Deciding on which graphics card to get for your PC can get pretty complicated. But what can make things even more frustrating is that even after you settle on a type of card you then have to settle on a brand. Just as GPUs have different specs based on their model even different brands can have slight or major differences in the hardware itself. This ultimately has an impact on performance which makes zeroing in on the right brand important.
The GTX 1070 Ti is arguably the best card on the market right now in terms of the performance you get for the price. A card like the GTX 960 is considered the standard in terms of its ability to play most modern games at 1080p/60fps. But the 1070 series and onward are roughly twice as good. They can handle higher resolutions, higher frame rates and can better support VR.
What’s Special about the GTX 1070ti?
This card was meant as a midway point in both price and performance between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. As a matter of fact the 1070 and 1070 Ti are very similar. They mainly differ in a couple of areas. The 1070 Ti has an average power consumption of 180w, just 30 higher than the 1070.
It also has a slightly higher base clock measuring at 1603mhz, just above the 1506mhz of the 1070. What’s really interesting is that according to Nvidia’s website, the 1070 Ti has 2434 cores, fairly more than the 1920 inside of a GTX 1070. This gives the 1070 Ti a slight upper hand in performance, but it isn’t much. It usually ends up being 5-10 extra fps. All the more reason to stick with your 1070 if you already have one.
Who Should Get a GTX 1070 Ti?
There are basically two camps of people who I’d recommend the GTX 1070 Ti to: those building an all new gaming PC from scratch, or those looking to upgrade from an outdated card.
If you already own something like the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070, then getting a GTX 1070 Ti won’t be much of an improvement, although it would still be noticeable. You’ll be able to play more games on max settings instead of high. You’ll also be able to overclock your card a bit better. But ultimately, if your GPU already has four digits in the name you’re better off waiting for a better upgrade to come along.
However if you own a card like the GTX 960, 970 or weaker, then a 1070 Ti would be an excellent choice. While it isn’t the be all end all of GPU specifications, the GTX 1070 Ti has 8gb of VRAM which is a pretty reliable way of determining how powerful your graphics card is. If your card has 6 or even 8gb already, then an upgrade isn’t really warranted. But if you only have 4gb of VRAM or less then you can bet that this upgrade would be huge.
Regardless of whether this is a new build or an upgrade, the GTX 1070 Ti is perfect for anyone in the mood for high refresh rates like 144hz, or high resolutions like 1440p or 1527p (2K). It isn’t quite powerful enough to run modern games at 4K, unless you’re fine with ~30fps instead of 60.
Be wary that owning a good GPU isn’t the only thing necessary to getting great gaming experiences. While it’s certainly the most important (and most expensive) part of any gaming PV, you need other components to make sure it runs properly. Having too little RAM or a weak CPU can dampen the overall performance of your GPU and prevent it from reaching its true potential. This is known as bottle necking. Even worse, you don’t want to buy a GPU that doesn’t even fit in with your case or motherboard.
Always shop responsibly to be on the lookout for compatibility issues. Most cards will fit most average sized cases, but be sure to double check. Having at least 8gb of RAM and a quad-core processor are also optimal for getting the most out of your GTX 1070 Ti.
What’s Different among Brands?
While GPUs differ in many firmware based things like number of cores or memory bandwidth, different manufacturers will have different hardware. This will mean different kinds of fans, different energy conservation levels, or even something as simple as different cosmetics. It’s true – some people buy their hardware based on style and looks.
Best Cooling: MSI GTX 1070 Ti Duke
If you want to get the most for your dollar when it comes to cooling then MSI’s Duke model of the GTX 1070 Ti is my choice. Like all GTX 1070 Ti’s, they are within a pretty similar price range but MSI really managed to include as many great features as possible for as little a price.
One of my favorite things about heavier duty GPUs is having as many fans as possible for optimal cooling. There are problems with this such as an increased price range as seen with some of Gigabyte’s GPUs, or even louder noise when under heavy loads. Thankfully, neither of those issues are the case with MSI’s Duke. The fans are quite silent and are basically impossible to hear, especially when you have headphones on. Any average PC case exhaust fan or even the subtle whirring of an HDD will be louder than this card. It even manages to weigh half a pound less than most cards this size.
