After weeks of rumors, Nvidia announced its RTX 4070 graphics card today. The RTX 4070 Founders Edition will cost $599 on April 13. In addition, Nvidia is promoting the RTX 4070 for 1440p gaming at over 100fps with ray tracing and DLSS 3.
The RTX 4070 is Nvidia’s first 40-series Founders Edition card that fits in most cases, including compact ones. The RTX 4070 is shorter than the 3080 but performs similarly at 1440p. In addition, the RTX 4070, based on Nvidia’s newest Ada Lovelace architecture, has 12GB of GDDR6X instead of 8GB in the RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti.
The 12GB VRAM boost is good, but Nvidia could have gone farther, especially since the newest 1080p and 1440p games now use 8GB or more. AMD explained earlier this week why GPUs need “more memory” in a blog post. AMD pointed out that it sold the RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6950 XT with 16GB of VRAM over two years ago. AMD’s new flagship RX 7900 XTX has 24GB of memory, while the XT has 20 GB.
The RTX 4070 supports the AV1 codec, which will be handy for streamers when YouTube launches AV1 live streaming to enhance bitrates and picture quality. Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5, and Bethesda’s Redfall will benefit from DLSS 3 on the RTX 4070.
DLSS 3, specific to RTX 40-series cards, employs the same AI as DLSS 2 and a new AI frame creation technology to produce two frames using current rendering techniques and insert a third frame between them. Ray tracing and upgrades like Cyberpunk 2077’s path tracing require high frame rates.
Nvidia claims that 83% of RTX 40-series users activate ray tracing in RTX-capable games, and 79% enable DLSS. In RTX games, RTX 30-series owners activate DLSS 71% of the time and RTX 20-series owners 68%.
For older GPUs, RTX 40-series owners use ray-tracing less. For example, 56% of RTX 30-series customers and 43% of RTX 20-series owners activate ray tracing in RTX-capable titles. As the RTX 40-series selection progresses toward the middle, where performance generally outweighs ray-traced aesthetics, that high proportion will diminish.
Over the past week, I’ve been evaluating the RTX 4070, which matches the 3080 at 1440p but disappoints at 4K. Read my RTX 4070 review here.