Everyone’s been asking why the GTX 1070 Ti exists, noting that the flanking GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards largely invalidated its narrow price positioning. In a span of $100-$150, nVidia manages to segment three products, thus spurring the questions. We think the opposite: The 1070 Ti has plenty of reason to exist, but the 1080 is the now less-desirable of the options. Regardless of which (largely irrelevant) viewpoint you take, there is now a 1070, a 1070 Ti, and a 1080, and they’re all close enough that one doesn’t need to live. One should die – it’s just a matter of which. The 1070 doesn’t make sense to be killed – it’s too far from the GTX 1080, at 1920 vs. 2560 cores, and fills a lower-end market. The 1070 Ti is brand new, so that’s not dying today. The 1080, though, has been encroached upon by the 1070 Ti, just one SM and some Micron memory shy of being a full ten digits higher in numerical nomenclature.
For the basics, the GTX 1070 Ti is functionally a GTX 1080, just with one SM neutered. NVidia has removed a single simultaneous multiprocessor, which contains 128 CUDA cores and 12 texture map units, and has therefore dropped us down to 2432 CUDA cores total. This is in opposition to 2560 cores on the 1080 and 1920 cores on the 1070. The GTX 1070 Ti is much closer in relation to a 1080 than a 1070, and its $450-$480 average list price reinforces that, as GTX 1080s were available in that range before the mining explosion (when on sale, granted).
GTX 1070 Ti Specs vs. 1080, 1070
|NVIDIA Pascal Specs Comparison|
|Tesla P100||GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080||GTX 1070 Ti||GTX 1070|
|GPU||GP100 Cut-Down Pascal||GP102 Pascal||GP104-400 Pascal||GP104-300 Pascal||GP104-200 Pascal|
|Fab Process||16nm FinFET||16nm FinFET||16nm FinFET||16nm FinFET||16nm FinFET|
|TPCs||28 TPCs||20 TPCs||19 TPCs||15|
|Memory Clock||?||11Gbps||10Gbps GDDR5X||8Gbps||8Gbps|
|Total Power Budget ("TDP")||300W||250W||180W||180W||150W|
|Power Connectors||?||1x 8-pin
|1x 8-pin||1x 8-pin||1x 8-pin|
|Release Price||-||$700||Reference: $700
|Reference: $450||Reference: $450
The major difference is that the 1070 Ti ships with a base/boost configuration maxing out at 1683MHz, and AIB partners won’t be pre-overclocking cards in the vast majority of cases. The next big difference is the memory, where the 1070 Ti moves to GDDR5 from GDDR5X, thus reducing memory bandwidth to 256GB/s from 320GB/s.
Why The 1070 Ti Exists
“Why does the 1070 Ti exist?” may very well become “why does the 1080 still exist?” over time, but we’ll see.
At this point in its cycle, the GTX 1080 has existed for more than a year – it shipped in May of 2016 – and is on a mature node. The GTX 1080 uses a GP104 GPU, which the GTX 1070 also uses, and now the GTX 1070 Ti. It is not a new, fancy GPU of any sort, and has been in production for nearing two years. For these reasons, it wouldn’t be difficult for nVidia to spin-off a 1070 Ti, as they’ve now done, in response to an AMD product (Vega 56). We can’t firmly state whether the GTX 1070 Ti would have come to be without Vega 56, but V56 certainly triggered the timing, if nothing else.
Everyone knows the GTX 1070 Ti is slotted into a tight tiering that’s flanked by two other nVidia cards. You know it, the reviewers know it, and nVidia knows it. NVidia is not clueless to this, and the company isn’t clueless to the musings of onlookers who are unsure of the card’s purpose. Limiting AIB partner clocking is evidence of this lack of cluelessness as to the cannibal-like nature of the new Ti. The fact is, whether or not the 1070 Ti “needs” to exist, it does, and it’s stealing dialogue from Vega 56. AMD’s Vega 56 is our most-praised option from AMD in a long time, off the back of the overwhelming disappointment that was Frontier Edition and the poor price:performance of Vega 64. Vega 56’s only downsides are (1) availability and (2) pricing, though that’s modulating a bit with thanks to the 1070 Ti launch (becoming more affordable, if briefly). The 1070 Ti, whether or not it competes in price-to-performance (because the 1070 does fall behind in metrics other than power), is minimally stealing discussion from Vega 56. Now, when people discuss whether a 1070 or a 1080 makes more sense, nVidia’s hope would be that Vega becomes a footnote to the newcomer 1070 Ti.
The GTX 1070 Ti is a strategic play, not a product play.
For a look at the Colorful 1070 Ti VRM specifically, check our PCB analysis here:
Overclocking the GTX 1070 Ti
Overclocking is the same deal as always with GTX 10-series cards. We manually manipulate the clocks until they’re stable, easy enough, and then tune based on game. Some games, like For Honor, are more hostile toward overclocking than others. We use Firestrike for initial probing of stability, then move from there.
The below table is something we generate for internal notes, and is not necessarily meant to be a guide or ultra-informative – just a look at our steps:
|Peak Clock (MHz)||AVG Clock (MHz)||Core Offset (MHz)||MEM CLK (MHz)||MEM Offset (MHz)||Power Target||Fan||TMP||Pass/Fail|
With no offsets, we were at about 1873MHz stable. We later found a 225MHz offset to be stable in most applications, though have noted whenever it’s lower than that, and found that tipping into or past 60C on the Colorful card drops us down from 2114MHz to 2088MHz (the thermal numbers were not conducted scientifically, they are spot-checks used to check for clock dropping; some numbers were collected between crashes, and therefore are lower). This was in Firestrike, so other applications will behave differently. Most games dropped us into the 2076MHz range. Either way, it’s a strong overclock and helps make-up for the overall lack of pre-overclocking by the board partners.
GPU Test Methodology
|GN Test Bench 2017||Name||Courtesy Of||Cost|
|Video Card||This is what we're testing||-||-|
|CPU||Intel i7-7700K 4.5GHz locked||GamersNexus||$330|
|Memory||GSkill Trident Z 3200MHz C14||Gskill||-|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 Z270X||Gigabyte||$240|
|Power Supply||NZXT 1200W HALE90 V2||NZXT||$300|
|Case||Top Deck Tech Station||GamersNexus||$250|
|CPU Cooler||Asetek 570LC||Asetek||-|
BIOS settings include C-states completely disabled with the CPU locked to 4.5GHz at 1.32 vCore. Memory is at XMP1. Driver version 388.09 is used for the 1070 Ti.
We communicated with both AMD and nVidia about the new titles on the bench, and gave each company the opportunity to ‘vote’ for a title they’d like to see us add. We figure this will help even out some of the game biases that exist. AMD doesn’t make a big showing today, but will soon. We are testing:
- Ghost Recon: Wildlands (built-in bench, Very High; recommended by nVidia)
- Sniper Elite 4 (High, Async, Dx12; recommended by AMD)
- For Honor (Extreme, manual bench as built-in is unrealistically abusive)
- Ashes of the Singularity (GPU-focused, High, Dx12)
- DOOM (Vulkan, Ultra, 0xAA, Async)
- 3DMark FireStrike
- 3DMark FireStrike Extreme
- 3DMark FireStrike Ultra
- 3DMark TimeSpy
For measurement tools, we’re using PresentMon for Dx12/Vulkan titles and FRAPS for Dx11 titles. OnPresent is the preferred output for us, which is then fed through our own script to calculate 1% low and 0.1% low metrics (defined here).