Finally, the GeForce RTX 3070 is here! We couldn’t publish this review two days ago because NVIDIA wants all the attention just for their RTX 3070 Founders Edition. So expect to see more reviews of custom RTX 3070 graphics cards to come out starting today. According to NVIDIA, the RTX 3070 is “faster than 2080 Ti” – the company’s previous flagship graphics card. Is it really faster? Is this the best graphics card for 1440p gaming? Should we call this as the new “value-king” GPU? Let’s find out in our GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG review below.
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Graphics Card Review
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Features
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Specifications
- Packaging and Closer Look
- GALAX RTX 3070 SG Test Setup
- GALAX RTX 3070 SG Noise and Temperature
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Synthetic Benchmarks
- 1920×1080 (1080p) Game Benchmarks
- 2560×1440 (1440p) Game Benchmarks
- 3840×2160 (4K UHD) Game Benchmarks
- Pricing and Availability
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Review Conclusion
GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Graphics Card Review
Like before, I’m not going to dive into NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture as there are already a lot of outlets covering that, with a better depth and explanation. If you are interested in learning more about the new architecture, you can visit NVIDIA’s page here.
This review will focus more on the performance of the GALAX RTX 3070 SG (Serious Gaming) and the card itself. It is a reference RTX 3070, meaning it has a reference PCB design and specs, but it comes with a custom cooler design. If you are interested to learn more about GALAX’s new RTX 30 series cards in general, you can check out our article here.
What is Serious Gaming?
With the release of NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series GPUs, GALAX is introducing a new series in their graphics card lineup. The new series is called Serious Gaming. First, I thought this was their higher-tier model due to the word “Serious”. Well, it turns out that this is the cheaper graphics card variant, and sits just below GALAX’s EX Gamer series.
Being a Serious Gaming Edition graphics card, this GALAX RTX 3070 looks almost identical to the RTX 3080 SG we previously reviewed. The front cooler shroud is similar, including the overall design of the graphics card. The only difference is the capacitors at the back of the GPU are exposed, and it is a bit slimmer than the RTX 3080 SG.
The GALAX RTX 3070 SG features 5888 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. That’s a standard for all GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards in the market. The difference lies in the clock speed and the most obvious one – their respective cooler design.
Speaking of the clock speeds, the GALAX RTX 3070 SG has a boost clock speed of 1725MHZ, which is somewhat similar to NVIDIA’s RTX 3070 Founders Edition’s boost clock speed. Its memory speed is 14Gbps, with a 448GB/s memory bandwidth running on a 256-bit memory interface.
Below are the technologies or features that the new RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA Ampere architecture offer. I’ve also included the specs of the RTX 30 series card. After that, let’s take a closer look at the RTX 3070 SG and discuss more of its features.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Features
- New streaming multiprocessors: The building block for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU, delivering 2x the FP32 throughput of the previous generation, and 30 Shader-TFLOPS of processing power; 20.3 Shader-TFLOPS for the 3070.
- Second-gen RT Cores: New dedicated RT Cores deliver 2x the throughput of the previous generation, plus concurrent ray tracing and shading and compute, with 58 RT-TFLOPS of processing power; 39.7 RT-FLOPS for the 3070.
- Third-gen Tensor Cores: New dedicated Tensor Cores, with up to 2x the throughput of the previous generation, making it faster and more efficient to run AI-powered technologies, like NVIDIA DLSS, and 238 Tensor-TFLOPS of processing power; 162.6 Tensor-TFLOPS for the 3070.
- NVIDIA RTX IO: Enables rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating input/output performance by up to 100x compared with hard drives and traditional storage APIs. In conjunction with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API,(1) RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to the RTX GPU, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.
- NVIDIA Broadcast for AI-powered Video and Voice: Turn any room into a home studio with AI-taking your livestreams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio and video effects like noise removal, virtual background, and webcam auto frame.
- Next-gen process technology: New 8N NVIDIA custom process from Samsung, which allows for higher transistor density and more efficiency.
- NVIDIA Reflex: Low Latency Technology: Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of new GeForce and G-SYNC technologies to optimize and measure system latency in competitive games.
- AI-Powered Video and Voice – NVIDIA Broadcast: You can now transform any room into a home broadcast studio—taking your livestreams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio noise removal, virtual background effects, and webcam auto frame.
- NVIDIA Studio: RTX-Accelerated Content Creation: RTX 30 Series brings faster rendering and AI performance, more graphics memory, and exclusive NVIDIA AI tools such as Omniverse Machinima to help you finish creative projects in record time.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Specifications
|RTX 3090||RTX 3080||RTX 3070||RTX 2080 Ti||RTX 2080|
|Fab Process||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||12nm TSMC||12nm TSMC|
|Base Clock||1400 MHz||1440 MHz||1500 MHz||1350 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1700 MHz||1710 MHz||1730 MHz||1545 MHZ |
1635 MHz (FE)
1800 MHz (FE)
|Memory Clock||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||16 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||936.2 GB/s||760.3 GB/s||448.0 GB/s||616 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Max. GPU Temp.||93°||93°||93°||89°||88°|
|Power Connectors||2x 8-pin||2x 8-pin||8-pin||8+8 pin||6+8 pin|
|Graphics Card Power||350W||320W||220W||260W (FE)||225W (FE)|
|Price||$1,499||$699||$499||$999 (reference) |
|$799 (reference) |
Packaging and Closer Look
The packaging is similar to the other Serious Gaming edition graphics card. But this time, the box of the RTX 3070 SG has a pistachio green or sage color theme. A hooded-guy poses at the front of the box; though this time, it’s a different character. The packaging is nice as well, with thick foam padding surrounding the graphics card.
Inside the box, you get a few accessories that include reading materials, the 1-clip booster fan, and an anti-sag bracket (with RGB lighting) made of acrylic. Although, I didn’t find the need to attach the bracket since the card is not that heavy and doesn’t sag at all.
The 1-Clip Booster fan is an optional accessory and you don’t need to install it if you don’t want to. It is an 80mm fan that pulls air from the rear portion of the heatsink. Like with the RTX 3080 SG, I wasn’t able to install this due to clearance issues with the DDR4 memory.
By the way, the two images that you see above are from the RTX 3080 SG. It will look similar to the RTX 3070 SG. And yes, while it may be able to help with the airflow and cooling solution, it doesn’t look quite well aesthetically speaking.
Above you can see the front and back view of the GALAX RTX 3070 SG graphics card. The three 92mm fans with “Wings” fan blades are the same fans we saw on the GALAX RTX 2080 Super WTF. It doesn’t look much when it is idle, but the unique angle or curves of those fans add an effect when the fans start to spin.
The GALAX RTX 3070 SG has four output ports. It has one HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4a. Looking at the rear-end portion of the card, you can see two headers. One is for the anti-sag bracket and the other is for the clip booster fan. Be careful when connecting to the headers though, as they don’t have similar pin counts.
Looking at the front-side portion, you can see one 8-pin PCIe power connector. Like most of the RTX 30 series cards in the market, they have shorter PCBs. As a result, the PCIe power connector(s) is located near the center portion of the card.
GALAX’s Xtreme Tuner App
The RGB fans on the RTX 3070 SG are fully addressable and you can control them using GALAX’s Xtreme Tuner utility. And yes, you can do a rainbow effect on it as well. Aside from the PC version of the Xtreme Tuner, Galax recently rolled out their new Xtreme Tuner App for Android and iOS. With the app, you can conveniently control and tune the GPU and its RGB lighting remotely. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to successfully use it yet.
Anyway, time to see if the RTX 3070 is indeed faster than the previous flagship RTX 2080 Ti (or not).
