Finding The Best GTX 1070 Ti
The GTX 1070 Ti is a newer card from Nvidia, serving as a middle ground between the GTX 1080 and the original GTX 1070. Boasting a whopping 83% performance increase over its last-gen counterpart, the GTX 970, the 1070 Ti is billed as a worthy successor to any 900 series card, and one of the leading members of the 1000 family.
Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the 1070 Ti and provide our top picks for the Best GTX 1070 Ti.
What’s the difference between the 1070 Ti and the 1070?
Honestly, from a performance standpoint, the 1070 Ti is a lot closer to the GTX 1080 than it is the 1070. This is reflected in the fact that the 1070 Ti boasts a whopping 2432 CUDA cores, compared to the 1070’s 1920 and the 1080’s 2560 count. Aside from hardline tech specs, you can also take a look at the benchmarks.
The GTX 1070 Ti boasts a considerable 17% overall performance advantage over the 1070, but only has a marginal 6% performance deficit versus the GTX 1080. When you take into consideration the fact these cards can often be priced up to $100 apart, that performance delta becomes significant.
Essentially, the 1070 Ti handily beats the 1070 and borders on the level of the 1080, if you’re willing to sacrifice that 6% of performance. If you’re considering a GTX 1080 but want to save a bit of money/don’t see yourself using it to its fullest extent, then a 1070 Ti may be exactly the graphics card for your needs.
Where does the GTX 1070 Ti excel?
The GTX 1070 Ti excels in the following scenarios:
- 1440p gaming. Gaming at 1440p in high-to-max settings should be more than possible with the GTX 1070 Ti. Only the latest, most poorly-optimized titles (looking at you, PUBG) should ever give you any performance issues.
- 144hz gaming. 144hz gaming is very possible, but you may need to stay at 1080p or turn down settings to maintain 144+ FPS. Not even a 1080 can reliably stay above 144 FPS in some games at 1440p/high settings.
- VR gaming. The 1070 Ti is much more powerful than the 1060 recommended spec for VR, so expect great performance in pretty much any VR game you play, even the higher end ones. You can also utilize SteamVR’s resolution scaling feature to render at higher resolutions and downscale to your headset, should you see fit.
- 4K gaming. The 1070 Ti should be roughly on par with the 1080 in 4K gaming, making it great for 4K games at medium-to-high settings. 4K is still a lot to ask for a modern GPU, though, so be sure to configure your settings carefully.
Is the GTX 1070 Ti overkill for my usage scenarios?
The 1070 Ti might be a little bit overkill if you’re only using it in the following scenarios:
- 1080p or lower resolution gaming. Buy a 1050 (Ti) or 1060 3GB. If all you’re doing is playing at 1080p, you seriously should not be running this graphics card, as you won’t notice any meaningful differences. A 144hz monitor may make this acceptable, but the 1070 may be the wiser choice here, depending on the performance demands of the games you’re playing.
- Retro gaming. Running emulators or playing old PC games? You don’t need this kind of hardware power, by any stretch fo the imagination. Unless you’re running a cutting-edge emulator like Cemu or RPCS3, we highly recommend that you stick with a lower-end card if you’re running an emulation machine.
- Weak CPU/budget build. Last but certainly not least, don’t match this card with anything less than a modern, high-end i5 or Ryzen 5 processor. Anything less will result in unpleasant bottlenecking: consider instead opting for a lower-end card or better balancing your CPU/GPU performance.
First up is our winner, provided you can afford it.
The Gigabyte GTX 1070 Ti from Gigabyte boasts a great factory overclock, a massive three-fan cooler and solid build quality. Gigabyte doesn’t always manage to take the crown in comparisons, but when they do it helps to remember that they’ve been in this game just as long as their competitors.
Retailing at $479.99, or $30 above MSRP, this is a costlier option…but it pays off in spades thanks to its high overclocking headroom and stellar out-of-box performance. There are a few cards on this list that may technically out-perform this one, but you’ll see why we didn’t give them the crown later.
