The RTX 3070 has been announced and we’ve been able to absorb the specifications and potential performance of this latest generation of GPUs from Nvidia. If the promises made in the keynote presentation are even close to meeting Ampere will herald a new era in graphics card capability. The RTX 3070 is a $499 card that outperforms the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti launched just 2 years ago. It launches in October and demand is likely to be wild, so get your pre-order in where possible!
Specifications indicate that it will be capable of fluid 60fps 4k gameplay and high FPS 1440p rendering in fast-paced shooters, with settings cranked up. They have doubled the Shader cores, Ray tracing cores and tensor cores performance over the outgoing Turing series RTX cards. Nvidia has made great strides in their AI-powered ‘DLSS 2.0’ algorithms. To achieve the next level in gaming graphics they use supercomputers to train a neural network: 16K resolution static renders of scenes from games are analysed and the data this produces form part of the driver package for RTX GPUs. When you’re playing the game the tensor cores use the neural network to upscale a lower resolution output to a native 1440p or 4K image, and the output is actually higher quality than the native resolution would be. Incredibly it’s also at higher frame rates because of the reduced computational loads for the GPU rendering the initial resolution. This is truly a next-generation technology and allows for unbelievable effects and post-processing without dropping frame rates.
To experience the full potential of the RTX 3070 you’ll need a rock-solid supporting system capable of high frame rates. We’ve found the components that offer the best performance at their price. This will enable you to build a 1440p high FPS gaming system that will be capable of stunning visuals and immersive fluid gameplay no matter what games you test it with thanks to the awesome RTX 3070.
RTX 3070 Gaming PC Build – The Parts List
|CPU||Intel Core i5-10600K||$279|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H100x||$71|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition||$499|
|Motherboard||MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi||$199|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 CL16||$69|
|Storage||WesternDigital Blue SN550 1TB||$104|
|Case||Fractal Design Meshify C||$99|
|Power Supply||Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro 750W 80+ Gold||$104|
CPU: Intel Core i5-10600K
For the CPU we’ve chosen Intel’s latest Comet Lake Core i5-10600K. This 6-core processor has hyperthreading for 12 logical cores and boosts to a 4.8Ghz clock speed. It significantly outpaces the alternatives from AMD in pure gaming performance thanks to a higher per-core throughput. It can also be overclocked allowing you to squeeze even more performance from it: doing this sees it nearly match the gaming performance of the 10 Core i9-10900K at under half the price. The CPU doesn’t support PCIe 4.0 but this isn’t an issue: Whilst Ampere GPU’s are PCIe 4.0 ready, the standard is both forwards and backwards compatible. Even the RTX 2080 Ti uses around half of available PCIe 3.0 bandwidth, so there will be no performance penalty using an RTX 3070 in a PCIe 3.0 system. With the RTX 3070 capable of very high frame rates even at 1440p, you need a high-performance CPU to keep up: The Intel i5-10600K fits the bill perfectly without breaking the bank.
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100x 240mm AIO
The Intel i5-10600K is a hot-running chip, and a solid cooling solution is required to keep temperatures low and boost clocks high. An overheating chip can throttle to protect itself and this ruins the gaming experience with low frame rates and jarring stutters. The Corsair H100x AIO Cooler sports a combined cold plate and pump with simple integrated white LED lighting, and a pair of quiet fans to pull air through the radiator. Even at full speed it makes minimal noise and has the cooling capacity for long periods of intense CPU activity. At just $72 it represents great value for money.
Motherboard: MSI Gaming Edge Z490 WiFi
MSI has produced a fantastic Z490 motherboard with their Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi. The voltage regulation circuitry is shared with much higher tier products in their range with a 12+1+1 phase configuration and 60Amp ISL99390 power stages: This Z490 motherboard is more than capable of supplying stable clean voltage for the i5-10600K even when overclocked. It incorporates both Wi-Fi 6 and Realtek 2.5G LAN, avoiding the networking issues associated with Intel’s common but defective I225-V 2.5G Network controller. There’s the usual assortment of USB ports including USB-C, Two M.2 slots and a high-quality Realtek ALC1200 Audio chip. This board combines a host of premium features in a good value package and is an excellent pairing with the i5-10600K.
