MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edn.

Value and per­for­mance com­bined

Hyper - - TECH -

Nvidia has taken a new route with its ref­er­ence cards. In the past, when they re­leased a new graph­ics card, they’d ini­tially ship out ref­er­ence cards for the first few months, un­til their third­party man­u­fac­tur­ers could roll out their own stock in vol­ume. How­ever, with the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080, they’ve re­placed this with “Founders Edi­tion” cards, which will be around for the full life span of the prod­uct. Us­ing a cus­tom Nvidia cooler, third­party man­u­fac­tur­ers are free to sell them as well, but they’re all iden­ti­cal. So, an MSI Founders Edi­tion 1070 is ab­so­lutely iden­ti­cal to a Gi­ga­byte Founders Edi­tion 1070.

Strangely, these cards are a lit­tle more ex­pen­sive than their third-party coun­ter­parts over­seas – ex­cept here in Aus­tralia. The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edi­tion is one of the cheap­est GeForce GTX 1070 cards on the mar­ket, at around $120 less than other GeForce GTX 1070 cards, yet it’s built to such a high qual­ity the price dif­fer­ence makes lit­tle sense.

The main dif­fer­ence to other cards is the ab­so­lutely stun­ning Nvidia cooler. This alu­minium an­gled cooler is, in our opin­ion, the best look­ing cooler on the mar­ket, and it’s damn quiet, com­ing in at 44dB. As a ref­er­ence de­sign, it doesn’t come fac­tory over­clocked, with a stock base speed of 1506MHz and boost clock of 1683MHz. Nvidia claims that de­spite the price be­ing slightly higher, it’s also not hand­s­e­lect­ing the best chips for these – they’re iden­ti­cal to other GeForce GTX 1070s. Yet we man­aged to get the boost speed up to 1930MHz, mak­ing it just as fast as more ex­pen­sive, pre­over­clocked GeForce GTX 770s. Note that we didn’t run our bench­marks in OC mode, though, as we’d han­dover­clocked this, which wasn’t re­ally fair to the other cards.

This also means it has the stock video out­puts – triple Dis­playPort 1.4 and a sin­gle HDMI 2.0 port. There’s also one 8-pin power plug, and the to­tal TDP of the card is a mere 150W. An­other bonus of the ref­er­ence de­sign is that this thing isn’t cov­ered in coloured lights. Call us old and bor­ing, but we think the RGB fad is just a tiny bit tacky.

De­spite the lower price, this card comes with a full 8GB of GDDR5X mem­ory, though it’s slightly down­clocked from its big brother to 8Gbps. As you’ll see, though, the per­for­mance is still blis­ter­ing. In­stead of the 20 SMs (these are the build­ing blocks that con­tain the CUDA cores and Tex­ture Units) of the GeForce GTX 1080, it only has 15 but, again, the per­for­mance drop isn’t as high as we had an­tic­i­pated.

As the cheap­est GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edi­tion on the mar­ket, MSI has de­liv­ered all of the power of the more ex­pen­sive units in a beau­ti­fully built pack­age. It might re­quire a lit­tle more ef­fort to ex­tract the max­i­mum over­clock po­ten­tial out of it, but when you’re get­ting much of the power of a GeForce GTX 1080 for al­most half the price, we can eas­ily deal with that com­par­a­tively small is­sue.

In­cred­i­ble value Beau­ti­ful build qual­ity Ex­cel­lent per­for­mance Iden­ti­cal to ev­ery other GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edi­tion

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