The only real downside for this card worth noting is its size. This won’t easily fit in ITX builds or low-profile desktop PCs, so make sure that your system can handle it before you buy.
Next up is the reference design. The Founders Edition GTX 1070 Ti, straight from Nvidia. The biggest benefit of this card is its price, which will always remain at $449 MSRP. This makes it the cheapest way to attain this level of performance, and the quality of the card itself isn’t too bad.
While it’s unlikely to have the cooling performance of a double or triple-fan cooler, 1070 Ti uses the same cooler design as its 1080 big brother. This makes its Founders Edition much better at cooling itself than lower-end Founders Editions for the 1070 and downward.
While the cooling performance should be fair, it doesn’t have any factory overclocking to speak of. Honestly, it doesn’t really have any extra features to speak of at all. That’s why it’s a reference design.
Pretty much the only benefit this card has on others on this list is in price. If you need to save that money, get this. Otherwise, keep reading and take our other options into consideration.
Next up is our balanced 1070 Ti pick, EVGA’s Superclocked ACX 3.0 variant. EVGA’s 1070 Ti boasts a fair overclock, great build quality and good cooling.
EVGA is also one of the best manufacturers for Nvidia GPUs. This is thanks to their stellar customer service reputation, alongside their generally-strong build quality. If you ever have an issue with this graphics card, chances are you can trust EVGA to make it right with you, or better.
At its current price, this card serves as a great middle-ground card. Boasting a great factory overclock and strong overall build quality from EVGA, it should outperform a Founders Edition and be a better fit in most builds than, say, the AORUS at the #1 spot.
If you want a smaller GTX 1070 Ti, ZOTAC’s MINI variant is a great choice for you.
Unfortunately, here’s where we start running into a few downsides.
Firstly, the price. At the time of writing, this card costs $486.19, and that’s at a discount. That’s $30 over MSRP for no discernible performance benefit, and it isn’t even that small. While low profile variants of the 1060 and 1070 were generally-serviceable, the 1070 Ti’s is still quite large by those standards, likely due to the sheer power of the card.
Secondly, overclocking headroom. Regardless of how good this card is at cooling itself at factory settings, overclocking your card is going to generate much more heat than this little cooler is capable of. Since you aren’t using a full-sized GPU with a full-sized cooler, you simply aren’t going to be able to squeeze as much overclocking headroom out of this one.
Those downsides aside, the ZOTAC MINI GTX 1070 should still perform on par with the other cards at factory settings. Unless you really, really need a small card, though…we’d recommend going with one of our other picks.
This is…definitely the most niche card on this list.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, that’s an AIO water-cooling setup attached to this graphics card. If you haven’t seen anything like that before, congratulations: now you have. Such is the power of GPU manufacturers when they’re allowed to do anything they like.
Now, that’s not to say the water-cooling setup is a bad thing. Far from it, in fact! Due to being AIO and closed-loop, you really don’t need to do anything extra as far as maintenance goes, and this card is going to run nice and cool in all but the most stressful situations.
Because of the very strong water-cooling solution, this card should provide a near-silent gaming experience and a crazy amount of overclocking headroom. You might even manage to push into 1080 territory with the performance of this one- who knows?
But now it’s time to talk the downsides.
First of all, the price. This thing costs $599, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. For about $50 less, you could just buy a 1080 instead- at least, one at MSRP. Those are rarer at the moment if you aren’t buying straight from Nvidia.
Secondly, the space that you’ll need. The actual card’s dimensions seem to be about on-par with that of the Founders Edition, but there’s still a sizeable radiator that will need to be mounted somewhere else in your build- somewhere it can breathe. Many mid-tower cases likely won’t do the job for this card, so you may end up needing to buy a full tower case to house this beast, which can drive up costs significantly.
While you can technically squeeze the most performance out of this card, it doesn’t get our performance pick. It’s simply too large and too expensive to justify that. If the price and size aren’t a problem, though, we highly recommend it.