NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Review: A Look At 1440p, 4K & Ultrawide Gaming

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by Rob Williams on June 26, 2016 in Graphics & Displays

We learned last month that NVIDIA’s latest top-end GeForce is a ‘force’ to be reckoned with, but what about its littler brother, the GTX 1070? It’s been no secret what this card essentially is : a TITAN X successor. While many successors usually perform more than 5% better, though, they don’t usually cost less than half as much at the same time. Intrigued?

Tests: Battlefield 4, Crysis 3 & DOOM

Battlefield 4

Thanks to the fact that DICE cares more about PC gaming than most developers, the Battlefield series continues to give us titles that are well-worth benchmarking. While Battlefield 4 is growing a little long in the tooth, it’s still a great test at high resolutions. Once Battlefield 1 drops, we’re sure to replace BF4.

Testing: The game’s Singapore level is chosen for testing, as it provides a lot of action that can greatly affect the framerate. The saved game we use starts us off on an airboat that we must steer towards shore, at which point a huge firefight commences. After the accompanying tank gets past a hump in the middle of the beach, the test is stopped.

Battlefield 4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Battlefield 4 (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Battlefield 4 (3440x1440)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Battlefield 4 (2560x1440)

At 1440p, all five of the cards handle Battlefield 4 no problem. At the ultrawide resolution of 3440×1440, things get a bit hairier, but still, none of the cards perform that poorly. You could easily get by in BF4 with 50 FPS on average, although no one should want to turn down 10-30 FPS boosts provided by the top-tier models.

At 4K, only the GTX 1080 can deliver reasonable enough performance at max settings. If you have a lower card, getting 4K to run at 60 FPS in this game will not require many setting changes. The biggest offenders are AA and AO.

Crysis 3

Like Battlefield 4, Crysis 3 is getting a little up there in years. Fortunately, though, that doesn’t matter, because the game is still more intensive than most current titles. Even though the game came out in 2013, if you’re able to equip Very High settings at your resolution of choice, you’re in a great spot.

Testing: The game’s Red Star Rising level is chosen for benchmarking here, with the lowest difficulty level chosen (dying during a benchmarking run is a little infuriating!) The level starts us out in a broken-down building and leads us down to a river, where we need to activate an alien device. Once this is done, the player is run back underneath a nearby roof, at which point the benchmark ends.

Crysis 3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Crysis 3 (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Crysis 3 (3440x1440)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - Crysis 3 (2560x1440)

It’s with a game like Crysis 3 that really helps highlight just how powerful this $379 GTX 1070 is. Despite the game’s Very High detail levels, the GTX 1070 still managed to deliver performance of 61 FPS on average. This changed dramatically at 4K, with halved FPS on the same card. Ultrawide performance isn’t ideal either, but at 47 FPS, it won’t take much tweaking to remedy that situation.

DOOM

DOOM 3 was released a couple of months before SmartKevin launched (March 1, 2005, for the record), and it was a game featured in our GPU testing right from the get-go. For this reason, this latest DOOM feels a bit special, even though it follows DOOM 3 up eleven years later. As we hoped, the game proves to be more than suitable for GPU benchmarking.

Testing: Due to time constraints, an ideal level could not be chosen for benchmarking. Instead, our test location starts us off at the bottom of a short set of stairs early on in the game, where we must climb them, open up a door, and then go to a big room where demons are taken care of and the benchmark is stopped.

DOOM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - DOOM (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - DOOM (3440x1440)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 - DOOM (2560x1440)

DOOM at High detail levels will prove no problem for any one of these five GPUs. Even the GTX 1070 handles it well at 3440×1440. Yet again, 4K proves crippling, with performance of the GTX 1070 dropping from 65 FPS to 42 FPS.

Rob Williams

Rob founded SmartKevin in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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