Should you upgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 from the RTX 2070?

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Great ray-tracing middle ground

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070



Last-gen budget champion

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070



The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is the best price to performance ratio you can get from an NVIDIA RTX GPU right now. It does really well at 1440p and 4K gaming and brings in performance gains over the RTX 2070 across all resolutions. It also has significantly better ray-tracing performance. However, it is pretty hard to find right now, given the limited supply and high demand.

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Pros

  • Better ray tracing performance
  • Hits higher frame rates consistently
  • Better choice for 1440p and 4K
  • HDMI 2.1

Cons

  • Needs more power than the RTX 2070
  • Availability is very limited

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 is the predecessor to the RTX 3070. As the budget choice of the last generation, the RTX 2070 is certainly a good GPU. However, RTX 3070 comes in at the same starting price as the RTX 2070 did while showing massive performance gains at higher resolutions and ray tracing. It’s a good 1080p performer but doesn’t quite have the oomph for great 1440p and 4K performance.

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Pros

  • Holds up well for 1080p gaming
  • Can do some 1440p and 4K gaming
  • Lower power consumption

Cons

  • Ray-tracing performance isn’t sufficient
  • Can’t hit high framerates at 1440p and 4K

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is the new hot GPU recommendation that delivers an insane value proposition. It comes in at the same price that the RTX 2070 did but offers a much better price-to-performance ratio. NVIDIA has managed to offer a significantly higher value for the same price in the span of one generation. If you’re thinking about an upgrade from the RTX 2070, you should absolutely consider the RTX 3070.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 vs. RTX 2070 specs

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 has significant hardware improvements over the RTX 2070. The big difference comes from the generational gap in manufacturing improvements. The RTX 3070 has an Ampere GA102 chip, made with Samsung’s 8nm process. On the other hand, the RTX 2070 housed the Turing TU 106, which used the 12nm TSMC process. This is a significant difference because the shift in manufacturing means that the transistor count went from 10.8 billion in the RTX 2070 to 17.4 billion in the RTX 3080. Take a look at the specifications of the two cards.

Category NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
Shader (CUDA) Cores 5888 2304
Core Clock 1500MHz 1410MHz
Boost Clock 1730MHz 1620MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR6X
256-bit bus width
8 GB GDDR6
256-bit bus width
Memory Clock 14Gbps 14Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s 448GB/s
RT Cores 46 36
Tensor Cores 184 288
Transistors 17.4 billion 10.8 billion
Node Samsung 8nm TSMC 12nm FFN
Architecture Ampere Turing
TDP 220W 175 W
Ports 1 x HDMI 2.1
3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
1 x HDMI 2.0b
3 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x USB C
Power Connector 1 x 12-pin
1 x PCIe 8-pin converter included
1 x 8 pin

The manufacturing process upgrade, as well as other hardware changes that come with the Ampere architecture, means that the RTX 3070 outperforms the RTX 2070 with some substantial margins.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 vs. RTX 2070 real-world performance

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

Our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review put the new card to the test. We also compared it with the RTX 2080, the elder sibling of the RTX 2070, and the RTX 3070 turned out to be the clear winner. So it’s not surprising that the RTX 3070 beats the RTX 2070 with even bigger margins, offering solid FPS gains, even with RTX enabled. Take a look at some FPS comparisons, courtesy of Jarrod’sTech.

Game RTX 3070 (avg. FPS, 1440p) RTX 2070 (avg. FPS, 1440p) RTX 3070 (avg. FPS, 4K) RTX 2070 (avg. FPS, 4K)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 46 31 29 19
Metro Exodus 99 64 59 38
Rainbow Six Siege 276 173 140 85
Control (RTX On) 86 55 47 29
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 111 71 66 40
Red Dead Redemption 2 109 64 70 38
Assassin’s Creed: Odessey 74 52 51 35
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 113 74 61 39

The RTX 2070 is not a bad card by any means. It was actually the card to get last year if you wanted good performance without spending too much. The same is the case with the RTX 3070 now, except that the 3070 is way more capable and beats the RTX 2070 in performance across the board.

At 1440p, the RTX 2070 can barely hit 60 FPS in the more intensive titles, while the RTX 3070 goes past it and can even hit 144 FPS with some adjustments. Ray tracing improvements at 1440p are also apparent, with the RTX 3070 pushing the RT performance into frame rates that we can call acceptable.

Our review called the RTX 3070 the ideal card for 1440p and noted that it delivers some reliable performance at 4K. The performance you get with the RTX 3070 is more pronounced when compared with the RTX 2070, which struggles at 4K. The RTX 3070 is a solid 4K 60 FPS performer and won’t make you tune down many settings to get acceptable performance.

So should you upgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 from RTX 2070?

Yes! The jump from RTX 2070 to RTX 3070 is only a single-generation upgrade, but NVIDIA has managed to pack in a ton of extra performance at the same starting price. The RTX 3070 will make your gaming experience noticeably better and is definitely the ideal upgrade for most PC gamers, including RTX 2070 owners.

The RTX 3070, however, is suffering from stock and pricing issues right now. The demand is humongous, and the manufacturing facilities are already operating at full capacity. The limited supply has also created a pricing issue with the RTX 3070, with some sellers pricing 3070 cards at two to three times the actual retail prices.

You can certainly time your purchase just right, and grab an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 at an acceptable price, but it’s not easy. Paying the inflated price for an RTX 3070 takes away from the insane value that the card provides at its retail price tag. An upgrade from the RTX 2070 doesn’t make sense if you’re overpaying, so make sure you’re not.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 also consumes a bit more power than the RTX 2070, 45W, to be exact. Depending upon which power supply you have, you may need an upgrade to accommodate the RTX 3070. Another thing to remember is that the rest of your hardware, especially the CPU, can limit the performance of your brand new RTX 3070. So make sure your parts are powerful enough to handle an upgrade to it.

If you’re covered on all these bases, then upgrading to the RTX 3070 from the RTX 2070 makes sense, especially if you’re looking to play more at 1440p and 4K resolutions.

RTX 30 bang-for-buck


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Get the best value for your money

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 offers some serious value for the price. It’s absolutely the card to get for 1440p gaming and has some excellent performance at 4K too. While it’s available in meager quantities right now, it’s absolutely worth the retail price and the go-to upgrade card for most PC owners.

Last-gen budget pick


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

Not for high-res gaming

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 was the last generation’s budget pick, but it’s not quite the card for 1440p or 4K gaming. It does 1080p well, but if you want to do 1440p or 4K gaming, especially with newer titles, you’re going to need an upgrade. Hold onto it until you can find an RTX 3070 at an acceptable price.

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