Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super Founders Edition review: kicking RTX 3090 to the curb

All the performance, none of the excess.

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The paint is barely dry on GeForce RTX 4070, yet here we are, nine months later, and a successor is already with us. Nvidia has felt the need to reinvigorate its RTX 4000 Series portfolio with a range of new additions arriving under the Super moniker. Cue a juggling of specifications, a pricing shuffle, and a trio of new cards hoping to attract your attention.

Festivities get underway with RTX 4070 Super, arriving in stores in January 16 at $599 (£579). Hot on its heels, RTX 4070 Ti Super arrives at $799 (£769) on January 23. Rounding out the trio, RTX 4080 Super lands January 30 for a cool $999 (£959). Sorry, performance fiends, the fabled RTX 4090 Ti is nowhere to be seen as yet, meaning RTX 4090 remains top dog for the foreseeable future.

Plenty to digest, so let’s not break from tradition. Here’s your Club386 Table of Doom™.

GeForce RTX4080
Super
40804070 Ti
Super
4070 Ti4070
Super
4070
Launch dateJan 2024Nov 2022Jan 2024Jan 2023Jan 2024Apr 2023
CodenameAD103AD103AD103AD104AD104AD104
ArchitectureAdaAdaAdaAdaAdaAda
Process (nm)444444
Transistors (bn)45.945.945.935.835.835.8
Die size (mm2)378.6378.6378.6294.5294.5294.5
SMs80 of 8076 of 8066 of 8060 of 6056 of 6046 of 60
CUDA cores10,2409,7288,4487,6807,1685,888
Boost clock (MHz)2,5502,5052,6102,6102,4752,475
Peak FP32 TFLOPS5248.74440.13629.1
RT cores807666605646
RT TFLOPS121112.710292.782.167.4
Tensor cores320304264240224184
ROPs11211296808064
Texture units320304264240224184
Memory size (GB)161616121212
Memory typeGDDR6XGDDR6XGDDR6XGDDR6XGDDR6XGDDR6X
Memory bus (bits)256256256192192192
Memory clock (Gbps)2322.421212121
Bandwidth (GB/s)736717672504504504
L2 cache (MB)646448484836
PCIe interface4.0 x164.0 x164.0 x164.0 x164.0 x164.0 x16
Power (watts)320320285285220200
Founders EditionYesYesNoNoYesYes
Launch MSRP ($)9991,199799799599599

Initial reactions might be one of indifference, as at first glance it appears little has changed. Yet the devil is in the details, and there are some noteworthy nuggets to pore over.

Super Refresh

RTX 4080 Super – full review coming soon – is fascinating for the right reasons. Marginally quicker than its RTX 4080 predecessor, the Super edition is a fully enabled implementation of AD103 that sees a welcome 17 per cent price cut. What the original should have been, I can hear you thinking, but better late than never, right?

RTX 4070 Ti Super, available only from partners, shifts gears by migrating from AD104 to AD103, making it a higher-end proposition by nature. Core count climbs by 10 per cent, from 7,680 to 8,448, and there’s goodness at the back end, too, where memory capacity increases from 12GB to 16GB. Factor in a widened bus – 192 vs. 256 bits – and you have a noticeably superior proposition at the same $799 fee. Apologies, early adopters, but them’s the breaks.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super alongside regular RTX 4070.

Third and final, RTX 4070 Super is the first 2024 card to break cover, and in our estimation, the most intriguing. Pricing stays at $599, making it accessible to a wide number of users, while front-end specifications are bolstered considerably. Nearing RTX 4070 Ti in makeup, 4070 Super enables 56 of 60 SMs, resulting in 7,168 cores. That’s over a 20 per cent increase over what was previously available at this price point. Welcome news indeed, as is a larger 48MB pool of L2 cache. You can’t have it all at $599, mind, as evidenced by memory capacity remaining at 12GB of GDDR6X via a 192-bit bus. If you want a worthwhile uptick in available bandwidth, prepare to budget for RTX 4070 Ti Super as the next-best destination.

A near-25% per cent increase in TFLOPS throughput is the talking point, though you will find a few other small tweaks if you look hard enough. While boost clock for RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Super remains identical at 2,475MHz, base clock for the latter climbs fractionally from 1,920 to 1,980MHz. Think slightly quicker in-game frequencies, all contributing to an incrementally higher 220W TDP.

Blacked Out FE

Specification adjustments are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, yet it is nice to see Nvidia has also taken the time to introduce a visual refresh. And it’s a makeover worth knowing about as RTX 4070 Super is, in our estimation, the sexiest graphics card Team Green has ever produced. That’s saying something given RTX 4070 regular is a fine-looking thing, but the Super is just phwoar!

