The RTX 3070 was the most anticipated card from the upcoming RTX Ampere launch, and with good reason. It’s the cheapest offering that’s supposedly on par with an RTX 2080 Ti. Unfortunately, if you want one, you’ll have to wait a little while longer.
Nvidia announced over the long weekend that the RTX 3070’s launch has been pushed back to October 29. The reason isn’t much of a surprise for anyone who was following the RTX 3080 and 3090 dramas, though. Nvidia revealed the delay was designed to ensure greater availability of the cards, a sensible move given that the RTX 3070 is the most affordable (while still being at PS5/Xbox Series X-esque prices in Australia).
“We know this may be disappointing to those eager to purchase a GeForce RTX 3070 as soon as possible, however this shift will help our global partners get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers on launch day,” Nvidia said. “Across a variety of ray-traced and rasterized DirectX and Vulkan titles, the GeForce RTX 3070 delivers similar or faster performance than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (which sold for twice the price) and is on average 60% faster than the original GeForce RTX 2070.”
To ramp up the interest, Nvidia also officially published another one of their performance graphs comparing 1440p performance with the RTX 2070, 2080 and RTX 3070. There’s no frame rates or frame times so it’s a bit hard to parse. But, the basic takeaway here, is that you should expect RTX 2080 Ti-levels of performance in games where ray-tracing is enabled.
That doesn’t mean you’ll get a stable 60fps with raytracing in these games — Minecraft RTX, for instance, didn’t hit 60fps on any RTX card from the previous generation.
In Australia the RTX 3070 will retail from $809, although as we’ve seen with the AIB models chances are many cards will be at least $100 more than that. Still, for people upgrading from 10-series cards or even the Maxwell generation, the RTX 3070 should provide a solid performance improvement.
What’s not measured in a lot of these benchmarks — and a lot of reviews, either — is how well the cards do under partial raytracing scenarios. It was common even with the RTX 2080 Ti to use only some ray-tracing effects (like ray-traced reflections or shadows only) in games that had multiple raytracing applications. That can make a major performance difference particularly in games like Control. There aren’t many games that have multiple uses for raytracing, but one of them that does is Cyberpunk 2077, and more and more games will begin incorporating raytracing after this year.
And with a little bit of luck, prices might even come down further with a bit of competition. The delay means the RTX 3070 won’t launch until the day after AMD announces their plans for Big Navi, which is expected to heavily compete against the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080.