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16
16GB of RAM is still plenty for gaming in 2020 with only certain niche titles requiring more. Memory speeds are important but not as critical as with an AMD Ryzen chip so we’ve opted for this DDR4-3200MHz kit from G.Skill. With a pleasing heatsink design and great performance, this RAM hits the sweet spot of price and performance as well as guaranteed compatibility with the motherboard as it is listed on the Qualified Vendors List.
Storage: Western Digital SN550 1Tb NVME SSD
SSD prices have been gradually dropping in 2020 and this 1Tb NVMe drive from western digital represents a new peak in performance for the Dollar. It uses Western Digital’s own controller to squeeze impressive speed out of the drive, and in all metrics this drive performs amongst the best. It’s more than adequate for a gaming and general purpose drive. With games getting ever bigger it’s important to have a lot of fast storage space to keep load times down, so 1Tb is adequate for a number of AAA titles and many smaller games, as well as general use.
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C
The Fractal Design Meshify C is an incredibly popular mid-tower case and with good reason. Fractal Design has produced a case with excellent thermal performance thanks to the mesh front. Build quality is good and there are dust filters on every intake as well as plenty of cable management features. Foam in the front panel helps keep noise down and the hard drive bays have neat sliding caddies making fitting drives a breeze. Combined with its unique angular front panel and discreet looks this case is a winner. The Corsair AIO will mount in the front with 2 fans acting as intake, and one of the two included 120mm Fractal Designs fan will exhaust to the rear meaning no additional fans are required for this build.
Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro 750W 80+ Gold
Nvidia recommends a 650W Power supply for the RTX 3070 but we’ve combined that with a power-hungry CPU. The Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro is a 750W PSU and is semi-modular in design, meaning the 24Pin ATX, 8 Pin EPS CPU power cable and PCIe cables are pre-attached. It has 2 EPS connectors allowing you to fully populate the CPU power sockets (8pin + 4Pin) and whilst this isn’t strictly necessary as the i5-10600K can’t pull that much power, it’s nice to have. With PSU pricing and availability still unpredictable this PSU ticks all the boxes at a reasonable price and is backed by a 7-year warranty for peace of mind.
Monitor: Gigabyte G27QC 27-inch 1440p 165Hz Monitor
The RTX 3070 is a powerful GPU and a high quality monitor is required to show its capabilities. We think that 1440p 165Hz is the real sweet spot here: This 27” 1440p monitor will provide fantastic detail due to the resolution but also fast fluid gameplay thanks to its’ high refresh rate. There’s always a trade-off to be made with higher resolutions taxing a GPU even with Nvidias impressive new DLSS 2.0 technologies. Note that not all games will be DLSS 2.0 enabled, meaning you will sometimes be reliant on the pure rasterization power of the RTX 3070. This makes the Gigabyte G27QC an excellent choice. It’s priced attractively and is G-Sync certified meaning that whilst it uses Freesync technology, it has been tested as fully compatible with Nvidia GPUs. This adaptive sync feature allows the monitor refresh rate to vary in line with the graphics card output, eliminating screen tearing and providing fluid gameplay even if you’re not hitting the full 165 FPS refresh rate. The VA panel guarantees vibrant colours and deep black levels. Finally, the price at just $289 is very attractive matching the fantastic value of the RTX 3070.
The RTX 3070 heralds a new era in Gaming PC capability. What was previously the preserve of the ultra-high-end is now available at a mid-range price point. With this system, you can be assured of excellent gaming performance for years to come, as well as enjoying all the latest cutting edge Graphics technologies that Nvidia have brought to the table with the release of Ampere.