Introduction

GIGABYTE introduced their new lineup called the VISION series with the launch of the Z490 series Vision and B550 Vision D motherboards. The VISION series aims at the content creators and professionals. Keeping up with the theme of VISION, GIGABYTE has released the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070 VISION series graphics cards. They have recently launched the VISION NVMe external SSD. It will be about time if GIGABYTE launches VISION series RAM which in my opinion they should. The particular thing about the VISION series is their white color theme with purple lining for the style. This is very why we chose the Z490 VISION G motherboard for the white build. GIGABYTE was kind enough to sponsor us the GeForce RTX VISION 3070 OC for this build and the review.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC is using Nvidia’s Ampere architecture being driven by GA-104 GPU at its core. It has a powerful cooling solution in the form of WINDFORCE 3X cooling with alternate spinning fans. We have 5 copper-based composite heat pipes and a large copper pate making direct contact with the GPU and VRAM. The factory boost clock is set at 1815MHz which is overclocked from the Nvidia’s reference boost clock of 1725MHz. The card packs SAMSUNG 8GB GDDR6 memory chips having a bus width of 256-bit. The card packs 2x DisplayPort ports and 2x HDMI ports. This is a 2.5 slot design but the graphics card is still lightweight.

  • Item:                   GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC
  • Manufacturer:       GIGABYTE
  • Price:                   US $ 779.99

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The graphics card is shipped inside a cardboard box which is placed inside a paperboard packing. The packing box is in the white and black color theme.

Broaden Your Horizons is the tagline of the VISION series. The salient features of the graphics card are highlighted on the top like RGB Fusion 2.0, Windforce Cooling using 3x fans. The graphics card is based on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture using Ray Tracing and DLSS.

The backside of the packing box has Salient features of the card printed all over the place along with the pictures. Minimum System Requirements are also printed here which are:

  • PCIe x16 slot on the compliant motherboard
  • Minimum 650W PSU
  • 2GB Hard Drive Space
  • 1x 8-pin and 1x 4-pin PCIe Power Connectors
  • Windows 10 64-bit [Build 2004 or later]

We have a white color background GIGABYTE branding printed over it.

Salient features of the card are printed in 13 languages.

There is a black color box inside. It has GIGABYTE printed in the center.

The graphics card is inside the anti-static sheet and nicely tucked in the dense Styrofoam padding. There is a quick guide as well.

Contents

Following are included:

  • 1x Graphics Card
  • 1x Quick Guide

 

Closer Look

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC is based on GA104 GPU. It has 17400M transistors using 8nm technology having a die size of 392mm². This version of GA104 has 96 ROPs and 184 TMUs. We have 5888 shader units. The Pixel fill rate is 174.2 GP/s and the Texture fill rate is 334 GT/s. GIGABYTE has used 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM from SAMSUNG rated at 1750MHz using 256-bit bus width having a bandwidth of 448 GB/s. The graphics card is based on PCIe 4.0 with backward compatibility. The PCB has an ATX form factor. The maximum supported digital resolution is 7680×4320.

It is time to take a closer look at the design of the graphics card and then I will discuss the results of the gaming and synthetic benchmarks. The card has a 2.5 slot design with having a dimension of 286x115x51mm (LxWxH). The shroud is as simple as it could get but it is sleek and stylish. The faceplate around the fan mounts seems to be in the silver finish though sometimes it resembled the gold color. The borderline is in the white color. The card has 3x 80mm fans with white color blades.

The top side of the shroud has “Broaden Your Horizons” printed in a sleek fashion. It is not backlit and the font size is very small.

The above picture symbolically shows the heat sink and the nickel-plated copper plate. The black color PCB is sandwiched between the metal backplate and heatsink plus shroud. The WINDFORCE 3X cooling system features 3x 80mm unique blade alternate spinning fans, 5 composite copper heat pipes, heat-pipe direct touch, and 3D active fan functionality, together delivering an effective heat dissipation capacity for higher performance at lower temperatures. The heatsink has a plate making a direct touch with the GPU and the VRAM chips. It seems like this plate is also making contact with the power delivery components which is a wise implementation.