GALAX RTX 3070 SG Test Setup
For our graphics card reviews, we will be using a Z490 motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-10700K. We also paired it with a DDR4-4000 memory. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 2004|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10700K (running stock)|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB DDR4-4000|
|Graphics Card||GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG|
|OS Drive||WD Black SN750 with Heatsink|
|Game Drive||Crucial MX500 2TB SSD, Kingston KC600 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic Prime TX-1000|
|Chassis||Thermaltake Core P3|
We used the driver that NVIDIA provided for the RTX 3070 reviews. It’s NVIDIA driver version 456.96. The graphics card was tested in three gaming resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD, 2560×1440 WQHD, and 3840×2160 4K UHD.
For synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark’s benchmark suite. I also used the following games to test the graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears 5, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
Below is the GPU-Z screenshot of the GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG.
GALAX RTX 3070 SG Noise and Temperature
When it comes to noise and temperature, the GALAX RTX 3070 SG doesn’t disappoint. At idle, the temperatures that we got ranges from 34° to 38° depending on the activity. Sometimes it hovers above 40° Celsius, but the fans are still not spinning at this point.
On full load, the temperature of the graphics card was hovering at 65° Celsius. That impressive if you ask me. It’s also silent and the fans don’t get loud at only ~51% of its speed. Although the cooling system doesn’t produce noise, our unit was emitting a bit of audible coil-whine noise.
Now let’s see some benchmark numbers.
GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Synthetic Benchmarks
The first stop is some synthetic benchmarks. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but others would like to see them. It also gives us an idea of the general performance of this graphics card and its standing or ranking.
For the synthetic benchmark results, I include 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, 3DMark Time Spy, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, and Port Royal (ray tracing). I also included benchmarks from Unigine’s Superposition. Below are the results:
As you can see from the results above, the RTX 3070 is neck and neck with the RTX 2080 Ti. Sometimes the RTX 3070 is a bit faster than the RTX 2080 Ti and in other scenarios, the RTX 2080 Ti is on top.
If we compare the performance of the RTX 3070 to the RTX 2070 Super, we can see that there is a big difference in performance. It’s just like jumping from 2070 Super to the RTX 2080 Ti.
In case you missed the pricing, the RTX 2080 Ti FE is a $1,200 graphics card; and the RTX 3070 is a $500 graphics card. Although their performance is similar, there is a huge difference in price. This makes the RTX 3070 a much better value graphics card.
These are just synthetic benchmarks, how about in real games. Will we still see the same pattern? Let’s find out.
1920×1080 (1080p) Game Benchmarks
The GeForce RTX 3070 is perhaps not geared towards 1080p gaming. When the RTX 2080 Ti was released, it was not designed towards 1080p gaming as well. These cards were designed for higher resolution, WQHD (high refresh rate), or 4K UHD. But let’s just see what kind of numbers do we get with the RTX 3070 in 1080p. Below are the results:
Well, except in Horizon Zero Dawn, the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti are performing similarly, just like in the synthetic benchmarks. In some games, like the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, both cards are equal.
Let’s see it’s performance on 1440p next.
2560×1440 (1440p) Game Benchmarks
After using the RTX 2080 Ti for a couple of years, I feel that it’s more suitable for 1440p high refresh rate gaming. And I think the new RTX 3070 is suited for 1440p high refresh rate gaming as well. Below are the results I got with the RTX 3070 SG:
Again, I got a better result in Horizon Zero Dawn with the RTX 3070. But for the rest of the game, both the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti are neck and neck with each other.
Now let’s see if the gap widens in 4K resolution. Considering the new Ampere architecture, RTX 3070 might be faster even though it has fewer VRAM compared to the 2080 Ti.