It hasn’t taken anything revolutionary to turn our heads, as Nvidia has simply cut the contrast to create a darker, moodier aesthetic. Nevertheless, the end result looks fantastic. The black-anodised aluminum shroud is right up our street, and as a an x70 Series part, dual-slot dimensions of 244mm x 112mm remain highly agreeable.

Display outputs, as expected, remain as one HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4. Power, meanwhile, is sourced via a 12VHPWR connector that, contrary to speculation, isn’t going anywhere. As before, a dual-eight-pin adaptor is included in the box if needed. Nvidia continues to recommend a 650W PSU as a minimum, and though 500W ought to do it, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Arrangement of one HDMI and three DisplayPorts.

Outside of heightened core count, the rest of the RTX formula remains intact. We won’t dig too deep into the Ada Lovelace architecture here – refer to our original RTX 4070 review if you need a refresher – but rest assured the latest RTX feature set is supported through 4th Gen Tensor Cores, 3rd Gen RT Cores and an AV1 encoder.

DLSS naturally features heavily in Nvidia’s internal performance comparisons, yet even in terms of pure rasterisation, RTX 4070 Super has plenty to shout about. Going solely by specifications, this $599 GPU ought to deliver a bigger punch than 2020’s RTX 3090, which if you recall launched at a jaw-dropping $1,499. That’s progress.

On paper, the promise of RTX 3090-like performance in a smaller, more efficient, feature-packed, and affordable package sounds a tantalising proposition. Let’s now see if the Club386 benchmark suite agrees.

Performance

GeForce RTX 4080 system setup

Club386 Test Platform

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
Motherboard: Asus ROG Crosshair VII Formula
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCue H115i Elite Capellix
Memory: 64GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3200
Storage: 2TB Corsair MP600
Power Supply: be quiet! Straight Power 11 1,000W
Chassis: Fractal Design Define 7 Clear Tempered Glass
Monitor: Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

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Our trusty test platforms are nearing retirement, yet it is it testament to the Ryzen 9 5950X build that our twin AM4 rigs continue to function reliably irrespective of the numerous graphics cards thrown at it.

3DMark

RTX 4070 Super - 3DMark Time Spy
RTX 4070 Super - 3DMark Time Spy Extreme
RTX 4070 Super - 3DMark DirectX Raytracing
RTX 4070 Super - 3DMark Port Royal
RTX 4070 Super - 3DMark Mesh Shader

Suffering scroll-wheel fatigue? Sorry about that, but we figured more cards of the older variety would serve as welcome markers for those seeking to upgrade. Straight off the bat, RTX 4070 Super scores almost 15% higher than RTX 4070 regular in 3DMark Time Spy.

Enough to propel the card above RTX 3090 and maintain a healthy margin over the nearest rival from AMD, Radeon RX 6800 XT. The GeForce crop, as you ought to know by now, is in another league entirely when it comes to raytracing performance.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

RTX 4070 Super - Assassin's Creed Valhalla FHD
RTX 4070 Super - Assassin's Creed Valhalla QHD

RTX 4070 Super usurping RTX 4070 Ti is most likely a result of the very latest driver update, yet there’s no denying the latter’s ill-fated existence. What was once the RTX 4080 12GB, RTX 4070 Ti found a new lease of life as a partner-exclusive card and has now been unceremoniously rendered moot by RTX 4070 Super. Side note: expect RTX 4070 Ti price drops to become more common as partners move to shift existing stock.

Cyberpunk 2077

RTX 4070 Super - Cyberpunk 2077 FHD
RTX 4070 Super - Cyberpunk 2077 QHD

Cyberpunk 2077, with raytracing enabled, reduces most Radeons to a whimpering wreck. RTX 4070 Super is much better than the competition at managing such loads, and once again, scores 15% higher than original RTX 4070.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

RTX 4070 Super - Final Fantasy FHD
RTX 4070 Super - Final Fantasy QHD

At $599, this is shaping up to be the quintessential QHD graphics card. Performance is well suited to a high-refresh monitor, and hard-hitting cards from the previous generation are in the firing line. RTX 3090 and Radeon RX 6950 XT, eat your heart out.

Forza Horizon 5

RTX 4070 Super - Forza Horizon 5 FHD
RTX 4070 Super - Forza Horizon 5 QHD

Still rocking a GTX 1070? Moving to RTX 4070 Super nets a monumental 230% performance increase. RTX 2070 Super beginning to struggle? RTX 4070 practically doubles your in-game framerate. As an upgrade from those older cards, Nvidia’s latest makes a lot of sense.

