ProsAmazing efficiency; ultra-quiet fans; good price/performance ratio
ConsUnimpressive overclocking headroom; questionable Nvidia marketing
Overclocking, Power Use, and Temperature
Our "Superclocked" sample card ran at +88 on the core, with stock VRAM clocks, but as you might have noticed, we didn't bother benching it at that speed. Instead, we took it up 1000MHz on the memory, and another 76MHz on the core. We started benching at +100, +110, and +120, thinking this card would edge out our Founders Edition model that hit +190 over stock. Boy were we surprised when the card started artifacting immediately in our stress test, 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Test #2, which is an awesome "one stop shop" for breaking video card overclocks. It will artifact so fast and so obviously that you really don't have to spend much time tweaking. But spend lots of time we did, because we just couldn't get our heads around this weak overclock. We even tried upping the voltage using EVGA's PrecisionX OC, but it didn't seem to have any effect. MSI Afterburner, our usual overclocking tool, couldn't access voltage control on the card either. Ah well, that's the silicon lottery for you. But one thing's for sure: this overclock was neither temperature not power limited. When it would artifact, the temperature was well below 80°C, and power was well below the 112% maximum we dialed in for the card. Our GTX 980 Ti achieved an overclock of 1400MHz/7800MHz, which was 17% over stock on the core. And it holds pretty constant, dipping down to 1389MHz or 1380MHz when certain temperature and power thresholds are reached. And take note: that's a below-average overclock for GTX 980 Ti cards, so it really wasn't too unfair to compare it to our weak-legged GTX 1070.
Given the modest overclock on the 1070, it isn't too surprising that OC'ing doesn't bust the power budget, and overall, the GTX 1070 is simply astounding when it comes to efficiency. Our system ran at 221W at reference speeds and 240W maxed out, which is way, way less than we've seen any high-end card hit in all our years of testing. Our GTX 980 Ti started at 331W and hit 359W when overclocked. The GTX 1070 also saved about 6W at idle versus the GTX 980 Ti. The full data is shown below for all our cards, stock and overclocked:
In terms of temperature and noise, the ACX cooler is most definitely better than the Founders Edition model, but both are really quiet. The ACX cooler doesn't spin up until it hits 60°C, so at idle and during moderate gaming, you'll never hear the fan at all!
We had high hopes for the GTX 1070 Superclocked, and we have to admit we were just a little disappointed. Being familar with the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti ACX that we previously reviewed, we figured the 1070 would be a significant step up based on Nvidia's marketing of the card (which included a completely fictional base price of $379). Well, in the end, the GTX 1070 is essentially the equivalent of the GTX 980 Ti, especially once overclocking is taken into consideration.
But take a step back and consider that for a moment: one year after the 980 Ti was released, Nvidia delivered a card that equals that behemoth, while costing $200 less, using 110-120W less power, producing far less heat and running in near silence. And compared to the GTX 980, which it replaces at the $450 pricepoint, it's way, way ahead, offering 30-35% better performance for the same price, while using 40W less power. This is all serious progress in our book, even if enthusiasts will likely cry foul that the 1070's results weren't even better.
Update: We've since published full 4K benchmarks using both a GTX 1070 and GTX 1070 SLI setup. If you're a 4K fan, you'll definitely want to check them out!
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Superclocked is available for $439.99 shipped free from Amazon, as of our most recent update.