Review: ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition Graphics Card
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition is a high-end GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card that sports a factory overclock and a beefy cooler design with a military-inspired aesthetic.
Another addition to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4000 series has arrived, and this time, it's in the form of the mid-range RTX 4070 (non-Ti). Serving up a cut-down version of the 4070 Ti's AD104 GPU with 5888 CUDA cores instead of 7680 CUDA cores, the vanilla RTX 4070 sports the same memory subsystem as its "Ti" brethren, with 12GBs of GDDR6X VRAM (192-bit, 21 Gbps).
To get in on the launch excitement of the RTX 4070 GPU, ALKtech checks out a non-MSRP RTX 4070 graphics card that's positioned at the higher-end of the 4070 spectrum: the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition. Sporting a factory overclock, with sleek looks courtesy of its aluminium shroud and backplate, read on to see how this card performs with a mix of synthetic and gaming benchmark tests at the 1440p resolution, when paired with a mid-range CPU, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600.
Summary of Specifications
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 (AD104)
- 5888 CUDA cores
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6X RAM (192-bit, 21 Gbps)
- Clock Speeds:
- OC Mode: 2580 MHz
- Default Mode: 2550 MHz
- Bus Type: PCIe 4.0 x16
- Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- External Power Required: Yes, 1x 8-pin
- Recommended PSU Wattage: 650W and above
- Dimensions: 303mm x 133mm x 64mm
- Thickness: 3.25 slots width
Packaging & Accessories
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition comes in a box with an outer sleeve that sports a black, green and silver colourway - the rear of the sleeve gives the usual overview of specifications for this card, and also summarises the various features that the GeForce RTX 4070 GPU comes with.
Removing the outer sleeve reveals a black cardboard box that holds the graphics card - the said box comes embellished with TUF Gaming motifs for a gamer-oriented appearance.
The card comes with the following accessories:
- Collectible card
- Graphics card holder setup guide
- Quick start guide
- Certificate of Reliability
- Mobile phone holder
- Graphics card holder with built-in screwdriver
- TUF Gaming Velcro hook and loop
For a walkthrough of the accessories that come included with the card, be sure to check out the YouTube video embedded at the start of this article. That said, some interesting accessories to highlight include a graphics card holder that comes with a built-in screwdriver, as well as a mobile phone holder that is constructed out of cardboard punch-outs and requires assembly before use.
Aesthetics & Physical Features
The TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 boasts a "vented exoskeleton" comprising of an aluminium shroud and backplate, which contributes to its imposing military-inspired appearance. If you're familiar with the TUF Gaming line-up of graphics cards of late, you'll have noticed that ASUS has stuck to the same design language for all its modern graphics cards (RTX 4000 series and Radeon RX7000 series) bearing the TUF Gaming moniker. That said, the card features three "axial-tech" fans with dual ball bearings for better airflow, which only spin up when GPU temperatures go above 55°C so as to keep noise output levels to a minimum.
The card also features a metal backplate that is adorned with TUF Gaming motifs, which helps both with reducing PCB flex while also assisting with heat dissipation.
RGB lovers rejoice, as the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 comes with RGB LED accents in the form of a light strip and an illuminated TUF Gaming motif.
On the long edge of the card is a Performance/Quiet mode switch that allows end-users to toggle between fan profiles to suit their respective usage scenarios.
At last, we're back in power draw territory that necessitates the use of just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. It's interesting to note that with the RTX 4070, board partners have the option of using either a single 8-pin PCIe power connector or, the 16-pin 12VHPWR connector that was introduced with the range-topping GeForce RTX 4090 GPU (which can also be found on RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 Ti offerings too).
As this card was tested before a version of GPU-Z that supports the RTX 4070 was released, some graphics card information could not be displayed, as evidenced by the fields with "Unknown" pictured above.
To get a sensing of the card's performance, the following tests were run:
- 3DMark Time Spy v1.2
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
- Cyberpunk 2077 v1.61 in-game benchmark
- Far Cry 6 in-game benchmark
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider in-game benchmark
- Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
All tests above were run at the 1440p resolution with the card set to the "Performance" mode. In addition, test runs on the Heaven benchmark and Cyberpunk 2077 in-game benchmark at 1080p resolution were also conducted, so as to get a flavour of the card's performance at 1080p.
