by Rob Williams on November 3, 2020 in Graphics & Displays
With NVIDIA’s new $499 GeForce RTX 3070 in-hand, we’re taking a look at gaming performance across a wide-range of games, including some sporting ray tracing features. NVIDIA promises a card that goes up against last-gen’s $1,199 RTX 2080 Ti, and overall, it delivers on that.
For our RTX testing, we’re employing the help of Fortnite, Control, and Quake II. Ordinarily, Minecraft would be joining this group, but a recent game update invalidated our previous test results (for the second time since Ampere’s launch!)
Because ray tracing is so demanding on GPU hardware, 4K resolution is ruled-out for most games right now, except maybe Minecraft. This assumes that you’re not able to take advantage of DLSS, which will let you see a convincing 4K render, upscaled from a lower resolution with the help of AI and NVIDIA’s Tensor cores.
Since NVIDIA is the only company currently enabling support for DXR ray traced games, only GeForces and the TITAN card are found in these results. Once the new Radeons drop, we’ll add them to any one of our DXR/RTX tests that they happen to run in.
Which GPU you have will dictate which special graphics settings you will use at a given resolution, and unless you have a top-end card for 1080p or 1440p use, you will likely want to enable DLSS. That goes for the RTX 3070, which hits 54 FPS even with DLSS at 4K. Granted, there are many graphics settings that can be tweaked to improve this, so consider this a worst-case scenario.
As with Fortnite, you’ll want to take advantage of DLSS to get really playable frame rates in Control. Only our 4K test uses DLSS here, but we may expand that to 1440p in our next round of retesting. At 1080p, the 3070 can handle the game with ray tracing but without DLSS, delivering about 60 FPS average.
Quake II RTX
Quake II is one of the unfortunate RTX games that doesn’t have a DLSS option, which is too bad, as the game is really grueling on GPU hardware, making 4K ambitions laughable even on the RTX 3090. The RTX 3070 can fortunately deliver enough oomph to deliver 90 FPS at 1080p, or just under 60 FPS at 1440p. As usual, we’re using high detail settings here, so you can adjust downward to improve 60 FPS goals if you need to.