These are 80mm fans with the middle fan set to rotate clockwise unlike the exterior fans which rotate counter-clockwise. This alternate spinning is to ensures effective airflow without any turbulence. The GIGABYTE patent “Alternate Spinning” aims to solve the turbulent airflow problem of three fans. Since the fans rotate in the same direction, the airflow direction is opposite between the fans, which will cause turbulent airflow and reduce heat dissipation efficiency. GIGABYTE turns the middle fan in the opposite direction, so that the airflow direction between the two fans is the same, reducing the turbulence and enhancing the airflow pressure.

The airflow is spilt by the triangular fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow. The 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, and the fans will remain off when the GPU is in a low load or low power game. It allows gamers to enjoy gameplay in complete silence when the system is running light or idle. In my testing, I have enjoyed silent gaming with good thermals on the graphics card clearly evidencing the power and effectiveness of the WINDFORCE 3X cooling solution employed on this GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC. The fans are using Graphene Nan lubricant which extends the service life by 2.1 times.

The shape of the pure copper heat pipes maximizes the direct contact area with the GPU, enhancing heat transfer. The heat pipes also cover the VRAM through a large metal plate contact to ensure proper cooling. The composite heat-pipes combine thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the heat transfer between two solid interfaces which increases cooling capacity.

Looking at the top side of the graphics card, the white color shroud is extending over to the front covering it in half the size. GEFORCE RTX is printed over the white background in the gray color font. There is a multi-shade purple lining on the opposite end with backlit GIGABYTE branding. This is the only area on the entire graphics card which is RGB backlit and can be controlled using the RGB FUSION 2.0. The metallic backplate is also extending over the top. We have two power connectors towards the front. One is a 6-pin PCIe power connector and the other is an 8-pin.

Looking at the base of the graphics card, there is a whole lot of vented area available there and we can spot the fin stack. The shroud is in all white color over here. The thermal pads seem to be in white color and from the looks of it, GIGABYTE has used thin thermal pads. There are two black color headers in parallel to each other. They are probably to power the fans and the RGB LEDs.

The above picture shows the PCIe connector of the graphics card. As mentioned above, the card is based on a PCIe 4.0 interface with backward compatibility.

GIGABYTE is using a solid metallic backplate on the backside of the PCB to add more strength to the overall design and also to serve for the better aesthetics of the card. This backplate is in silver color to sit in perfect harmony with the overall theme of the VISION series. VISION is printed in quite a style in the center. GEFORCE RTX is printed towards the top side of the card. There is also a vented portion on the top.

Screen Cooling is embossed towards the vented area on the heatsink. The heatsink extends over the actual length of the PCB. This vented portion would allow some airflow for effective heat dissipation.

This graphics card is using 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors. There is a large gap between both connectors. The connectors are housed in a plastic frame which flimsy so take care of connecting/disconnecting the cables. GIGABYTE has opted for concealed design over the connectors. While this makes sense given the overall layout, they should have strengthened the housing.

The front end of the graphics card has a solid cover finished in white color. There is a dotted pattern in the center. There is no vented portion here for ventilation. The overall look and feel are too good to speak of and their design team has done a good job ensuring the symmetry of the layout.

Following connectivity options are available at the user’s disposal:

  • 2x HDMI port 2.1
  • 2x DP ports 1.4a

I did not open the card so I am not sure about the power phases. According to GIGABYTE, the design allows the MOSFET to operate at a lower temperature, and over-temperature protection design and load balancing for each MOSFET, plus the Ultra Durable certified chokes and capacitors, to provide excellent performance and longer system life. GIGABYTE has employed their Ultra-Durable technology in the power delivery design with these salient features:

  • 2oz Copper PCB
  • Solid Capacitor
  • Metal Choke
  • Lower RDS (on) MOSFET
  • Tier 1 Memory

The fully automated production process has resulted in a friendly PCB design where the protrusions don’t have sharp ends over the solder connectors which reduces the risk of injury.

Testing

Following is the information regarding the test system and drivers that I have used to test this graphics card:

  • Intel i9 9900k [Stock, Auto]
  • Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB kit @ 3000MHz
  • ARCTIC Liquid Freezer – II 240
  • Lexar 610 NVMe 250GB SSD
  • bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU

Drivers

  • Nvidia driver 411.70 For ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 OC
  • Nvidia driver 417.71/461.72 for GeForce GTX 1080 [Required for Battlefield V]
  • Nvidia driver 430.86 for ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC and ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2070 Amp Extreme
  • Nvidia driver 431.60 for GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC 8G
  • AMD driver Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2 for MSI Radeon RX 5700XT MECH OC
  • Nvidia driver 461.72 for GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC

Monitoring Software

MSI Afterburner 4.63 was used to monitor and record the FPS for the games without in-built benchmarks.