DLSS 3

It wouldn’t be an RTX 40 Series review without mentioning DLSS, which in fairness is growing all the more impressive with each iteration. The promise of both upscaling and frame generation is genuine, and when implemented correctly, leads to huge performance gains with barely any discernible impact on visual fidelity. Cyberpunk 2077 is a fine example of a developer getting it right.

Cyberpunk 2077 - DLSS 3 Settings
Cyberpunk 2077 – Settings

Granular options provide plenty of choice. Remember, Super Resolution provides a choice of upscaling settings; Performance works its magic on a 1920×1080 render, Balanced works at 2227×1253, and Quality upscales from 2560×1440. On top of that, Frame Generation can be enabled with the flick of a switch to insert a synthesised frame between two rendered. The end result, in plain English, is a framerate boost like no other.

RTX 4070 Super - DLSS 3

With raytracing set to Ultra, witnessing average frames per second shift from 45 to up to 147 is the PC gaming equivalent of voodoo. Even without Super Resolution upscaling, Frame Generation alone is enough to harness a 51% boost in framerate. The literal definition of next-gen magic.

Efficiency

RTX 4070 Super - System Power Consumption

A less-than-5% increase in system-wide power consumption reveals RTX 4070 Super to be almost as frugal as RTX 4070 regular. Best-in-class results here.

RTX 4070 Super - GPU Temperature

Low power consumption and an excellent Founders Edition cooler result in comfortable in-game temperatures. Not once in many hours of testing did core temperature exceed 65°C.

RTX 4070 Super - System Noise

There’s little in the way of noise, too. Bigger partner cards are likely to be quieter still, yet it’ll be hard to match the Founders Edition in terms of overall build quality and finesse.

Relative Performance

RTX 4070 Super - Relative QHD Performance

Evaluating relative performance across a variety of benchmarked games reveals RTX 4070 Super offers nearly 72% of RTX 4090’s flagship potential. A welcome uptick over RTX 4070 regular at 64%.

RTX 4070 Super - Relative QHD Value

Here we divide the average framerate across games by the launch MSRP of each GPU. Nvidia’s $599 positioning affords RTX 4070 Super a top-five slot. It would have to drop to $489 to outright boss proceedings.

RTX 4070 Super - Relative QHD Efficiency

Dividing average framerate by system-wide, in-game power consumption highlights RTX 4070 Super as a prime pick for those keeping a close eye on the ‘leccy bill. No other card spits out this sort of performance while sipping so little power.

Overclocking

RTX 4070 Super - Overclock

Not everyone keeps tab on electricity usage. If you’re willing to up the ante, there is some overclocking headroom available here. With the ease of an automated scanner, an overclocked curve is implemented with base and boost clocks climbing to 2,015MHz and 2,510MHz, respectively. At these settings, in-game frequency approaches 2.9GHz and the 12GB of memory is perfectly willing to run at an effective 23Gbps.

RTX 4070 Super - Overclocking - 3DMark
RTX 4070 Super - Overclocking - Assassin's Creed Valhalla

I’ll take your RTX 3090 Ti and raise you an RTX 4070 Super.

Conclusion

GeForce RTX 4070 Super feels like Nvidia’s least controversial launch in a while, and that’s a good thing. This is a solid QHD graphics card that ticks the relevant boxes without putting a foot wrong. Sure, we’d have liked 16GB of memory, and we’ve all pined for the days of x70 Series cards costing less than 500 bucks, but in 2024, we’re acutely aware those times are long gone.

Let’s see RTX 4070 Super for what it really is: the most attractive QHD graphics card on the market. In-game performance is up by 15 per cent over its predecessor, build quality remains top notch, and pricing unmoved. Add first-class raytracing and DLSS smarts and you have a competent package that will take some beating in the mid-range space.

GeForce RTX 4070 Super Founders Edition - Club386 Recommended

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super Founders Edition

Verdict: built on solid foundations, RTX 4070 Super fine tunes the potent Ada Lovelace architecture to deliver excellent QHD gameplay and top-notch efficiency in a sleek, all-black facade.


Pros

Sexy in black
Potent QHD gaming
Impressive DLSS 3
Excellent efficiency
Cool and quiet

Cons

Still only 12GB


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Rest assured, our buying advice will forever remain impartial and unbiased.

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The paint is barely dry on GeForce RTX 4070, yet here we are, nine months later, and a successor is already with us. Nvidia has felt the need to reinvigorate its RTX 4000 Series portfolio with a range of new additions arriving under the...Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super Founders Edition review: kicking RTX 3090 to the curb