The Easy Answer
If you want the gist of it as fast as possible, here’s our answer:
The Nvidia RTX 2070 is a powerful graphics card, and there’s no doubt about that, but at a price reaching upwards of $500 USD now, it’s hard to recommend it over the $400USD price average of the new RTX 2060 Super or AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT.
- Ray tracing (in games that support it)
- Outstanding performance without ray tracing
- 4K playability in a wide range of titles
- Very few RTX enabled games
- Reasonably expensive when compared to similar alternatives
- Rising in price
Checking back on the price, we can find that the $500 price isn’t a mistake, after all, being that the RTX 2070’s MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is $499USD. However, seeing that the Nvidia Founder’s Edition cards will smack you in the wallet with a $649 price with not too much extra to offer beyond its title.
As we mentioned before, the RTX 2070 is quite a capable graphics card, and you’ll no doubt get one of the best gaming performance experiences out there, but for the price, we’re having a hard time suggesting it.
Compared to the likes of the previous generation’s offerings, the old GTX 1070 went for just about $450 on the market, so we’re getting a bit of a price increase this generation. Although this time around, you’re getting significantly better performance.
Even comparing it to last gen’s GTX 1080, the RTX 2070 is on a bit of a winning streak performance-wise, and also price-wise in some cases. It even beats the RTX 2060 Super that we mentioned in the intro, albeit by about 4% in games on average.
So, for around $100, is it really worth all it seems?
Pricing for the RTX 2070
As we mentioned in the last section, the RTX 2070 goes for just about $500USD on Amazon, but honestly, we think it should be a bit lower.
Taking into account the fact that Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Super can be found for just $509.99USD on Amazon as well, we find it peculiar that the regular 2070 is so close in price when there’s a noticeably substantial performance gap between the two. At that point, why not just buy an RTX 2070 Super in the first place?
In a similarly odd situation, the RTX 2060 Super can be found for around $400USD on Amazon as we said at the start, and the 2060 Super performs quite similarly (just a little bit lower) to the baseline RTX 2070 as you’ll see in our benchmarks below. Again, why would you go for the RTX 2070 if that’s the case?
Alongside those two weird cases, the RX 5700 XT that’s at a similar price as the RTX 2060 provides almost the same or even better than the RTX 2060 in games at the same price. But more importantly, the RX 5700 XT performs leagues ahead of the RTX 2060 in our workstation benchmarks for the same price.
It’s almost like AMD and Nvidia are in cahoots to persuade consumers into not purchasing the RTX 2070.
RTX 2070 Baseline Features
The internal components of the RTX 2070 are nothing to scoff at, though they barely fall short of the baseline specs of the RX 5700 XT, except for its ray-tracing cores.
In comparison to the last generation, there’s a pretty big bump up in every field with, of course, that addition of ray tracing cores.
Also, compared to the GTX 1080, the RTX 2070 has lower numbers in both clock speeds and processing cores, but this doesn’t mean it falls behind the 1080 thanks to its faster GDDR6 memory and newer architecture.
Speaking of ray-tracing, the number of RT cores on the RTX 2070 does seem a bit odd compared to the higher level cards. Running just 6 and 2 more cores than the RTX 2060 and 2060 Super, respectively, it wouldn’t seem like the RTX 2070 would be performing all that much better in ray-traced games than the latter two. Though, the higher base performance of the RTX 2070 nullifies that.
However, we still think it’s a bit odd that jumping up to the RTX 2080 offers another 10 RT cores.
RTX 2070 vs. RTX 2060 Super
Taking a bit of a closer look at the differences between just the RTX 2070 and it’s smaller, more well-endowed brother the RTX 2060 Super.
First off, as we’ve mentioned before (and we’ll say again), the RTX 2060 Super costs much less than the RTX 2070 at an average of around $400USD. We always stress that price-to-performance is very important unless the price is no issue. And if you’re going for an RTX 2070 over an RTX 2080 or 2080 Ti, price is probably an issue.
Such a big gap in price should warrant an equal boost in real-world performance, but in this case, it just doesn’t. Based on our gaming benchmarks, we can definitively see that the performance difference between these two cards in gaming is beyond unreasonable at this price difference. A variation of about 5-10FPS for almost a hundred more dollars, that’s crazy.
This performance gap is a little bit different when it comes to our workstation benchmarks, but not by much. While the RTX 2070 generally beats out the 2060 Super in this field, it’s once again not by a super noticeably large margin.
RTX 2070 vs. RX 5700 XT
In the case of the RTX 2070 vs. the RX 5700 XT, there’s a bit more of a performance gap in favor of the 5700 XT oddly enough.
The RX 5700 XT follows a similar price pattern to that of the RTX 2060 Super. While the 5700 XT on average runs a tad more expensive than the 2060 Super, it can be found at sub-400 dollars with some models and even lower with sales.
It’s a pretty awesome card. You get a low price with the benefit of noticeably better performance in games with the unfortunate trade-off being that this card offers not ray-tracing.
