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The GTX 1080 is the video card you lust over, but the GTX 1070 is the one you’ll buy

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Nvidia’s GTX 980Ti might have been the performance king of the last generation of graphics cards, but it wasn’t the most popular. The GTX 970 was found in far more PCs, beating out all other Maxwell offerings and even AMD’s too. Judging by the performance reports of the GTX 1070, that may be the future of this generation’s GTX XX70 card too.

Following the release of the GTX 1080 and its impressive results of performance vs power consumption, the GTX 1070 has proven to be a strong competitor too. In Hexus‘ benchmark runs, the 1070 was able to beat out every last-gen AMD card, including the Fury X, as well as Nvidia’s 980 Ti and Titan X in 3Dmark Fire Strike, even at the highest resolutions.

It’s not just in synthetic benchmarks that the 1070 is a strong contender though. In TechSpot’s coverage of the card, it was able to beat out the 980 Ti’s average and minimum frame rates in Overwatch, even at 4K resolution. While the GTX 1080 showed itself to be much more capable at the highest resolutions, the 1070 was still powerful and achieved good results.

Related: Get excited: GTX 1080 benchmarks are here, and better than expected

It was even more impressive in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where the 1080 was all that bested it. At 3,840 x 2,160p resolution, with all of the details at maximum (hairworks turned off) the 1070 trounced the 980 Ti and Titan X by sizable margins. Interestingly enough though, in that setting and game, AMD’s cards were its biggest rivals, with the Fury X nipping at its heels and the Fury not far behind.

Although some of PCPer’s results only pit the 1070 against last-generation cards and therefore don’t show it being stomped by its bigger brother, the new Nvidia card shows itself a worthwhile upgrade over cards of just a year before — especially at higher resolutions.

In GTA V testing, the 1070 is able to achieve a 36-percent boost in average frame rates over a GTX 980 at 2,560 x 1,440p. That is more than 50 percent above a GTX 970, which is the card it is set to replace.

That’s not to say it dominates in all games though. In the much more recent, and DirectX 12-supporting Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the 1070 was only able to secure single-digit percentage point leads over the GTX 980 Ti. And at 2,560 x 1,440p resolution, that improvement drops to just a single percent.

Similarly thin leads can be found in Fallout 4, but you must bear in mind that the 980 Ti was the most powerful card of its generation. The 1070 isn’t designed to be that, so the fact that it does this well in comparison is a real testament to its power.

That is especially true considering it is more than twice as energy efficient as the GTX 970 and 980.

Pricing is going to be the real clincher for many people though. The GTX 1070 is just $380, or more importantly, only around $50 more than the GTX 970. That makes it a very, very capable purchase even for those sporting that last-gen card. For anyone with older hardware though, it’s a great way to bring your PC up to date and future-proof it for some time to come.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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