The heatsink cooler of this card is also very impressive. Without getting overly technical, MSI has managed to create superior airflow through the triple fans and created pipes that will transfer heat away from the card faster and more efficiently. In other words, stressing this card with high temperatures would be a difficult feat to accomplish.
The card is a little long like any GPU with three fans. It should hopefully fit into just about any mid-size computer, but anyone with a smaller case might have to look elsewhere. It is mere centimeters shorter than most triple fan GPUs but it won’t make that much of a difference in small set ups.
The looks of the card are solid. A simple sleek black coating makes it blend in well in just about any computer. I like the design on the fans with the MSI logo and a couple of spirals resembling airflow. The back of the card has a nice little design to it although the word “Duke” seems randomly plastered onto the sides like an afterthought.
There’s only one HDMI port which could be an inconvenience for anyone looking to do a dual monitor set-up. Luckily there is a DVI-D port as is the case with all GTX 1070 cards and up so anyone with a high refresh rate monitor can still make do. This card also isn’t the best for overclocking but you could push up your base clock up by a couple hundred Mhz if that extra boost will satisfy you.Check Current Price
Best Value: Gigabyte GTX 1070 Ti Windforce
In my opinion, the Windforce by Gigabyte is the best cheap 1070 Ti you can get. Like any 1070 Ti it’s a powerful card with great firmware specs. The amount of work that went into its fans, heatsink, and looks really pushes it apart from all other cards of this model for under $500.
The first thing that really grabbed my eye when I saw this card were the cosmetics. The front of the device where the fans are located has a very sharp and sleek look to it. There are multiple edges everywhere reminiscent of some high tech fighter jet. It really forces the words “cutting edge” into your mind.
The orange streaks are a very nice touch and are more like the kind of flashy stripes you’d find on a NASCAR racer. If GPUs could have body language, the Windforce would be full of confidence and gravitas.
While the cooling and airflow are not as efficient as the Duke, I do want to eliminate any preconceptions about only having two fans rather than three. Many great cards still maintain solid temperatures using less fans and this card proves that.
Despite only weighing about 1.46 pounds, it is an average sized GPU overall. It should fit into most PC rigs but you will have to double check if your computer case is smaller or if you’re using bigger fans or what have you.
Ultimately, what really makes this card great is the price. Ignoring overclocking differences, the Windforce will offer you near identical performance to other GTX 1070 Ti cards that cost more. If someone without any picky requirements just wants any kind of card of this caliber for the cheapest price possible than the Windforce is easily my number one pick.
The overclocking abilities are nothing too special, but if you’re buying this card for the price more so than anything else then don’t worry. Every GTX 1070 Ti, including this one, offers excellent power at base levels.Check Current Price
Best Overclocking: EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti FTW2
Now, I need to get a little technical once again, but I promise it’s for your own good.
Overclocking is considered by some to be a bit of a risky practice when it comes to graphics cards or even CPUs. And those people would be correct. Overclocking is the practice of manually (though sometimes automatically, if the card is designed for it) pushing your graphics card beyond its factory settings. When a card is overclocked that means its base clock goes up. Base clock as we know is measured in Mhz. Every GTX 1070 Ti comes with a base clock of around 1603mhz. However, some people want to push that even higher.
Overclocking itself is actually quite simple. There are many easy to use programs that give you sliders that adjust the base clock quite easily. The tricky part is knowing how to not go too far.
It is true that overclocking does increase performance. As a matter of fact overclocking capabilities is the number one difference between cards of the same model, besides cooling. Some cards get worn too quickly from it to the point of harming their lifespan by reaching temperatures they weren’t meant for. Luckily, a card like EVGA’s FTW2 is ready for such a challenge.
This is a pricier card than average but that’s justified by how attractive it is to overclocking enthusiasts. The FTW2 has great cooling capabilities at higher temperatures whereas many fans focus on optimized airflow for average or mild temperatures.
Where some cards can barely hit 1800mhz after overclocking, the EVGA FTW2 can easily hit 2000mhz and remain consistently stable and well cooled. It is true that other GTX 1070 Ti’s can reach 2000mhz but very few can be used for as long as this one at that number and have the cooling capabilities this card has. It makes all the difference in gaming at higher resolutions like 1440p when you want a frame rate at around 100fps in an online match of Battlefield 1.
