NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti vs. Radeon RX Vega 56 & GTX 1070, 1080

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti - Top Angle
by Rob Williams on November 19, 2017 in Graphics & Displays

Following-up on our look at the synthetic performance of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti from a couple of weeks ago, this second diving-in will take care of the performance of real games. In this matchup, four GPUs have entered the ring, where four resolutions await their attempts to deliver high framerates.

Introduction, About NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Since I wasn’t able to include the full round of tests for the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti launch article a couple of weeks ago, this one acts as a follow-up to add important information: how the card performs in real games.

I’m in the process of retesting all of the current-gen GPUs we have on-hand, and so far, I’ve been able to tear through four – all of which are included in this article. Four resolutions are also featured, which is a bit of a rarity since a card has to fall into a specific sweet spot to be relevant for all of them.

That said, while the GTX 1080 is being tested across all four resolutions for this article, it wouldn’t normally be used for 1080p testing (the same applies to Vega 64). I broke that self-inflicted rule to help make this article feel more complete, since a 1080p battle between cards $50 apart could be interesting.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti - Side-view

On tap: GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and for good (and sane) measure, AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56. These four GPUs cover the entire $400-$500 gamut (SRP), so it’s a good start to my retesting.

Time for more omissions! This article was supposed to include test results for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, since it should become the best Vulkan test to date. However, the game was buggy on NVIDIA hardware when testing commenced, but since then, a patch was pushed out that included a fix – or at least what feels like a fix after quick testing. A follow-up GPU performance look will include that game, as well as the rest of the GPU lineup.

At this point, nothing is secret any longer about the 1070 Ti, so there won’t be much preamble here. If you’re interested in synthetic results, I’d encourage you to check out the previous article.

As a bit of a recap in case you haven’t checked out the previous look:

NVIDIA GeForce SeriesCoresCore MHzMemoryMem MHzTDP
TITAN Xp3840148012GB @ 11GHz384-bit250W
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti3584148011GB @ 11GHz352-bit250W
TITAN X3584141712GB @ 10GHz384-bit250W
GeForce GTX 1080256016078GB @ 10GHz256-bit180W
GeForce GTX 1070 Ti243216078GB @ 8GHz256-bit180W
GeForce GTX 1070192015068GB @ 8GHz256-bit150W
GeForce GTX 10601280=17006GB @ 8GHz192-bit120W
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti768=13924GB @ 7GHz128-bit75W
GeForce GTX 1050640=14552GB @ 7GHz128-bit75W

The GTX 1070 Ti is ridiculously close to the GTX 1080, so it makes you wonder which of the two GPUs will eat into the sales of the opposite one more. Not that it matters – NVIDIA’s selling cards.

For a second recap, here’s where I put the GTX 1070 Ti in the grand scheme of gaming capabilities:

TITAN XpOverkillOverkillExcellentGreat
GeForce GTX 1080 TiOverkillOverkillExcellentGreat
TITAN X (Pascal)OverkillOverkillExcellentGreat
GeForce GTX 1080OverkillExcellentGreatGood
Radeon RX Vega 64OverkillExcellentGreatGood
GeForce GTX 1070 TiExcellentGreatGoodPoor
Radeon RX Vega 56ExcellentGreatGoodPoor
GeForce GTX 1070ExcellentGreatGoodPoor
Radeon RX 580GreatGoodPoorPoor
GeForce GTX 1060GreatGoodPoorPoor
Radeon RX 570GreatGoodPoorPoor
GeForce GTX 1050 TiGoodPoorPoorPoor
Radeon RX 560Good*Poor*Poor*Poor*
GeForce GTX 1050PoorPoorPoorPoor
Radeon RX 550PoorPoorPoorPoor
Overkill: 60 FPS? More like 100 FPS. As future-proofed as it gets.
Excellent: Surpass 60 FPS at high quality settings with ease.
Great: Hit 60 FPS with high quality settings.
Good: Nothing too impressive; it gets the job done (60 FPS will require tweaking).
Poor: Expect real headaches from the awful performance.
Note that this chart does not take into account 60Hz+ goals.
* based on assumption, not our in-lab testing.

The 1070 Ti and Vega 56 perform extremely similarly, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these ratings are likewise equaled between them. The 1070 Ti is close to being overkill for 1080p, but that conversely means that it will last a while if that is going to remain your target resolution. The card is also great for 1440p, and decent for ultrawide (higher FPS can be had if you don’t mind dropping detail settings).

I am sure there are many who’d disagree with me, but I can’t personally recommend anything but a GTX 1080 Ti or higher for true 4K gaming. Sony and Microsoft might be fine with 30 FPS at 4K, but I think it’s an asinine choice over 1080p/60. If you don’t mind dropping details a lot, 4K will be feasible, but really, the 1070 Ti is not built for 4K.

Our GPU Test PC

SmartKevin GPU Test System
ProcessorIntel Core i7-6900K (8-core; 4.20GHz OC)
MotherboardGIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming
MemoryG.SKILL TridentZ (4x8GB; DDR4-3200 14-14-14)
GraphicsAMD Radeon RX 550 (2GB; Radeon 17.10.3)
AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB; Radeon 17.10.3)
AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB; Radeon 17.10.3)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (8GB; Radeon 17.11.1)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (8GB; Radeon 17.10.3)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (8GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB; GeForce 388.13)
NVIDIA TITAN Xp (12GB; GeForce 388.13)
StorageKingston SSDNow V310 960GB SATA
Power SupplyCorsair RM650x
ChassisCorsair Crystal 570X Mid-Tower
CoolingCorsair Hydro H100i V2 AIO Liquid Cooler
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (64-bit; build 16299.19)
For an in-depth pictorial look at this build, head here.

Exceptions: All NVIDIA GPUs other than 1070 Ti used the GeForce 388.00 driver for Destiny 2. The RX Vega 56 used 17.10.3 for synthetic benchmarks, but 17.11.1 for the game tests. Since NVIDIA brought dramatic improvements to Destiny 2 with its 388.31 driver, I’ll be retesting that game in full in time for the next GPU performance article.

Framerate capturing varies by game title. If a timedemo is used, and it supplies sufficient enough data, we stick with that. If it’s a manual runthrough of a DirectX 11 game, we use Fraps. An exception there is with Destiny 2, which requires us to test with PresentMon. That tool is also used to test Wolfenstein II, but as mentioned before, the game proved too unstable out-of-the-gate on NVIDIA, so it will be added later.

A total of 9 games is what we aim for, but due to the dropped titles, 7 make an appearance here.

(AMD) – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (DirectX 12)
(AMD) – Sniper Elite 4 (DirectX 12)
(NVIDIA) – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (DirectX 11)
(NVIDIA) – Watch_Dogs 2 (DirectX 11)
(Neutral) – Battlefield 1 (DirectX 11)
(Neutral) – Destiny 2 (DirectX 11)
(Neutral) – Total War: WARHAMMER II (DirectX 12)

Calling Destiny 2 “neutral” given NVIDIA’s huge pushing of it might seem a bit odd, but the metric here is whether or not a game has official sponsorship built-in, such as with NVIDIA’s “The Way It’s Meant To Be Played” program. From what I’ve been able to gather, I don’t believe the game has been built with NVIDIA in mind (there are no GameWorks features, and no GeForce Experience tie-in). If someone out there has countering information, please hit us with it.

If you’re interested in benchmarking your own configuration to compare to our┬áresults, you can download this file (15MB) and make sure you’re using the exact same graphics settings we do.

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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