The results shown below were taken from benchmark runs that were performed without any screen capture software running in the background. Where necessary, readouts from MSI Afterburner as well as HWiNFO64 were obtained so as to measure FPS performance and other relevant hardware status metrics.
To put the graphics card through its paces, a test bench with the specifications below was used:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600
- CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo Black
- CPU Thermal Paste: Cooler Master MasterGel Pro
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 GAMING X (BIOS F38a)
- Memory: 16GB (2x8GB) Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 3200 CL16
- Storage: Gigabye NVMe SSD 512GB (GP-GSM2NE3512GNTD)
- Graphics Card: ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition
- PSU: Cooler Master V1000 80 PLUS Gold
- Case: OEM open-air test bench
- Monitor: Gigabyte G27Q 27" LCD monitor (144 Hz, 1440p)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (22H2)
- Graphics Driver: NVIDIA Game Ready Driver 531.42 (Beta)
- Resizable BAR: Enabled
3DMark Time Spy v1.2
With the 3DMark Time Spy test, the test bench achieved a graphics score of 18217, a CPU score of 8011 and an overall Time Spy score of 15294.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
The test setup scored 2861 points for Unigine's Heaven Benchmark 4.0, with an average FPS of 113.6, a minimum FPS of 41.0 and a maximum FPS of 252.5. The test was run at 1440p resolution on the maximum possible graphics settings, with DirectX 11 rendering on Ultra Quality, extreme tessellation, stereo 3D disabled, multi-monitor disabled, and anti-aliasing set at x8.
Dialing down the resolution to 1080p with the same graphics quality settings, the test setup scored 4955 points, with an average FPS of 196.7, a minimum FPS of 48.7 and a maximum FPS of 439.6.
Cyberpunk 2077 v1.61 In-game Benchmark
With Cyberpunk 2077 v1.61's built-in benchmark tool, the test bench attains an average FPS of 82.67, a minimum FPS of 64.71 and a maximum FPS of 110.97 - these results were obtained on the 1440p resolution using the "Ultra" graphics preset with ray tracing disabled, and all upscaling technologies such as AMD's FSR 2.1 and NVIDIA's DLSS switched off.
To get a sensing of the card's ray tracing capabilities, test runs on the "Ray Tracing Medium" preset at 1440p resolution were also conducted, with DLSS disabled and enabled so as to determine the amount of performance uplift one could get by enabling NVIDIA's upscaling feature. With DLSS disabled, the test system achieves an average FPS of 47.11, a minimum FPS of 39.39 and a maximum FPS of 61.47. Enabling DLSS on the "Auto" mode increases the average FPS figure by slightly over 68%, with an average FPS of 79.43, a minimum FPS of 48.80 and a maximum FPS of 105.89.
In terms of visual quality with DLSS enabled, for the most part, I did not observe any graphical distortion or artifacts, except for one scene at the El Coyote Cojo bar (pictured above), where I did notice that the drain covers on the floor exhibited signs of distortion when DLSS was enabled.
Bumping the resolution down to 1080p, the test setup achieved an average FPS of 122.99, a minimum FPS of 67.30 and a maximum FPS of 176.58 while on the "Ultra" graphics preset with ray tracing disabled, and all upscaling technologies such as AMD's FSR 2.1 and NVIDIA's DLSS switched off.
Test runs on the "Ray Tracing Medium" preset at 1080p resolution were also conducted, with DLSS disabled and enabled to determine the amount of performance uplift with upscaling. With DLSS disabled, the test system achieves an average FPS of 74.34, a minimum FPS of 51.84 and a maximum FPS of 95.30. Enabling DLSS on the "Auto" mode increases the average FPS figure by around 22%, with an average FPS of 91.32, a minimum FPS of 51.50 and a maximum FPS of 115.83.
