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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Overclocking Review

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Overclocked Testing:

Temperature Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920 x 1080 using 8x AA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.

 

Settings

  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920 x 1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Power Consumption:

Power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and loaded states, taking into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine Heaven Benchmark version 4.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A fifteen-minute load test will be used to heat up the GPU, with the highest power usage recorded as the final result. The idle results will be measured after fifteen minutes of inactivity on the system with the lowest recorded power usage as the final result.

Settings

  • Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark
  • 1920x1080 resolution
  • 8x AA
  • 15-minute load test
  • 15-minute idle test
  • Measurement is in watts

 

 

 
 

 

The cooling results again show that NVIDIA has installed a cooling solution that easily handles the thermals on the GTX 1070 Founders Edition. The three heat pipe-based cooler does well enough that the delivered temperatures when the fan speeds are maxed out is only two degrees warmer than MSI's righteous Twin Frozr V cooler, albeit a bit noisier in the sound department. This is a significant achievement with a blower-style cooler. The other upside is that the blower-style cooling solution used on NVIDIA's top tier Pascal architecture cards directs the thermal load outside the chassis, reducing any heat build up in the chassis. You can point to this as a win, but with the way chassis are built for clear directed airflow, the larger coolers have a place in the ecosystem.

Noise levels are quite impressive on the GTX 1070 Founders Edition card using the old ears. Much like the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 does ramp up fairly quickly when under load with a noise commitment that is much like that of the GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti. Cranking up the fan speeds when overclocked does bring a higher noise commitment to the equation, but you get the benefit of significantly improved cooling. Ultimately, 57 °C is not a bad number as lower temperatures equal higher core clock speeds on the GTX 1070.

One of the key targets for NVIDIA over the past few generations has been to reduce the power consumption of its architecture, especially after taking a lot of heat (figurativley) on the Fermi launch for both the power and thermal results. With each successive generation, the power consumption curves keep getting better. Now serving up Pascal to the user base, NVIDIA has delivered solid gains in power efficiency. Looking at a direct comparison between the GTX 970 and GTX 1070, the power consumption reported with the GTX 1070 is the hands down winner. At stock speeds, the margin is just 18 watts under load. When overclocked, the GTX 1070 shows a massive 44 watt improvement over the GTX 970. Pretty impressive, to say the least.

Final Thoughts:

Having worked through a pair of Pascal-based video cards, it's clear that NVISIA has overclocking on lockdown. No longer do you have to hunt and peck to hope you get a solid overclock. You get added flexibility that allows for enhanced overclocking. You can get where you want to go with a combination of manual tuning and using EVGA's Precision tool. It gives you, the end user, the best of both worlds. Use the OC Scanner tool to find the best performance/voltage curve that works with your card's OC tolerances or tune the old fashioned way. Old fashioned being a relative term. We are still working with an Alpha release of EVGA's Precision XOC tool that should have the kinks worked out shortly, but at this point does seem to work well enough to tune the card.

The best possible core clock speed/memory speed I was able to wring from this GPU was a solid 2050MHz to 2063MHz under load at the maximum reported temperatures. If I could keep the core temperature another 10 °C cooler, the card will run at 2126MHz all day long. Overclocking would not be used if it did not have an added benefit. With stock speeds on the GTX 1070 Founders Edition offering GTX Titan X performance for a fraction of the cost, you can do even better than Titan X performance in many games. Overclocking the GTX Titan X does even up the field, but it's amazing that for a potential AIB card price of $379, you cannot go wrong.

Launching June 10, the GTX 1070 Founders Edition will be available for $449. Much like the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 has got style, runs cool and quiet, and is tough to beat at the current pricing.




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