When Nvidia announced their Super series of RTX cards it came at the time competitor AMD was announcing their next vision for graphics technology – Navi. Admittedly, I was more excited to see what Navi would bring to the table versus the current roster of RTX offerings from Team Green, but when I saw the specs and pricing of the Super class of Turing cards, that fascination waned some. As someone who has AMD’s flagship card – the Radeon VII – yet chooses to use a less powerful card in my RTX 2070, I was eager then to see how the EVGA 2070 Super XC would fare against its competition.
While we’ve reviewed the 2060 and 2080 Super on MMORPG previously, as well as the Navi cards, I was moreso focused on how the flagship AMD touted as a direct competitor to the RTX 2080 would fare, especially with a card that, on paper, should perform around what the original 2080 gave users.
But first, the Specs:
- RTX 2070
- Architecture: Turing
- Boost Clock: 1800MHz
- Texture Fill Rate: 288GT/s
- Memory Clock: 1400 MHz
- CUDA Cores: 2560
- Bus Type: PCIe 3.0
- Memory: 8192MB GDDR6
- Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
- Max Monitors Supported: 4
- Max Digital Resolution: 7680x4320
- 3 Display Port, 1 HDMI
- Dimensions: H: 111.15mm; L: 269.83mm; W: 2.75 slots
- Cooling: iCX2 Technology
- TDP: 215 Watts
- Price: MRSP: $539 (currently out of stock on website/Newegg, $651 on Amazon at time of printing)
At first glance, the 2070 Super XC from EVGA looks like a small card. The dual fan and thinner profile makes it attractive for smaller builds, yet it is also shorter than both the AMD Radeon VII and the MSI RTX 2070 ARMOR OC I have to test this against. I really enjoy the translucent quality of the chassis as well, allowing me to see a bit more into the actual cards body than others.
The metal backplate is a nice touch as well, making the whole card feel incredibly solid in your hands. While only a dual fan, EVGA is employing its iCX2 Cooling system to keep the EVGA 2070 Super XC cool under pressure. The system works as well – during idle the card hovered around the 43-45C range, while underload for extended gaming and streaming sessions it performed admirably, with a peak recorded temperature of about 76C. Thankfully EVGA isn’t implementing a blower design, but rather the fans used are emblazoned with a small raised “E” to not only look great but help create a smoother slipstream for the fans.
The EVGA can also use the Precision X1 to fully control the card from limiting the framerate within your games to the LED color the EVGA badge shows on the side of the GPU. There is a lot to unpackage with the X1 utility, and it’s incredibly intuitive. Being able to set up a custom fan curve within the utility or change profiles on the fly to suit your experience is convenient. You can even overclock the card within this utility – everything you would want to control your new card. While I personally enjoy using MSI Afterburner for monitoring, benchmarking and overclocking, it’s great there is an EVGA alternative for those who want to stay in just the single ecosystem. While the RGB modes are lacking, it’s cool to see it built into the card standard, making it stand out against the competition.
But how does it perform against the 2070 itself, the card its replacing as well as the “flagship” model from competitor AMD? Let’s head to the testing.
Quick Note: During testing the Radeon VII was experiencing massive issues when using driver 19.5.2 which released back on June 3. This made testing originally difficult as I had to roll back to a previous driver to fix the issue. However, AMD rolled out optional Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.8.1 on August 12, giving me a chance to test this driver out and see if the issues were fixed. The AMD results therefore are using the optional driver from the Adrenalin software.
Test Bench: Intel i5-9600K @ 3.7 GHz (OCed to 4.3GHz), Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Pro Z390 Motherboard, Corsair RBG 16GB-DDR4 RAM @ 3200MHz, Samsung 128GB 970 SSD Boot Drive, Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD game storage drive, Thermaltake 850W Toughpower RGB PSU, Corsair Carbide 400C Case
I was able to test out the EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC against another AIB board, but this one the base 2070, as well as the AMD Radeon VII GPU. While the Radeon VII has reportedly been retired by AMD, its value proposition puts it in the same class as the RTX 2080, a card the new 2070 Super should be somewhat on par with thanks to the jolt Nvidia dumped into the silicon. And while the 2070 Super is currently selling for over $600 on Amazon (more on that in a bit), it’s still coming in cheaper than both the 2080 Super and the AMD Radeon VII.
We test synthetic benchmarks to give an overall indication of how each card will fare in use. While not 100% indicative of the real world application, it’s definitely a great snapshot into how each card should perform against each other. In this test we used the default settings for both Time Spy and Firestrike.
Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark designed to push your system to its absolute limit. Firestrike does the same, however it tests your system’s DX 11 performance. It’s no surprise that overall the more expensive AMD Radeon VII outperforms the 2070S and the regular 2070 in the Firestrike tests – though it doesn’t beat the RTX 2070 Super by much. What’s more shocking is the 2070 S beats out both cards by a respectable margin on the Time Spy test. AMD has historically performed better than Radeon in many DX12 applications, but to see a score that beats out the Radeon VII by 1000 points is impressive, as shown in the graphs below.