3840×2160 (4K UHD) Game Benchmarks
I wouldn’t recommend the RTX 3070 for 4K gaming. I feel that this graphics card is best suited for 1440p high refresh rate gaming. The RTX 3080 does a better job at 4K UHD. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t get playable frame rates with the RTX 3070 at 4K. Below are the results:
At 3840×2160, both the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti are similar in performance. While the RTX 3070 performed a bit better in Horizon Zero Dawn and Monster Hunter World; generally speaking both cards have the same performance.
So, in my opinion, the RTX 3070 is not faster than the RTX 2080 Ti. Both are simply the same when it comes to performance. I feel I’m just comparing two different RTX 2080 Ti cards. Where one is a reference 2080 Ti with reference clock speeds; and the other is a factory overclock 2080 Ti like the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming.
Pricing and Availability
The GeForce RTX 3070 is now available, the same time this review goes live. But by the time you finish reviewing this review, you can expect that most or all 3070 cards are gone. They will sell out instantly, just like the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 last month.
When it comes to pricing, I don’t have an idea what’s the MSRP for the GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG yet. But the starting price of the RTX 3070 is $499. I’m guessing they are priced similarly, or perhaps slightly higher. Anyway, if you are reading this review at a much later date, check the latest pricing and availability below.
You might want to check out our MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio review as well.
GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG Review Conclusion
I’m a bit disappointed when I found out that the RTX 3070 is not faster than the RTX 2080 Ti. To be precise, the RTX 3070 performs just similar to the RTX 2080 Ti. You can also say that both cards are the same, equal, with just a few frames of difference (plus or minus). Both cards are indistinguishable when it comes to performance.
However, this does not mean that I don’t like the RTX 3070. I think it’s a fantastic graphics card that offers great value. You get a 2080 Ti-level of performance for just $500 (more or less). That’s quite impressive! The GTX 1070 was one of the most popular, if not the most popular GPU of its time. And I think the RTX 3070 would take that title for this generation.
On the flip side, because this graphics card is so good that I think getting one at MSRP would be arduous, at least for now. A lot of PC gamers are expected to upgrade or build a new system with these new components. Also, I think many are planning to upgrade from 1080p to 1440p. If you can get an RTX 3070, it would be a great graphics card to power your 1440p high refresh rate monitor. Although, you’ll get more juice with an RTX 3080.
The Elephant In The Room
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room, and that’s the recently announced AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) GPUs. The RTX 3070 doesn’t have any competition, until yesterday. AMD announced the RX 6800 (non-XT) that offers a bit better performance than the RTX 2080 Ti starting at $579. So it’s just like saying that the RX 6800 is a bit faster than the RTX 3070 for $579.
The RX 6800 is $80 more expensive than the RTX 3070, but it’s also faster at least based on AMD’s presentation. Will the RX 6800 be ~16% faster than the RTX 3070? I don’t know the answer yet. I don’t know if the RX 6800 will offer a better value vs the RTX 3070 either. Or both will end up with the same value depending on the scenario.
Nevertheless, NVIDIA now has competition in the enthusiast to a high-end level of the graphics card market. And this would be very interesting for us gamers and consumers.
As for the GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG (Serious Gaming), I think it’s a great graphics card overall. I didn’t encounter any issue when testing the card. It runs cool and quiet overall, but our unit seems to emit a bit of coil-whine noise.
A Few Personal Nitpicks
Just like with the other Serious Gaming edition, I only have a couple of nitpicks and feedback regarding the design or aesthetics of the card. As you have seen from the photos, there are white-colored accents on the metal backplate. I would prefer they used a more muted or discrete color, like glossy black, gunmetal, or dark grey.
Also, I would have preferred to see the “GALAX” branding on the front-side instead of “What’s Your Game?”. I’m sure others would agree as well. Lastly, some cables are visible on the front-side area, which ruins the aesthetics a bit. Anyway, these are simply my personal nitpicks, and your preference may be different from mine.
Finally, and again I would have given this an Editor’s choice if not for the minor cosmetic nitpick I pointed out. Nevertheless, the GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG is still an impressive graphics card overall, especially when it comes to price/performance.