The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Review

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Overclocking Results

Overclocking is an inexact science with plenty of wrinkles, good apples and bad apples. After the GTX 1080 Founders Edition burst through the 2100MHz barrier there were some high expectations for the GTX 1070, particularly when you consider all of the extra effort that has gone into making software-based OC solutionsas enthusiast friendly as possible. Unfortunately our sample highlighted why you just can’t put your hopes behind achieving the same overclocks you see in all reviews.

In short fits and spurts (3DMark, Unigine Heaven in Windowed mode, etc.) the GTX 1070 Founders Edition was easily able to hit just over 2150MHz. That’s spectacular but absolutely pointless since gamers don’t just jump into a game for a few minutes and then bail out; they stick around for –at times- hours on end. That means any overclock I try to achieve has to be completely 24/7 stable or I’d be doing an injustice to our readers by pimping excessive overclocks that would be unachievable in the games they play. Herein lies the problem for this particular GTX 1070.

After struggling mightily for hours on end (yes, I really did think there was more in the tank) I finally settled upon final clock speeds of 2025MHz (constant) on the core and memory running at 4657MHz (9314MHz effective). Percentage-wise this is a notable achievement but still well short of the GTX 1080. In addition, the relatively anemic 12% power limit overhead wasn’t the capping factor either. Rather NVIDIA’s handy PerfCap Reason laid the blame solely upon the voltage limiter’s shoulders, meaning there was still some space before power or thermals stepped in to the equation.

Speaking of thermals, throughout testing and even overclocking this particular GTX 1070 seemed to be running excessively cool which is a good thing for long term performance consistency. However, if history is any indication receiving a “cooler” core in the overclocking lottery certainly isn’t a win; higher thermal output typically leads to a bit better headroom. One thing is certain: it will be interesting to see what board partners’ wares can accomplish.

Performance even with this comparatively low overclock is very, very good with the GTX 1070 moving a bit closer to the GTX 1080’s frametrates. However, clock speeds are only part of the equation and the cut down core will itself become a bottleneck in some situations regardless of how far frequencies are pushed.

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