With the gaming tests, I elected to go with a range of a few hard hitting games on the market – a mix of MMOs, strategy and adventure games. I still really enjoy Rise of the Tomb Raider’s benchmark and have included it here as while it’s an older title nowadays it still hits the GPU hard. I chose to not benchmark 1080p for two reasons: with cards like this 1080p testing can introduce a CPU bottleneck, which can skew some results. Additionally, when you’re spending close to $600 on a GPU, chances are you’re looking for a higher resolution experience. The EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC isn’t being positioned directly as a 4K card, but it’s certainly capable of performing as one. I tested games at both 1440p and 2160p (4K), each with max settings except for Anti-aliasing, which I kept at FXAA on each game.
For ESO I elected to stay near Rimmen in Elswyer as ESO doesn’t have its own benchmark I wanted to test an area as consistently as possible. Obviously due to the nature of MMOs there will be some variance on server load during testing, so ESO’s results will reflect some variance as a result. In order to mitigate this as much as possible, I ran through the same route in Rimmen for 60 seconds, three times and calculated the average framerates across the three runs.
With all the titles except for Rise of the Tomb Raider, there really isn’t much variance between average framerates. While the Radeon VII slightly edges out the EVGA in GTA V and ties it in ESO, each other test has the EVGA coming out on top. Total War: Three Kingdoms is a deceptively demanding game on your GPU thanks to its highly detailed and colorful campaign map and battle terrain, so it’s no shock that the framerate is below 60 even at 1440p. 4K really shows what the EVGA can do compared to the original 2070 and the more expensive Radeon VII.
Total War: Three Kingdoms sits at the bottom with sub-30fps averages at ultra settings at 4K, however across the rest of the titles there are some very respectable framerates. ESO shows little variance with the 2070 Super and the 2070, but a 7-framerate deficit on the part of the RVII compared to the Super. Otherwise the EVGA and the Radeon VII trade blows at 4K, mirroring each other with 104 average in GTA V, as well as being within 2 frames on RotTR and Shadowbringers.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So what does this all mean? Well, if you’re looking to upgrade from the 2070, the Super does provide some difference, but the question is whether or not it’ll be enough. At 4K, the EVGA RTX 2070 Super provides a definite upgrade, but if you’re only going to play at 1440p, if you can find a base 2070 on sale now it might be the way to go.
The real kicker is against the AMD Radeon VII – a card that retails for $699 and is meant to compete against the RTX 2080. The 2070 Super trades blows with the AMD flagship card – and in some respects beats it, making it a great value even with the current markup on Amazon/Newegg.
While the AMD Radeon VII might be positioned against the 2070 Super’s cousin, when compared directly to the Super the question of which to buy is a no brainer. The 2070 Super provides comparable performance while also still having the value-add features of hardware accelerated ray-tracing and deep-learning super sampling (DLSS). AMD’s Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS) might be something which can be applied across all games as opposed to DLSS requiring direct support from Nvidia to be implemented, the ray tracing alone makes the value proposition of the 2070 Super skyrocket compared to the AMD offerings. Playing a game like Metro: Exodus with RTX features enabled completely transforms the experience. With DLSS enabled, at 4K on RTX High I found myself comfortably gaming at 60fps on the Super, something which wasn’t possible on the base 2070.
Considering that the 2070 Super comes packaged with Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, two games which aim to take advantage of ray tracing – especially Control – and you’ll get some use out of this feature. While it may not be completely mainstream today, it’s gaining ground with even the next Call of Duty taking advantage of it in their upcoming installment. Additionally, keep in mind the Nvidia NVENC codec used when streaming as well, especially OBS and the Turing card is a clear step ahead in quality versus the Radeon VII when showing off your gaming exploits online.
The problem I’m having right now is justifying recommending anyone buy the EVGA right now at its current price on the market. At $651 on Amazon, but listed at $539 on both Newegg and the EVGA website (though out of stock in both places), the EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC feels way too expensive unless that price can come down some. The Nvidia RTX 2080 Super retails for $699, or you could find a cheaper base or AIB 2080 on sale now since the Super now exists. At $539 MSRP, the EVGA 2070 Super XC is an absolute steal, especially given how it fares compared to the more expensive cards.
EVGA makes great products. They always have. The EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC is no exception. It performs admirably compared to the more expensive competing card, it’s a definite upgrade over the RTX 2070 before it, and it stays cool while doing so. At an MSRP of $539, the EVGA 2070 Super is an ideal card for someone looking to get a 4K capable GPU while not stepping into the higher end of the 2080 Super or the Radeon VII. The value-add features such as ray tracing and machine learning make the 2070 feel like a more forward thinking card compared to Team Red’s offerings, plus you’re getting two AAA PC games with your purchase. It’s a stellar deal – at $539. If pricing is still steep, it’s a little harder pill to swallow. However, the EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC should be on your list if you’re in the market for a great mid-range GPU.
- Stellar performance compared to other models
- Looks great, especially with the RGB
- 4K performance is solid for a mid-range option
- May not be a substantial enough difference versus an AIB 2070 for some
- Current pricing makes it hard to recommend
- RGB Options in Precision X1 feel lacking compared to other RGB controllers