Product on Review: RTX 4070 NB EX-V Graphics Card
Street Price: USD $1400
GPU Series MSRP:
UK: £589.99 (inc. V.A.T.)
AUS: $1090 (inc. Tax)
NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 40-series has dominated the desktop GPU market since its launch last year, complete with important new technologies and blockbuster performance. The RTX 4070 is their latest release, bringing the acclaimed Ada Lovelace architecture to the true mid-tier in their historically fan-favourite x70 class of cards. Today we’re looking at an edition from Chinese manufacturer Colorful, stalwart of the Asia-Pacific region, and other models from a host of NVIDIA’s partners are also available worldwide to take home at the time of writing.
The current market seems poised to latch on to a true price-performance GPU king should they appear, one that can soothe the ache of an inflation-affected wallet and satisfy the needs of today’s mixed gaming landscape. We’ll get to the former in a bit, but the latter in particular is being partially addressed by the inclusion of 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM as standard on the new RTX 4070. While stories persist of new titles in significant need of optimisation, particularly when leveraging ray traced lighting effects, the previous limitation of 8GB on the 3070/2070 seemed foolhardy even for 1080p/Ultra gaming in 2023 and beyond.
The RTX 40-series also brings with it DLSS 3.0. This much-discussed technology leverages Ada hardware capabilities to insert interpolated frames generated by a deep learning neural network, boosting perceived frame rates and also operating in tandem with the upscaling aspect of DLSS. Its aim is to make computationally expensive (esp. ray-traced) environments more than merely playable at high resolutions and scene complexities, even if it introduces a modicum of latency.
Utilising DLSS 3.0 NVIDIA claims that the RTX 4070 boasts higher fps figures than even the burly RTX 3090, silicon that’s limited to DLSS 2.1. However, the technology still requires implementation at the game engine level and so isn’t available for all titles. It’s for this reason that direct comparisons with the RTX 30-series and other GPUs in marketing material came in for some criticism in the pre-launch window.
Colorful meanwhile are a manufacturer with some pedigree in the Asia-Pacific region. They enjoy a diverse component lineup including motherboard, GPU, memory and even storage. Consumers looking for conventional air-cooled graphics card designs are catered to by the mainline Colorful lineup, and more premium solutions including AIO water-cooled models are available through their sibling iGame series.
The RTX 4070 NB EX-V boasts specifications exactly in line with references parameters: a 5888 CUDA core based on the Ada Lovelace architecture with a base clock of 1.92GHz, boosting to 2.48GHz, and 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM through a 192-bit memory bus. Where it takes some initiative is the cooling solution; a triple axial fan design pushing air through a >2-slot cooler is more than you might expect for an x70-series card, particularly one at a TDP of only 200W, but such a design may allow it to run more quietly than would otherwise be the case.
In contrast to other members of the RTX 40-series, a TDP of 200W probably won’t mean an immediate PSU upgrade is also necessary. Like-for-like replacement of a x70-series card only pushes the rated TDP up 25W (from 175W on the RTX 2070), although transient loads are likely to be higher. It is notable that the card leverages the new 12+4-pin 12V PCIe Gen 5 connector standard which is only native to the newest PSUs, although Colorful do provide an adapter for the majority of consumers who require it.
By far the most controversial aspect of the RTX 4070’s launch has been its MSRP. For models close to the ‘reference’ specification NVIDIA have laid out a price of $599 in the United States, £589 (inc. V.A.T.) in the UK and $1099 AUD (inc. Tax) in Australia, which is US$100 more than the RTX 3070 and 2070 before it. That’s a bitter pill to swallow at a time when the cost of living is increasing and GPU manufacturers have been complaining of cratering sales in the consumer segment. It’s perhaps unsurprising therefore that pricing has been extremely volatile in the weeks since launch, with many models available significantly below MSRP or bundling in additional value that sweetens the deal to the point of being in line with historic x70-series pricing.
So, with Colorful’s RTX 4070 NB EX-V as a representative example of the series, let’s see how well it compares to both the plethora of options in the market and those already in hands of gamers worldwide.
Established in 1995, Colorful is a brand with a 20+ year history. It is a comprehensive company that holds the largest share in the Chinese graphics card market, integrating independent development, production, and sales. Also, it is a strategic partner of NVIDIA, AMD, and INTEL in China.