Far Cry 6 In-game Benchmark
Moving on to Far Cry 6's built-in benchmark test, the test bench achieves an average FPS of 87, a minimum FPS of 65, and a maximum FPS of 122. The game was set to the 1440p resolution on the maximum possible graphics settings (Ultra), with DXR Shadows and DXR Reflections enabled. FSR was also disabled for the test.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider In-game Benchmark
With Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the test bench achieves an average FPS of 81 with the game's built-in benchmark tool. The results pictured above were obtained while on the 1440p resolution with all graphics settings turned up to the highest possible settings, where Ray Tracing Shadow Quality was set to "Ultra" and all forms of upscaling technologies (e.g. XeSS) were disabled.
Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
To conclude this section on benchmark performance. I played several rounds of Fortnite on the test bench, which saw the system achieve an average FPS of 49.5, a minimum FPS of 37.2 and a maximum FPS of 70.1. The game was set to the highest possible graphics settings on the 1440p resolution with hardware ray tracing enabled, Temporal Super Resolution set to the "Native" setting, anti-aliasing and super resolution set to the "TSR Epic" option, Nanite Virtual Geometry enabled, as well as Global Illumination and Reflections set to the "Lumen Epic" settings. The FPS figures shown above were obtained via MSI Afterburner, which was used to track the game's performance in the background.
Power Consumption, Thermals & Acoustics
- Avg. GPU Power: 10.6w
- Min. GPU Power: 8.3w
- Max. GPU Power: 29.6w
Under Load (Fortnite Gameplay on Max Settings):
- Avg. GPU Power: 190.2W
- Min. GPU Power: 142.0W
- Max. GPU Power: 197.0W
The figures above were obtained from the "GPU Power" readouts from HWiNFO64.
- Avg. GPU Temperature: 41.9°C
- Min. GPU Temperature: 41.0°C
- Max. GPU Temperature: 43.0°C
- Avg. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 49.1°C
- Min. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 48.2°C
- Max. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 50.3°C
Under Load (Fortnite Gameplay on Max Graphics Settings)
- Avg. GPU Temperature: 59.2°C
- Min. GPU Temperature: 54.7°C
- Max. GPU Temperature: 60.8°C
- Avg. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 70.9°C
- Min. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 63.8°C
- Max. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 73,8°C
The figures above were obtained from "GPU Temperature" & "GPU Hot Spot Temperature" readouts from HWiNFO64.
The ambient temperature of the test bench's surroundings was measured to be approximately 29°C.
In terms of acoustics, the card's triple fans were pretty quiet even when the test bench was under heavy graphics loads, though a slight whiff of coil whine in the form of a low buzz could be detected. Given that an open-air test bench was used to test the card with, end-users would likely be unable to hear the coil whine when the card is installed within an enclosed PC case.
As I did not have a decibel meter to measure noise output, I made do with a noise measurement app on my smartphone instead, where placing my phone 30cm away from the graphics card, I recorded an average noise level of around 41dB when the system was running Fortnite, where the coil whine contributed to the noise levels measured. On idle (with just the CPU and power supply fans spinning), an average noise level of 39dB was recorded. The baseline noise level of the test bench's surroundings (with the test bench switched off) was measured to be approximately 39dB.
Conclusion & Pricing
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition shapes up to be a premium RTX 4070 graphics card offering, where it serves up a hefty cooling solution with a good-looking aesthetic and good thermal performance - this card would be very much at home with 1440p gaming workloads, with most graphics settings turned up to the maximum.
That said, comparing the performance of this factory overclocked RTX 4070 to a factory overclocked RTX 4070 Ti graphics card that I reviewed back in January 2023, it can be seen that the RTX 4070 is roughly 20% slower in terms of average FPS. Whether or not the RTX 4070 translates into good value, especially in the guise of a higher-end variant such as the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 featured in this article, will have to boil down to pricing, specifically, how much cheaper RTX 4070 cards are going to be vis-a-vis their pricier Ti counterparts.
As of its launch on 13 April 2023, the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 12GB GDDR6X OC Edition has a recommended retail price of $1169 Singapore dollars. For international readers, e-Commerce sites such as Amazon and Newegg currently have the card listed for $679.99 US dollars.
Get this card from Amazon: https://amzn.to/41bwDOv (affiliate link)
Get this card from Shopee Singapore: https://shope.ee/2L2B588W4e (affiliate link)
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The graphics card featured in this article was a review unit provided on loan from ASUS Singapore.