A solid, no frills offering.
Following in-depth reviews and benchmarks of GTX 1070 Ti models from Asus and Zotac, today we’re looking at the midrange offering from EVGA – the EVGA GTX 1070 Ti SuperClocked Gaming Black Edition (See it on Amazon).
This $469 model slots in above the company’s entry-level model with a blower-style cooler that’s available $449, but below the high-end FTW2 version which comes in at $499. As a midrange model it’s lacking several notable EVGA staples including ICX sensors and RGB lighting, making it a no-frills board with ACX 3.0 cooling. Due to its lowish price point it’s not directly competing with the previous 1070 Ti boards we reviewed from Asus and Zotac, but makes a pretty compelling argument in favor of the 1070 Ti overall as it’s much less expensive than most GTX 1080s despite being so close in performance. Let’s dive in”
Design and Features
Compared to the two previous $500 GTX 1070 Ti boards I reviewed, this one is stands apart due to its smaller size, lower price, and less audacious cooling. It’s a pretty straightforward two-slot board with a single 8-pin PCIe connector, and EVGA’s fancy ACX 3.0 cooling. That means it does not have the ICX sensor array like in the GTX 1080 Ti we reviewed, so you can’t see all the temperatures on the board including the voltage modules and so forth.
Instead you just get to the see the GPU temp, and that’s it. For most people this is sufficient, obviously. Power users may want to spring for more detailed temperature monitoring. One other weird limitation is this board has an illuminated logo along the edge, but it’s white only and you can’t change its color.
In terms of specs this is a by-the-book model, so its Base and Boost clocks are what you’ll see on the vast majority of GTX 1070 Ti. As I’ve said before this is irrelevant since 10-series GPUs will boost beyond these numbers all by themselves without any user interaction, but for the record this card has a Base clock of 1,607MHz and a Boost clock of 1,683. I am pretty sure this will be the same for all GTX 1070 Ti cards unless the manufacturer can tweak the overclock settings via its software, which is the route both Zotac and Asus took. Still, it doesn’t really matter as I imagine most all of these boards will boost to the neighborhood of 1,900MHz all by themselves. For what it’s worth EVGA does offer one-click overclocking via its PrecisionXOC software, but you have to type in your serial number to do it, which, frankly, is a royal pain.
The SC version of the GTX 1070 Ti has three DisplayPort 1.4a ports and one HDMI 2.0 port, along with a dual-link DVI port for those of you with older displays. This GPU also supports SLI, like all the other GTX 1070 Ti boards.
I’ve always been a fan of EVGA’s PrecisionX software, and think it’s the best on the market just because it shows you all the relevant information in an easy-to-read window, and it also makes overclocking super easy as well. The newest version has gained the initials OC in its name and displays a ton of info on the main screen including all your clock speeds, fan speed settings, and the model of the GPU.
In addition to setting a custom fan curve and overclocking (more on that below), you can also setup an On Screen Display too, which is excellent but also kind of hard to read even at the “large” setting. It would be handy if you could select more attributes too, but it shows the most important stats.
The main function of the PrecisionXOC software is to overclock, and it’s very easy to execute. This particular GPU comes with a “one click scan” function that’s similar to what some of the motherboard manufacturers offer in that it overclocks the card for you after testing a bunch of different clock speeds. I’ll go over that in detail below.
Since we just reviewed two other GTX 1070 Ti cards that were more expensive than the SC Black Edition, I was curious to see what performance difference – if any – there would be between the cards at these slightly different price points ($469 versus $499). To find out I put the EVGA card into our hand-built test system that’s comprised of an Intel Core i7-7700K CPU, Asus Z270 motherboard, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, an Intel SSD and an EVGA power supply. This card is facing competition both from the GTX 1070 as well as the Radeon RX Vega, as well as the GTX 1080 so it’s taking flak from all directions.
And the results are in – it’s safe to say most of these GTX 1070 Ti cards perform about the same, give or take a frame here and there. Looking at the numbers it becomes perfectly clear that once you’ve decided on a GPU model, you’re essentially choosing what additional features you want in addition to the performance of the GPU itself, because the notion that one brand might perform noticeably better seems to be a pipe dream. We saw this same phenomenon in evaluating the GTX 1080 Tis as well. They all perform the same, so the differences really come down to overall design, lighting, software, and warranty.
This GPU is actually a great example of this in practice, since it performs the same as the $500 GPUs from Asus and Zotac but runs a bit hotter (and you can hear its fans too), doesn’t have customizable lighting, and doesn’t have fancy features like Asus’ Fan Sync or Zotac’s dual LEDs and silent operation.
EVGA has a fairly new feature with its GPUs that performs “auto” overclocking on the card. You just click a few buttons in PrecisionXOC, enter your card’s serial number (grr), and go get a cup of coffee while it overclocks the card and runs a demo that looks a bit like FurMark while “scanning for artifacts.”
I stepped away from my computer entirely, and when I came back a pop-up was asking if I wanted to apply the overclock, so I did. After I rebooted and ran Heaven 4.0 to see where it landed on the OC scale, I saw it vacillating between 1,947MHz and 1,966MHz. That sounds about right, as when left to its own devices and run at 100 percent load for an hour or so, the card would settle on about 1,847MHz thanks to GPU Boost. This means EVGA added about 100MHz to it overall. That’s not too shabby, but of course I wanted to see how far it would go with manual tuning. After some fiddling and some hard lock ups I finally got it up to 2,050Mhz, which was the same overclock I was able to get out of the more expensive Asus ROG Strix card, and slightly better than average for a 10-series GPU, which usually go up to around 2GHz but not much further.
When I ran a few tests with it overclocked at 1920×1080, it amounted to a 3.3 percent boost in Heaven, a seven percent boost in Tomb Raider, and a 3.5 percent boost in Shadow of Mordor. That’s about as good as you can expect from any modern GPU, so it seems like despite the EVGA card’s lowish price point (just $20 more than the base model) it still overclocks well, and can be expected to run right around 2GHz or so, all while still running at around 67C. That’s pretty sweet.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti SC Black Edition has an MSRP of $469.99, and for now that is its exact price online. GPU prices are still pretty crazy, so it may fluctuate upwards in the coming days: