If you read our review of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX G1 Gaming review a couple of days ago, you know we were pretty impressed. We were not done though, because we have managed to score two of these beauties. So what do you do with two GTX 1070’s? Well you SLI them.
What we wanted to know is exactly what kind of performance would two of these already very fast have. We already know that the GTX 1070 is capable of handling 1080 and 1440 resolution pretty well, but it can struggle under 4K. Will adding a second card alleviate that? Well that is what we are here to find out.
Multi-card SLI (Nvidia) and Crossfire (AMD) are known to have a few issues. First, support for multi-cards setups is up to the game designer, so there is no guarantee that it will give you a massive bump in performance, if any bump at all. Second, it just plain might not work at all, as some games crash, blue-screen, and/or can lock up.
Most of this review will be a recap of the single card review for those who have not had a chance to read it. If you have read the single card review, you can probably just skip to the meaty parts. Either way, we hope you enjoy it.
The Gigabyte GTX 10X G1 Gaming cards are not reference cards, though the design is simi-lar on the PCB level. Sure Gigabyte could have just replaced the cooler and called it a day, but that is not the G1 Gaming way. First off, PCB has been redesigned. They replaced the 5+1 phase power design of the reference card with a much more stout 6+2 design. This should improve stability when the card is overclocked to the edge and lessen temperatures somewhat.
Next up Gigabyte added a customizable RGB LED lighting system. A total of 16.8M can be mixed and there are numerous effects. Gigabyte’s own XTREME Engine Utility controls the lighting, plus there’s handy overclocking and fan controls included.
All of this is polished off with Gigabyte’s very own Windforce 3X cooler. The Windforce 3X cooler features three fans with a unique blade. It is designed to run silent at lower temperatures by stopping those fans, which is indicated by a LED lit “Fan Stop” logo. There is also composite heat-pipes that promise superior performance.
A Bit About Pascal
Pascal is a direct evolution of Maxwell, but it is manufactured on a new 16nm process versus the 28nm process that was used with both Maxwell and Kepler. Like the rest of the GTX 100 series, the GTX 1070 is a bit different from the GTX 970 it replaces. The raster operations pipelines count has been increased to 64, from 56. The texture mapping units have been increased from 104 to 150. The new card features 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM versus 4GB GDDR5 VRAM. The CUDA core count is now 1920 versus 1664. All of this while having power requirements that are far lower than the previous card.
New features in GP10x:
- CUDA Compute Capability 6.0(GP100 only), 6.1(GP104)
- DisplayPort 1.4
- HDMI 2.0b
- Fourth generation Delta Color Compression
- Half precision FP16 operations executed at twice the rate of FP32 (GP100 only), while FP64 operations run at 1/2(GP100 only) or 1/32 the speed respectively
- PureVideo Feature Set G hardware video decoding HEVC Main10(10bit), Main12(12bit) & VP9 hardware decoding(GM200 & GM204 did not support HEVC Main10/Main12 & VP9 hardware decoding)
- HDCP 2.2 support for 4K DRM protected content playback & streaming(Maxwell GM200 & GM204 lack HDCP 2.2 support, GM206 supports HDCP 2.2)
- NVENC HEVC Main10 10bit hardware encoding
- GPU Boost 3.0
- Simultaneous Multi-Projection
- HB SLI Bridge Technology
- New memory controller with GDDR5X & GDDR5 support
|GTX 1080||GTX 1070||GTX Titan X||GTX 980 Ti||GTX 980|
|Transistor count||7.2 Billion||7.2 Billion||8 Billion||8 Billion||5.2 Billion|
|Fabrication Node||TSMC 16 nm||TSMC 16 nm||TSMC 28 nm||TSMC 28 nm||TSMC 28 nm|
|SMMs / SMXs||20||15||24||22||16|
|GPU Clock Core||1,607 MHz||1,506 MHz||1,002 MHz||1,002 MHz||1,127 MHz|
|GPU Boost clock||1,733 MHz||1,683 MHz||1,076 MHz||1,076 MHz||1,216 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1,250 MHz||2,000 MHz||1,753 MHz||1,753 MHz||1,753 MHz|
|Memory Size||8 GB||8 GB||12 GB||6 GB||4 GB|
|Memory Bandwidth||320 GB/s||256 GB/s||337 GB/s||337 GB/s||224 GB/s|
|FP Performance||9.0 TFLOPS||6.45 TFLOPS||7.0 TFLOPS||6.4 TFLOPS||4.61 TFLOPS|
|GPU Thermal Threshold||94 Degrees C||94 Degrees C||91 Degrees C||91 Degrees C||95 Degrees C|
|TDP||180 Watts||150 Watts||250 Watts||250 Watts||165 Watts|
Gigabyte’s take on the GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming
WINDFORCE Cooling System- Fans
Unique Blade Fan Design
The airflow is spilt by the triangle fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the air flow by 23% over traditional fans.
3D Active Fan with LED Indicators
The semi-passive fans will remain off when the GPU is under a set loading or temperature for low power gaming. The LED fan indicator on the top of the graphics card provides an instant display of the fan status.
The composite heat-pipes combines both thermal conductivity and phase transition for efficiently managing the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces which increases
WINDFORCE Cooling System – Heat Pipes
Heat Pipe Direct Touch
The pure copper heat pipes are shaped to maximize the direct contact area to the GPU
16.8M Customizable Color Lighting
With 16.8M customizable color options and numerous lighting effects, you could now choose the right scheme for your gaming rig through XTREME Engine utility.
Stylish Metal Back Plate
The metal back plate offers rigidity and protection to the structure, while adding a sleek, clean look to the product.
GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting
Forged with only the top-notch GPU, the Gigabyte G1 GAMING graphics cards guarantee higher overclocking capability in terms of excellent power switching, ensuring the highest performance without compromising system reliability.
One-click Super overclocking
With a simple click on XTREME engine utility, gamers can easily tune the card to meet their various gaming requirements without any overclocking knowledge, while saving the hassle of manual adjustment.
Smart Power LED indicators
Be alert when PCI-E voltage is unstable with the smart power LED indicator.
Built for OverClocking with 6+2 power phases
Compared to founders edition, the 6+2 power phases on the card make the MOSFET working at a lower temperature and provide more stable voltage output. (*founders edition:4+1)
Ultra Durable Materials
Engineered with the highest-grade chokes and capacitors, this graphic card delivers outstanding performance and durable system lifespan.
Intuitive XTREME Engine Utility
Adjust clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, RGB lighting effect, power target, OSD setting can be monitored and tuned in real-time according to your own preference through this intuitive interface.
The Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming comes in a large semi-gloss black box with Gigabyte’s “G1 Gaming” logo featured predominately in the front. The box is bright a quite eye catching.
On the back is some highlights of the new card’s features. The box is very colorful and easy to read.
There is a box inside the outer box.
Once that box is opened, we find other box.
Once that box is removed, we see our first glimpse of the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming nestled comfortably in protective foam and an ESD bag.
Features and Specifications
- Power by GeForce® GTX 1070
- Integrated with 8GB GDDR5 256bit memory
- WINDFORCE 3X with Blade Fan Design
- Support up to 8K display @60Hz (requires 2*DP1.3 connectors)
- 16.8M Customizable Color RGB Lighting
- Pascal-powered graphics card give you superior performance and power efficiency
- Outstanding performance for Virtual Reality gaming
- Boost: 1822 MHz/ Base: 1620 MHz in OC Mode
- Boost: 1784 MHz/ Base: 1594 MHz in Gaming Mode
- WINDFORCE 3X cooling system
- 16.8M Customizable Color Lighting
- Stylish Metal Back Plate
- GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting
- One-click super overclocking
- LED power indicators
- Built for overclocking with 6+2 power phases (founders edition: 4+1 )
- Ultra durable materials
- Intuitive XTREME Engine
WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System
- Unique blade fan design
- 3D Active Fan with RGB LED Indicators
- 2 composite heat-pipes
- Heat-pipes direct touch GPU
|Graphics Processing||GeForce® GTX 1070|
|Core Clock||Boost: 1822 MHz/ Base: 1620 MHz in OC Mode|
Boost: 1784 MHz/ Base: 1594 MHz in Gaming Mode
|Memory Clock||8008 MHz|
|Process Technology||16 nm|
|Memory Size||8 GB|
|Memory Bus||256 bit|
|Card Bus||PCI-E 3.0 x 16|
|Digital max resolution||7680×4320 (requires 2*DP1.3 connectors)|
|Output||Dual-link DVI-D *1 |
HDMI-2.0b*1 (Max Resolution: 4096×2160 @60 Hz)
Display Port-1.4 *3 (Max Resolution: 7680×4320 @60 Hz)
|Power Connectors||8 pin*1|
|Card size||H=41 L=280 W=114 mm|
A Closer Look
The Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming features Gigabyte’s own Windforce 3X cooler. Cosmetically, The cooler is very similar to what we saw on Gigabyte’s last generation Nvidia and AMD cards. The card is on the larger side, but should still fit in a wide variety of cases.
The card has a menacing look from every angle.
There is a customizable RGB LED lighting system. A total of 16.8M can be mixed and there are numerous effects. The Gigabyte logo is always lit, but the Fan Stop logo is only lit when the fans are stopped. Control of the RGB LED lighting system is available through Gigabyte’s own XTREME Engine Utility, which we will get to later in the review.
A new backplate design also debuts with this new card.
There is at least one of each of the most common monitor connections, so there are plenty of connections options.
With a 150 watt TDP, the GeForce GTX 1070 only needs power from one 6 pin connector. Gigabyte has chosen to go with an 8 pin design instead.
Gigabyte includes a few accessories with the card. There is a quick guide and a driver disk.
Normally we do not include software in our video card reviews, but now with many cards including specialized software for control and/or use of addition features, we that it pertinent.
With the release of the Geforce 100 series cards, Gigabyte has released a new version of its video card overclocking utility. Now called XTREME Engine Utility, this software allows for overclocking, fan profile changes, monitoring, RGB LED control, and much more.
The utility is easy to use and very flexible. In SLI configurations, cards can be controlled as a set or individually. This made for some very nice light shows when two cards were installed.
Nvidia’s SLI and AMD’s Crossfire allow you to add additional cards for improved performance. Depending on the model, one to three additional cards may be added to the original card. The theory is that you can double, triple, or even quadruple the performance of one card alone.
The reality is that the more cards you add, the worse the scaling is. Two cards will not perform twice as fast as a single card, most of the time. By the time you get to four cards, it may only perform moderately faster than a three card arraignment. Generally, anything more than two cards is going to produce some headaches.
SLI and Crossfire do have requirements that have to be met in order for them to work. First off, the cards need to be capable of being used in a multi-card arraignment. Second, some cards are limited to the total number of additional cards you can use. For example, the GTX 1070’s we are using today are limited to a two card configuration. Lastly, there are motherboard requirements.
A SLI certified motherboard is required for SLI use. These are fairly common. Most enthusiast level Intel motherboards from the P55 chipset on are SLI certified, as well as some newer AMD motherboards. We will be using a SLI certified Intel Z170 chipset motherboard for this review.
For AMD Crossfire, pretty much any Intel or AMD chipset motherboard with two or more PCIe x16 slots running at 4x or higher will work.
Once the additional cards are installed, it is just a simple matter of configuring the multi-card arrangement in driver software. This is not a complicated task. As both Nvidia and AMD update their drivers quite frequently, I will not go into explaining exactly how to do that, as the next update might just change the procedure and we would not want to confuse anyone.
System Configuration and Testing Environment
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH Gaming 7 Motherboard
- Intel Core i7 6700K Processor
- Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory
- Patriot Ignite 3K 960GB Solid State Drive
- Custom Water Cooling
- Spotswood Small Tech Bench
- XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Geeks3D – Furmark
- TechPowerUp – GPU-Z
- CPUID – HWMonitor
- Futuremark – 3DMark (DX11)
- Maxon – Cinebench R15 (OpenGL)
- Unigine – Heaven (DX11)
- 2K Games – Bioshock: Infinite (DX11)
- Codemasters – DiRT Rally (DX11)
- Rockstar – Grand Theft Auto: V (DX11)
- IO Interactive – Hitman (DX12)
- Deep Silver – Metro: Last Light(DX11)
- SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Thief (DX11 and Mantle)
- SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Tomb Raider(DX11)
- GeForce Game Ready Driver Version 368.39 – WHQL
Performance testing consists two sets of tests, synthetic benchmarks and actual game benchmarks. Between the two synthetic benchmarks and five game benchmarks; we are able to test OpenGL, DirectX 9.0C, DirectX 11, and Mantle application programming interface (API) environments. Synthetic benchmarks are run at their default settings. For gaming benchmarks; 1920×1070, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 resolutions are used with more demanding detail settings. This is the test where higher price range cards will typically perform well.
Games are chosen using four criteria: 1) Each game must be a well-known title. 2) Each game must have its own built-in benchmark. 3) Each game must be on a game engine that is different from the other games or utilize its game engine in a way that is unique from the other games used. 4) Each game must be free of continuous patch updates, to ensure a consistent environment for future graphics card testing.
Mechanical drives are eliminated in the test system, to alleviate any I/O-related bottlenecks. All testing was done with an Intel i7 6700K processor clocked at 4.5 GHz.
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit is chosen as the operating system, due to it being the most common operating system currently in use. Only the most current non-beta release drivers are used for testing, unless specifically stated otherwise.
3DMark – Firestrike
“The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it’s not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.
Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”
“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”
“Heaven Benchmark immerses a user into a magical steampunk world of shiny brass, wood and gears. Nested on flying islands, a tiny village with its cozy, sun-heated cobblestone streets, an elaborately crafted dirigible above the expanse of fluffy clouds, and a majestic dragon on the central square gives a true sense of adventure. An interactive experience with fly-by and walk-through modes allows for exploring all corners of this world powered by the cutting-edge UNIGINE Engine that leverages the most advanced capabilities of graphics APIs and turns this benchmark into a visual masterpiece.”
“The SteamVR Performance Test measures your system’s rendering power using a 2-minute sequence from Valves Aperture Robot Repair VR demo. After collecting the data it determines whether your system is capable of running VR content at 90fps and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. For machines that are not VR Ready the tool can help determine whether capabilities are bound by Graphics Card, CPU, or both.”
“Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia.”
Bioshock: Infinite, developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, is the third iteration of the Bioshock franchise. It uses the extremely popular Unreal 3 game engine and is one of the best looking games of 2013.
“DiRT Rally is the most authentic and thrilling rally game ever made, road-tested over 80 million miles by the DiRT community. It perfectly captures that white knuckle feeling of racing on the edge as you hurtle along dangerous roads at breakneck speed, knowing that one crash could irreparably harm your stage time.
DiRT Rally also includes officially licensed World Rallycross content, allowing you to experience the breathless, high-speed thrills of some of the world’s fastest off-road cars as you trade paint with other drivers at some of the series’ best-loved circuits, in both singleplayer and high-intensity multiplayer races.”
Codemasters’ 2011 Dirt 3 is possibly the most popular rally racing game ever created. Dirt Rally is sure to continue that trend. It uses an updated version of the EGO game engine, which is also used has also been used in previous version of the Dirt series.
Grand Theft Auto: V
“When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.
Grand Theft Auto V for PC offers players the option to explore the award-winning world of Los Santos and Blaine County in resolutions of up to 4k and beyond, as well as the chance to experience the game running at 60 frames per second.”
Grand Theft Auto: V is the newest game in our benchmark suite. The game offers players a huge range of PC-specific customization options, including over 25 separate configurable settings for texture quality, shaders, tessellation, anti-aliasing and more. It has the highest recommended system requirements in our game benchmark suite.
“Hitman is a third-person stealth video game in which players take control of Agent 47, a genetically enhanced, superhuman assassin, travelling to international locations and eliminating contracted targets. As in other games in the Hitman series, players are given a large amount of room for creativity in approaching their assassinations
Developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix, Hitman is our first DirectX 12 benchmark.
Metro: Last Light
“It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above.”
Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At its highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.
“Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.”
Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD’s Mantle API, as well as Microsoft’s common DirectX 11 API.
“Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.”
Tomb Raider was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. It features a modified version of the Crystal game engine and was the first game to integrate AMD’s TressFX 2.0, which adds hair, fur and grass physics.
Temperatures and Noise
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming pair ran quite cool. The large triple fan design allows for a profile that is less than aggressive side. I found no reason to adjust the fan profile further, even when the cards were aggressively overclocked. Both cards ran similar temperatures thanks to our test motherboard’s wide PCIe slot design and the use of an open air test bench. With a tighter slot design and/or a closed case, the top card will run much warmer than the lower card.
Noise is a very subjective thing. While measuring dB level of noise can tell you how loud something is, it does not tell you the quality of the noise. Human hearing is the most sensitive in the 4000Hz range. This is roughly the same pitch as a crying newborn baby or the old adage nails on a chalkboard. The human brain is wired to react to this frequency range and when we are unable to stop the noise, we become agitated.
For this test, the best case scenario is absolute silence. For the worst case scenario, I use the most annoying sounding and loudest video card I have at my disposal, the Nvidia 7600GT. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming pair were almost silent most of the time. Even under full load, I rarely noticed any fan noise or coil whine coming from either card.
I decided to use Gigabyte’s own “XTREME Engine Utility” overclocking utility for the sake of simplicity. I adjusted the power target and voltage to the maximum. I tweaked the core speed first and then moved onto the memory speed. After much fine tuning, we ended up with +85 1870/2050Mhz on the core and +1250MHz (9244MHz) on the memory.
Now you may have noticed that this is lower than what we got with just the single card. This is common with multi-GPU arraignments. The additional overhead creates other factors that can lower the overclocking limit. The more card you add, the lower that limit can become.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Using the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming cards in SLI was quite a bit of fun. The frame rates we achieved were mind boggling. I found myself laughing a few times watching the FPS meter climb well over 100 FPS even when running some of the games at 4K.
The dual card arraignment was not without its issues though. If you panned through the graphs, you may have noticed performance was hit or miss at the 1080 resolution. In some cases, such as Grand Theft Auto: V, we were CPU bound. Yes, even with our test bench’s i7 6700K running at 4.5 GHz, we were CPU bound. Once the resolution was increased to 1440, the combination of two GTX 1070’s really started to shine.
Another issue we had was with Hitman. No matter what we tried, it just would not work under DX12 with SLI enabled. After doing some digging, I found out that this is not an uncommon problem. In fact, I was not able to find anyone who had managed to get a multi-GPU system working with Hitman under DX12. Apparently DX11 works, but unfortunately there are only minimal performance improvements, if any at all.
Ideally, it is better to go with one larger GPU than multiple smaller ones, when possible. In this case, there just is not a single GPU solution that is faster that two GTX 1070’s. If you are running at 1080 or 1440, you may want to consider running a single GTX 1080 instead. At 4K though, the lines get quite a bit blurrier. Myself, I would run the dual GTX 1070’s. For those games that do support multi-GPU, the increases in performance are quite noticeable. In the cases were multi-GPU is not supported, a single GTX 1070 is still able to deliver a satisfying experience. Once the new Titan and 1080Ti are released, I may change my mind, though I doubt it.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming is available at Newegg for a rather reasonable $429. That does add up to $858 when you factor in two cards. That is certainly not inexpensive.
- Super Fast
- Good Overclocking Capability
- RGB LED Lighting
- SLI Does Not Always Work Correctly
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