Synthetic Benchmarks

Following synthetic benchmarks have been used:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
  • 3DMark Time Spy
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme
  • 3DMark Port Royal
  • 3DMark Nvidia DLSS Feature Test
  • 3DMark DirectX Raytracing Feature Test
  • 3DMark VRS Feature Test
  • Unigine Superposition

Games

The following games have been benched:

  • Battlefield V (DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Metro Last Light Redux [DX11]
  • Metro Exodus [DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Assassin’s Creed Origin [DX11]
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX12, DLSS]
  • Grand Theft Auto – V [DX11]
  • Far Cry 5 – [DX11]
  • Middle Earth – Shadow of War [DX11]
  • The Witcher 3 [DX11]
  • DOOM [Vulkan]
  • DOOM Eternal [Vulkan]
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Vulkan]
  • Control [DX12, DXR]
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 [Vulkan]
  • Cyberpunk 2077 [DX12, DXR]

Our testing includes the Ray Tracing and DLSS as well. I will be covering the RT and DLSS in a separate section.

Synthetic Benchmarks

The graph is sorted on Fire Strike score.

The graph is sorted on Time Spy score.

The graph of the Unigine Superposition is sorted on the 1080p Extreme preset.

Overall, the GIGABYTE RTX 3070 VISION OC is going neck-on-neck against the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2080Ti.

Gaming Benchmarks

Battlefield V [DX11]

The RTX 2080Ti has an upper hand here, particularly on the higher resolution. The RTX 3070 took a marginal lead at 1080P.

Battlefield V [DX12]

We observed the same trend as is on the DX11 result of this game.

Metro Last Light Redux [DX11]

Metro Exodus [DX11]

Metro Exodus [DX12]

Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX12]

Assassin’s Creed Origin [DX11]

DOOM [Vulkan]

*For high-end cards 1080p and 1440p resolutions testing will not give any performance indication on this game. Only the 4k testing will provide a better reference point. This is because FPS is limited to 200 counts and almost all high-end cards tend to reach this figure or near to it at lower resolutions.

DOOM Eternal [Vulkan]

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Vulkan]

Far Cry 5 [DX11]

Grand Theft Auto – V [DX11]

Grand Theft Auto – V does not have any graphics quality Presets. I have used maximum settings where and what available with 4x MSAA.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War [DX11]

The Witcher 3 [DX11]

Control [DX12]

*This game is added recently hence we don’t have the results from other cards due to the non-availability of these cards.

Cyberpunk 2077 [DX12]

*This game is added recently hence we don’t have the results from other cards due to the non-availability of these cards.

Red Dead Redemption 2 [Vulkan]

*This game is added recently hence we don’t have the results from other cards due to the non-availability of these cards.

Seeing the results, the RTX 2080Ti has an upper hand over the RTX 3070 depending upon the title. But the competition is stiff between both Nvidia GPUs and the main point here is the pricing [if scalping can be avoided]. The price point of RTX 3070 is way low as compared to the launched price of RTX 2080Ti with 2080Ti being the enthusiast-grade GPU gaming solution from the Nvidia.

Ray Tracing and DLSS Benchmarks

Let’s start with the synthetic benchmarks.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX VISION OC has secured 8291 which is considerably less than the RTX 2080Ti.

3DMark has introduced the DLSS feature test to measure the performance gain if any using the DLSS using the Port Royal benchmark. The test repeats itself without DLSS and with DLSS. The user can select from three resolutions. We have used DLSS2 for the testing. Both metrics have been tested: Performance and Quality.

DirectX Raytracing Feature Test

VRS Feature Test

We have tested Tier1 and Tier2 metrics for VRS testing.

Let’s take a look at the gaming benchmarks.

Battlefield V DXR

We have a 34% hit on 1080P with Ray tracing. This hit was 37% on 1440P. But given the FPS were over 60 at any time on these two resolutions, the gameplay was super smooth with the goodness of the ray tracing. The performance hit was more evident at 4k resolution with 53%.

DLSS feature was only available on 4K resolution using the RTX 3070 and we saw 55% improvement with FPS boost sitting close to 60 FPS. Nvidia has definitely upped their game with the Raytracing and DLSS in particular.

Metro Exodus DXR

Next, we turned on the Raytracing in Metro Exodus with overall graphics settings at Ultra. The performance hit is evident as can be seen. We have roughly 22% hit at 1080P resolution. This hit was 29% on 1440P and 40% on 4K resolution.

Next, we enabled the DLSS feature in the settings and repeated the tests. We have good improvement in 1440P and 4K scores particularly on 1440P where the FPS boost was over 60 FPS.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider also has a DLSS feature at the user’s disposal.

Control

The performance hit was roughly 42% on 1080P, 41% on 1440P, and 42% on 4K resolution.

Cyberpunk 2077

 

We have roughly 39% performance hit on 1080P, 38% on 1440P, and 44% on 4K resolution. The Ray tracing was set at Medium settings without DLSS.

Next, we set the DLSS to a Balanced profile and repeated the tests. Nvidia is delivering quite a punch here with over 60 FPS on 1080P and 1440P. This is with RTX 3070 which is not an enthusiast offer from the Nvidia. The performance boost from RTX 3080 and 3090 would be significant.

Boost Clocks

Now that we have taken a look at the gaming and synthetic benchmark results, it is time to take a look at the maximum boost clocks.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC has boosted to 1980MHz out of the box without any tweaking. This 1980 MHz boost came for a short period of time. The sustained boost was around 1965Mhz.

Overclocking, Power Consumption and Thermals

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC has its power limit set to 100% and we can’t cross it beyond that. We are limited in terms of power to the board for the overclocking. The MSI Afterburner is used the overclocking starting with overclocking the VRAM. The voltage slide was set at 100%. I was able to push the memory clock by another +1000MHz (1.0GHz). Next, I started with the core clock overclocking. I met with no such good luck on the silicon as I was only able to push the core clock to +125MHz. The chip did reach 2100MHz but the sustained boost was 2045MHz.

Overclocking Result

We have roughly 3.2% gain with this overclock.

The Battlefield V was benched on DX12, Ultra settings at 2160P. We have a gain of 3.5% from overclocking.

Power Consumption

To measure the power draw, I am taking a different route as HWInfo64 shows the GPU Power and this is exactly what I have been showing on my graphs instead of the overall system power draw. To monitor the maximum power draw, I am using The Witcher 3 4k run of 60 minutes and then record the reported maximum power draw from the HWInfo64. The PC was set to idle for like 15 minutes before the gaming session. This way any user can check their graphics card for power consumption easily.

The RTX 3070 was drawing more power than the RTX 2080. This card like the other RTX graphics cards that I have tested was constantly hitting the power target.

Thermal Performance

I am not using Furmark or any other stress app for thermal performance checking. Instead, the reported temperatures are actually from the gaming session using The Witcher 3 at 4k resolution for a minimum of 60 minutes. MSI Afterburner is used to record the temperatures during the gaming session. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC was idling at 30°C. On stock clocks, it maxed to 68.2°C, and with overclocking it maxed to 69°C. This is a very good performance from the graphics card showing the true cooling potential of the WINDFORCE 3X. This performance is coming at default fan settings.

Noise

The maximum noise output recorded during the gaming session was 42 dBA which is too good to have. This performance is coming at default fan settings.

Compute Performance

Since the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC is more aimed at the content creators and professionals, we also ran a few rendering tests using the graphics card. Here are the results:

Conclusion

Much was touted about Nvidia’s new Ampere architecture and its improvement in regard to Volta and Turing particularly in the context of Turing architecture for the gaming performance using ray tracing and raster processing. This time, Nvidia has delivered a significant performance boost with third-generation tensor cores using DLSS2, second-generation Ray Tracing Cores, Concurrent Ray Tracing, Shading, and compute performance. Depending on the model, Nvidia has employed a fast platform for VRAM using GDDR6X only on RTX 3080 and 3090 and GDDR6 on the RTX 3070. Another improvement is HDMI 2.1 with full 48 Gbps bandwidth. The architecture is based on 8nm on the SAMSUNG platform.

