale for around $500 in recent months, and partner GTX 1070 Ti cards have a median price of $470 at the moment on Newegg. Depending on the way the discount winds blow this holiday season, GTX 1070 buyers may find it sensible to make the step up to the fully-fledged GP104 card. If those same zephyrs go the other way, though, the GTX 1070 Ti could get affordable enough to be a no-brainer.
Retailers might get itchy trigger fingers on those coupon codes regardless, because the GTX 1070 Ti makes uber-fancy custom GTX 1080s seem like a hard sell. Going by that same median-price metric, the midpoint for custom GTX 1080s is $560 on Newegg right now. Paying 20% more money for roughly 10% higher performance potential doesn’t seem ideal. All that is to say nothing of higher-end custom GTX 1070s, whose collective reason for being now seems perilous outside of cryptocurrency prospectors. A flurry of price adjustments seems likely, in any case.
If AMD can keep burnishing the 99th-percentile frame times of its star players, an RX Vega 56 for $400 seems poised to become an excellent value in entry-level high-end graphics cards in its own right. At least two RX Vega 56 cards are now available for that $400 suggested price as I write, and some Vega 64 cards are available at or near their $500 suggested price now. If Vega prices continue to fall, that means another stumbling block for AMD’s high-end Radeons is crumbling.
Back in Nvidia’s corner, the GTX 1070 Ti continues to embody everything that we enjoy about Pascal cards. It brings most of a GTX 1080 to a lower price point, and its power efficiency, quiet manners, and delivered smoothness remain enviable. Hard to argue with any of that. Much as I hate to crack this old reviewer’s chestnut, though, the newly-vital RX Vega 56 makes calling the race between these two cards excrutiatingly hard.
Buyers will need to weigh the GTX 1070 Ti’s energy efficiency, wide range of custom-cooled options, and overclocking potential against the Vega 56’s appealing FreeSync support and potentially lower price. I suspect most builders are well aware of the tradeoffs between AMD and Nvidia’s offerings by now. Follow your heart. If the RX Vega 56’s sudden fondness for its suggested price at e-tail goes away, though, the GTX 1070 Ti will stand unchallenged as the finest $450 graphics card around. For the moment, though, the freshly-competitive high-end graphics-card market means that builders really can’t lose either way.