Similarly, the RX 5700 XT performs around the same as the RTX 2060 Super in our workstation tasks, so it may be worth it to opt for AMD over Nvidia in this case. However, once again, you’ll be giving up ray-tracing capability.
Of course, we know the importance of graphics cards for gaming, so we weren’t going to leave out the beautiful gaming benchmarks. We decided to pit the RTX 2070 against the rest of the new RTX and RTX Super lineups, as well as the similarly performing AMD RX 5700 XT for comparison.
All of the following benchmarks were run using an Intel Core i5-9600K with games at Ultra or otherwise maximum settings.
The Witcher 3, 1080p and (4K)
Let’s start with the ever-popular Witcher 3, a notoriously hard to run title to run in 4K.
While looking at the 1920×1080 performance, there aren’t any real surprises. And our RTX 2070 once again proves itself more than capable of mere 1080p gaming. Now that we get to see practical in-game performance side by side with the 2070’s closest competitors, the RTX 2060 Super and RX 5700 XT.
While both cards fall behind the RTX 2070 in 1080p and 4K performance, the pricing of both makes up for it.
Moving up to the RTX 2070 Super, however, we see a noticeable jump in FPS. Oddly enough, on Amazon, at least, it seems that Nvidia and their sellers are trying to phase out the RTX 2070 entirely. And you can find the Super edition at a price very close to the regular baseline version. So it may be worth opting for one of those instead.
CS:GO, 1080p and 4K
Everyone knows CS: GO is a game you could practically run on a potato, and our lineup of testing cards are quite the vegetables.
Not a single card falls below 200FPS, even in 4K gaming, going all the way back to last generation’s 10-series cards. We understand that CS: GO may not be the best game for testing the performance of GPUs, but as it’s quite a popular title, we decided it should be tested anyway.
Borderlands 3, 1080p and 4K
The new Borderlands 3 really surprised us in its apparent difficulty in running at 4K resolution. Even at 1080p, it was much lower than our expectations.
Don’t expect to even attempt 4K Ultra gaming on the RTX 2070, or really any GPU on the current market. Going up to even the top of the line RTX 2080 Ti shows that the sweet 60FPS goal of every gamer isn’t anywhere in sight, even though 40FPS is a fairly playable framerate. If you decide to stick with 1080p, your GPU will thank you, and the RTX 2070 will provide a perfect gaming experience.
Metro Exodus, 1080p and 4K
Another relatively new title, we expected Metro Exodus to be quite a difficult title to run.
At 1080p, our 2070 barely passes the 60FPS landmark as an average FPS, so don’t expect to have a continuous 60FPS, but the RX 5700 XT looks a bit more promising in this title. On 4K, it’s a similar case to that of Borderlands 3, but in all fairness, this is one beautiful game.
Additionally, Metro Exodus is one of the only titles out right now that has full support for Nvidia’s RTX ray-tracing technology. Let us know how it goes if you try to run 4K Ultra with ray-tracing on!
Apex Legends, 1080p and 4K
Another not-so-hard-to-run eSports title, and subsequently our final title, Apex Legends, proved a breeze at 1080p and oddly difficult at 4K.
Per usual, the RTX 2070 is a great card for gaming in Apex Legends and can muster a playable framerate at 4K Ultra while not exactly reaching 60FPS. Once again, though, the RX 5700 XT beats out the RTX 2070 in 1080p performance and actually manages to best the 2070 Super as well.
Lately, we’ve noticed a lot of “non-gamers” have been scouring the market for a new and powerful graphics card. It seems to be the case that, as GPU technology keeps advancing, their applicability in tasks like 3D Rendering and Animation is becoming more critical and commonplace than ever.
Below you’ll find some workstation benchmarks that show just how the RTX 2070 might help you if you’re an aspiring 3D Artist, Design Major, or just working in that field.
Most, if not all of our workstation benchmarks, followed a similar trend to that of the previous gaming benchmarks with the exception of the RTX 2070’s performance gap lead between itself and the 5700 XT in 3DMark Time Spy Extreme.
Our Final Say on the RTX 2070
Our final decision for the RTX 2070 is similar to our opening “short answer” statement.
The RTX 2070 is an amazing feat of engineering. It’s an amazing graphics card for both gaming and workstation tasks, and you will not be disappointed with its performance if you decide to purchase one for yourself.
However, when compared to similarly priced graphics cards and similarly performing graphics, it isn’t hard to tell that there are a couple of other GPUs out there right now that would give you a much better performance-per-dollar experience.
Cards like the RTX 2060 Super perform nearly identical to the RTX 2070 and retain the ray-tracing capabilities while offering a much lower price. Not to mention that AMD’s RX 5700 meets or even exceeds the 2070’s performance in both 1080p and 4K gaming.
As much as this graphics card has going for it, with the current market price upwards of $500USD for the RTX 2070 on Amazon, we find it very hard to suggest buying one over any of the other similar cards we mentioned.