Review: Colorful GeForce RTX 3070 iGame Ultra OC-V – what a difference a generation makes
Nvidia’s Ampere is a beast!
Towards the end of last year, the latest generation of consumer graphics cards from Nvidia was released, the RTX 30 series, aka Ampere. If you were able to get hold of a card, enjoy your purchase! Nvidia promised impressive gains over the previous generation, with the flagship cards being designed to push gaming at 4K and above.
Not everyone wants a flagship card though, so enter the RTX 3070. The mid-range card had a MSRP of $499, 8GB of memory, and all of Nvidia’s impressive AI-boosted tech like DLSS and ray tracing. The FE cards direct from Nvidia had a more traditional dual-fan design, but what if you wanted something more?
Maybe you wanted to wait until graphics cards from board partners (AIB) arrived before deciding what to buy. After all, traditionally, AIB cards are usually faster clocked, with better cooling options and funkier designs.
We’re going to be looking at one such card today, the Colorful RTX 3070 Ultra OC-V.
Is the Colorful iGame RTX 3070 Ultra OC-V up to the task of ray-traced gaming?
The new generation of Nvidia cards feature huge improvements across the board from the prior generation of Pascal. The RTX 3070 has 5888 CUDA cores, 46 RT (ray tracing) cores, and 20.31 TFLOPS. That’s a hefty jump from the prior RTX 2070, which had 2304 CUDA cores, 36 RT cores, and 9.062 TFLOPS.
You don’t really need to worry about those numbers though, just know that this is the midrange graphics card that will bring 1440p gaming firmly to the mainstream. Way back in 2014, another Nvidia card did that for 1080p gaming, the GTX970, changing PC gaming forever.
Those 5888 CUDA cores are clocked at 1500 MHz at the base, with a fairly conservative 1725 MHz boost. Colorful added a one-touch overclock button to this GPU so you don’t need software to increase the boost to 1770 MHz, just tap the button, and reboot to gain some more speed. While gaming, we saw it boost up to that area, while it hovers around 210 MHz on the desktop to save power.
Nvidia’s RTX 3070 FE is rated at 220W, the Colorful iGame RTX Ultra OC-V adds another 20W to that, to come in at 240W of power draw. In use, the card stayed under 220W when in normal mode, and under 240W when using the manual OC button, while desktop use sipped power at only 20W.
The triple-fan design has a Zero-RPM mode, so they all stop spinning until the GPU hits around 60c. On the desktop, the heatsink alone keeps it at 40c, well below the fan threshold. While gaming, we saw the temperature jump to 72C, which made the fans spin up, while still being quieter than the fans on our CPU cooler.
Connectivity comes from three Displayport 1.4a outputs and one HDMI 2.1 output.
I’ve been testing these cards on a fairly recent PC build, with an Intel i9-9900K, a flagship motherboard in the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X, 32GB of 3,600 MHz RAM, and a 360mm AIO cooler, with Windows installed on one SSD, and all games installed on another SSD.
We’re also limiting testing to mostly titles that use Nvidia’s Ray-Tracing or DLSS, to see how much these have improved since the last generation of cards. Ray-Tracing was a real system-killer at launch, with higher resolution gaming often bringing powerful PCs to their knees. Is that still the case today?
|Benchmark||Zotac RTX 2070 Super||Colorful RTX 3070||Percent change|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||78||128||+64|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS)||80||131||+64|
|CoD: Warzone (RT, normal texture as VRAM limit hit)||76||115||+51|
|Fortnite (DLSS Quality)||139||231||+67|
|Fortnite (DLSS Perf)||182||207||+14|
|Death Stranding (DLSS Quality)||114||143||+25|
|Death Stranding (DLSS Perf)||133||148||+11|
|Control (DLSS Quality+RT)||46||82||+78|
|Control (DLSS Quality)||90||147||+63|
|Metro Exodus (RT)||58||95||+64|
|Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT)||69||111||+61|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (RT Medium)||37||67||+81|
Nvidia has said that the RTX 3070 outperforms a GTX 2080Ti, the flagship of last generation. We don’t have that card on hand, so we tested against the Zotac GTX 2070 Super Mini, which is really the card the RTX 3070 is replacing.
Every single game we tested posted double-digit improvements over the RTX 2070 Super, with most around the fifty or sixty percent increase range. With the games with heavier ray-tracing in, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro: Exodus, that percentage inched closer to doubling the FPS in-game, with an eighty percent uplift. That’s insane, I can’t think of the last time gaming performance got such a boost with one generational leap.
The only game we tested that the Colorful card struggled with was COD: Warzone while using ray tracing, and then only because the 8GB VRAM of the 3070 ran out of space at High Texture quality. Dropping that down to Normal kept everything humming along at over 100 FPS. Still, we feel 8GB isn’t enough for gaming cards in 2021, and future Nvidia cards could do with at least 10GB, or the 16GB found on the competing AMD cards.
So, should I buy it?
The Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 3070 Ultra OC-V is a 1440p powerhouse, with ample cooling and some space left in the tank for overclocking. The real thing limiting it is the same thing affecting almost everything in the PC gaming market right now – availability.
The only unit I could find for sale anywhere was on eBay, and that was going for nearly $1,300. Clearly, the scalpers have the upper hand here, so maybe wait until supply evens out. That won’t be for some time though, as tariffs have also made GPU prices trend upwards again.
Supply issues aside, if you’re on a midrange Pascal card like the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, the GTX 3070 is a great upgrade path. It’ll get you gaming at 1440p (even on Ultrawide resolutions), with enough power for the upcoming crop of AAA titles. If you want to game at 4K, however, you’ll be better served by an RTX 3080 or RTX 3090.
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