GIGABYTE has sent us their GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC for review. Nvidia mentioned that this graphics card has a better performance than their premium gaming solution in the Turing architecture i.e RTX 2080Ti yet without breaking the bank. This was a bold claim though not without truth. The driving chip behind the RTX 3070 is Nvidia GA-104 GPU which is fabricated on the Samsung 8 nm node consisting of 17400M transistors in a small die size of 392mm². The GPU packs 96 ROPs and 184 TMUs. The main element is the shader units which is 5888. This particular graphics card is using Samsung 8GB GDDR6 VRAM chips on a 256-bit bus interface with a bandwidth of 448 GB/s.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC has a factory overclock boost clock of 1815 MHz as compared to the reference card’s boost clock of 1725MHz. The memory clock is 14000MHz. The dimension of the graphics card is 286x115x51mm making it a 2.5 slot design. Despite this dimension, the graphics card is lightweight. The graphics card supports DX 12 Ultimate API. The PCB of the graphics card is in black color and has an ATX form factor. The graphics card has 2x HDMO 2.1 ports and 2x DisplayPort 1.4a ports. The maximum supported digital resolution is 7680×4320. The graphics card has PCIe 4.0 interface which is backward compatible. We have tested the graphics card on Intel Z390 chipset using LGA1151 socket which is PCIe 3.0 based.

This graphics card has GIGABYTE’s legendary and ever-popular WINDFORCE 3X cooling solution comprising 3x 80mm fans that spin in an alternate direction which according to GIGABYTE is their way to handle the turbulence that may come using all the fans spinning in the same direction. The airflow is spilt by the triangular fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow. The 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, and the fans will remain off when the GPU is in a low load or low power game. The aluminum heatsink consists of three heat sinks that are interconnected using 5 composite heat-pipes which seem to be 8mm thick each. There is a direct touch nickel plate copper plate making contact with VRAM and GPU. From the looks of it, this plate is also covering the MOSFETs though I am not sure as I did not disassemble the card.

The distinctive feature is the VISION-themed shroud and white color of the graphics card giving one heck of spectacular looks. This is further augmented by the silver color metallic backplate with Screen Cooling. There is a large vented area on the metal backplate for proper ventilation. Also, the heatsink extends over the actual PCB for effective heat dissipation. There is a purple lining on the top frame with a 16.7M color backlit GIGABYTE logo. The lighting can be controlled using the GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0 to sync with other GIGABYTE components in the build. We are doing a white build for which we bought a GIGABYTE Z490 VISION G motherboard. That motherboard with this graphics card is a perfect combination of beauty and style.

The card takes power using 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. These connectors are housed inside a black color plastic-made housing. These connectors are flimsy and care must be exercised when connecting/disconnecting the cable to these housing. We are seeing a locked power limit of 100%. This would reduce the overclocking headroom of this card and our overclocking attempt yields roughly 3.5% performance gain. This was with +1000 MHZ on the Memory and +125MHZ on the Core clock.

The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC has performed well. This card has definitely the upper hand over the RTX 2080, RTX 2070 Super, and RTX 2070 for that matter. In our testing, we have seen RTX 2080Ti performing better depending upon the title, and sometimes this gain was marginal. Unfortunately, at present, the shortage of graphics cards and scalping prices leave no room to shed some light on the price-to-performance ratio of the graphics cards. The same goes for the GIGABYTE RTX 3070 VISION OC. According to GIGABYTE, this card would retail at $779.99 in the US which is a comparable price to other RTX 3070s listed on the NewEgg (Out of Stock!).

For Pascal users, the RTX 3070 is a nice upgrade option from their GTX 1080 and GTX 1080Ti. Similarly, we can spot the upgrade path of the RTX 2070/2070S/2080 users, particularly at 1440P gaming. In the end, this would come down on the personal preferences and budget of the individual concerned. The 4K gaming is also possible with the RTX 3070 though one would need to lower the graphics settings a bit. This is a heaven graphics card for 1440P gaming.

We are thankful to GIGABYTE for giving us the opportunity to review their GeForce RTX 3070 VISION OC graphics card.

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
9.5
Build Quality
8.0
Performance
8.5
Acoustic
9.5
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