I found the visuals of this card to be pretty bland, until I saw the lighting in action that is. You can customize the lights to glow according to fan speed and power usage. It’s a boring looking slug out of the box but when installed it’s quite the show.
I can only recommend this card to people who will make full use of the higher price tag. The extra 20% boost in Mhz will surely satisfy the most power hungry gamers.Check Current Price
Best size: Zotac GTX 1070 Ti Mini
While this may not be an issue for most people, the fact of the matter is that many high end graphics cards are simply too big. Even with an average sized case, sometimes the length of 10 or 12 inches is simply far too much to fit in with all the cables, fans and whatnot you may have already installed.
That’s precisely why one of my five honorable mentions for this list being at the top for Best Size goes to Zotac’s GTX 1070 Ti mini. The length is only 8 inches, which is considerably shorter than any other GPU on this list. The thickness is 1.6 inches and the width is 4.7 making this the most compact variant of GTX 1070 Ti cards ever.
And don’t be fooled by this size. It may be small but Zotac still managed to compress all the usual power of your typical GTX 1070 Ti into this one little powerhouse. Anything you can throw at an Asus or an MSI at base clock you could easily run on this card.
The biggest downside to this card is that it isn’t too good for intense overclocking – not at all, in fact. Like many cards of this caliber it has a “boost mode” feature that can be set to automatically turn on in game. This can raise the base clock by a little bit but in the case of this card it isn’t much. You can go up by about 100mhz but even 200 would be too much.
Don’t think that a small size only comes with negative trade-offs, though. The Zotac Mini is a very quiet card, especially for a high end one. It’s more power-efficient, not needing as much voltage as other GPUs. The cooling and airflow are impressive even if it doesn’t match the efficiency of larger or more expensive models.
One thing I like about the visual design is that you can see the copper wiring. Some may find this off putting but being able to see internal components such as circuitry and the like always has its place in cosmetics. The extra copper also adds to the weight making this GPU fairly heftier than it would appear.
Ultimately, I really like this card because it really pushes to the limit how far you can go with squeezing as many features into a smaller package. Hopefully we’ll only be seeing smaller graphics cards in the future, not larger ones.Check Current Price
Best overall card: Asus GTX 1070 Ti Strix
Ignore price range for a moment. Ignore concentrating on any one specific aspect. Now it is time to focus on the one card that is the best overall package that excels at as many things as possible. My only fair answer for such a feat has to be the Asus Strix.
Let me start off with a little disclaimer. The Asus Strix doesn’t quite have the cooling of the MSI Duke or the overclocking of the EVGA FTW2. But it does so well at both that it ends up being the better product for its balanced design. It can reach 2000Mhz and still maintain good temps.
This may be a massive card measuring at 12 inches, but it has some very high quality components. All three of its fans are quiet and designed for optimal airflow. The heat sinks are all aluminum and are much larger than most others.
This is also easily one of the best looking GTX 1070 Ti’s out there. Right out of the box its sight will pummel your eyeballs. This thing is huge, no doubt. Many components are up to 40% larger than they were in the original GTX 1070 Strix. The sleek black edges are reminiscent of the luxury and cutting-edge innovation of something like the Batmobile.
The RGB lighting is phenomenal looking. The logo on the back as well as various parts of the sides and the front light up in a variety of colors. It especially looks incredible to see the red and orange mix with the black casing.
Let’s not forget the fact that this GPU actually has two HDMI ports. This may not sound like that big of a deal but the convenience this offers is great, especially for a card this powerful. Powering two monitors outputting at 1080p can come in handy for streamers or other multi-taskers.
Take everything the Asus Strix does into account and you have yourself the shining pinnacle of the GTX 1070 Ti lineup. Powerful, but quiet. Overclocking, yet cool. Huge, yet stylish. No matter what angle you come at it from this card always offers the best of both worlds.Check Current Price
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and learned about the valuable differences there are from card to card, no matter how small they might seem. All five of these GPUs are great devices but there are always more variants and more brands to check out based on your personal tastes.